One thing I talk to my athletes about often is KNOWING… really KNOWING something. I LOVE the word Believe. I use it often in my workshops and seminars and even keynotes. I use it in my signature when I signautrographs… I use it in so many things I do. But, this piece is going to be about taking the next step. About really KNOWING with all of you… who you are and what you are about. I use this sparingly, like not tossing around the word LOVE unless warranted. It’s that precious to me.
It all starts with understanding it. You ready?
There are four stages of learning… I like to use this to explain the process we go through as athletes, and yes… it applies to non-athletes too.
Stage 1: We begin with unconscious incompetence. We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s that simple. It’s ignorance that stops us from reaching beyond this. Nothing more, nothing less.
Stage 2: Conscious incompetence. We KNOW that we don’t know. We begin to search for answers. As athletes, we work on correcting in practice. We seek out coaches. We are open to learning what we are doing wrong and work hard to correct it. We need guidance. But at least we are aware. Awareness, after all, is key.
Stage 3: Conscious Competence. We KNOW that we know, and are starting to get it. We still have to work at it, and think about it to make our muscles do what it is we are trying to do, but we are making it happen and we are doing it right. We just have to actually THINK about it.
Stage 4: Unconscious Competence. We don’t know that we know. We just do. We trust. We are a natural and don’t have to think about moving our muscles. We just let it happen and we react.
So where do you fall? Are you just starting something new in your life, or are you already past the point of having to think about doing it? I use examples of athletes, but this is so much a part of our everyday lives… We all start new things and have to learn them. Sometimes it’s hard to feel unsure of yourself and insecure about your abilities… but it’s all a part of the process. We can’t be experts at everything every time. Understand this is the chain of events in ANYTHING we attempt in life. It’s ok to be new at something. For those of us who may be perfectionists (YES… that includes good ol me, who wouldn’t shoot pool for the longest time, just because I didn’t know if I would be good at it or not), There is hope! Understanding and accepting this concept has really helped me know that there is a process and that it’s ok to be IN the process.
So how do we get beyond this and how to we progress from one stage to the next?
It begins with our levels of confidence and of being.
We often start sentences about our future with these words:
Notice how many times a day you say the top few… Often I would bet.
Notice how many times a day you say you KNOW something or you WILL do something. It’s probably a lot fewer.
Why?? What are we afraid of committing to? We are now aware that we fall into one of the four stages of learning. So now we need to embrace where we are and move into full acceptance. This is the “doing” part…When we are confident and we don’t hold ourselves back from our true potential, we KNOW… we WILL. We don’t doubt or second guess our abilities to do ANYTHING. We work through the four stages and get to the end in whatever time it takes us to get there. We don’t worry about not being good enough. We ARE good enough.
So… can you say that about yourself? Whatever you are attempting to do in your life RIGHT NOW… are you doing it with your BEST intentions? Are you creating YOUR BEST life? Because we all have different ideas of what that is. And no one’s opinion really counts but your own. When will you start listening to YOU? Repeat after me: I KNOW… And I WILL.
There you go…. Nicely done. Now go make today count. You don’t get a redo.