Updated: Oct 12
TL;DR: You're somewhere on these steps in your journey to kick-ass. We all start at "unconscious incompetence" and the goal is to make it to "unconscious competence". Read more to learn how to know which level you are.
A huge aspect of the my clients' success is attributed to helping them understand how their brain works so they can sort of "hack" themselves into positive shifts in their mindset, body, and life in general.
The image above refers to the levels of awareness as it relates to anything we perceive as "not preferred". Understanding this model will help you determine where you are in your development process, no matter what you're currently trying to change or improve (or maybe you've already mastered something!).
Level 1: Unconscious Incompetence
Level one is referred to "unconscious incompetence," or "unaware of the problem, and therefore, unbothered."
You can also refer to this level as "bliss". All is well and you go about your life without the awareness that there's a problem.
A few years ago (ahem...12 years ago 😅....) I was a Sophomore in college for my undergrad and I was in a Business Accounting class (I did well, but it was terrible, lol). One day, one of my classmates who I'd never met sat next to me and I instantly smelled something BAD 🤢.
I have the nose of a dog, so smells really trigger me. Moments later, he turned to me to ask a question and, as he did so, I found the source of the smell....his MOUTH. His breath could quite literally kill someone in high doses and he had NO IDEA.
Instead of me saying something, he just continued to talk to me and singe my nose hairs. It wasn't his fault, he had no idea! If I had said something, then he would've become aware of the problem, and would suddenly level up to level 2 of awareness or "conscious incompetence."
Level 2: Conscious Incompetence
Level two is referred to as "conscious incompetence," or "F***! I know, and now I can't ignore it."
Level two can be called "pain" because you know something is wrong, off, or incongruent and are resistant to doing something about it or keep putting it off which results in you feeling guilty or...pain.
This could show up in your life as a troublesome relationship. It started great, but it increasingly became more and more turbulent and draining for you. You've tried so hard to justify your staying, but it's so bad now, you know you need to either seek help or move on. Instead, you're clinging to how things used to be or hoping they will magically improve if you wait it out. You'll be in this cycle of pain until you decide take action and change the situation, or enter level 3, "conscious competence."
Level 3: Conscious Competence
Level three is referred to "conscious competence," or "I'm trying, but this feels hard."
I call level three "effort," because it is where we know there's something we need and are actively putting in the work to get it.
Back in the day when I was 14, life was a lot easier and my parents drove me around wherever I needed to go (which, honestly, was mostly Walmart or Best Buy so I could look at all the electronics and games I couldn't afford).
Fast forward to 15(.5): I began to realize the pain in not being able to get up and go where I wanted. I started driver's ed but the car I was learning in was a 1989 Lincoln Town Car.
For those who may not be familiar, I'm sharing a photo of it, but it doesn't do the size and weight of it justice.
It was literally like driving a short, light-blue, military tank with a luxury leather interior, a trunk that could hold 300 dead bodies, and 12, major oil leaks.
I soon realized the *overwhelm* in trying to learn to drive.
I had to not only press the right pedals at the right times, remember to signal when turning, keep both hands on the wheel, stay in my lane, and moderate my speed - I ALSO (😮💨) had to breathe, blink, and attempt to listen to my mom scream about how I wasn't doing any of it correctly while slamming her foot continuously on the floor of the passenger side frantically hoping it would somehow stop the car.
I didn't stop learning, though.
My desire to be able to drive and get myself to and from school, Spirit Week activities, and up and down Main Street screaming at random strangers on the sidewalk pushed me to get to the place where driving was like breathing. I got to level 4, "unconscious competence."
Level 4: Unconscious Competence
Level four is referred to "unconscious competence," or "I don't even think about it, I'm just kicking ass 😎".
Sticking with the driving scenario: while a lot of us took time to learn how to drive without white knuckles, most of us can now drive while texting (illegally!), talking with our friends, screaming at our kids, eating, or while belting Britney Spears' Greatest Hits.
Basically, we can think about everything else BUT driving because we have mastered it and are in "flow".
So Now What?
The goal is to get to flow state. We can go from unconscious (in the not-great way) to unconscious (in the best way) and the fastest way to do that is to throw ourselves fully into whatever it is we want to change, overcome, learn, or develop into.
Immersion is the number one, fastest way to get from level 1 to level 4. You can learn a new language by working with a tutor a few hours a week. Studies show it can take hundreds of hours to learn a language fluently over the course of years by using a tutor.
However, you can up and move to a country where the language is spoken natively, realize very quickly you won't survive without learning it, do your best to pick up everything organically, and come back home speaking the language fluently in 3 months.
When people turn to me for coaching, they are usually at the "pain" or "effort" levels (2 or 3) but truthfully, a great coach will be able to meet you wherever you are and support you in creating your custom way to get to kick-ass.
When you're ready to finally get shit done, start by scheduling your kickoff call with me!