A few days ago you were introduced to the different stages of our mental evolution. Today, I would like to give you the details of how it happens.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read the previous article first, before diving into this one, as they follow a certain thought pattern.
See, as a coach I know firsthand that many people are held in the dark about the central workings of the mind. I believe this is disruptive to human evolution. Therefore, my goal is to dispel all the mystery and make these facts more readily accessible to the public.
Driven by this mission, I decided to make a progressive series that takes you on a deep journey within, where you see the intricate connections between our mental, emotional and physical systems, and how they impact each other.
Of course, the information here is a generalization, and each individual experiences their life differently. Therefore, if this information is piquing your interest and you want to see how it can be applied to you, I encourage you to book a free call with me, so we can identify a strategy customized for you.
With that said, let’s dive in!
Linear growth is a myth
Here is the truth — nothing in life is linear.
I’m saying that because if you looked at the graph from the previous article you might have assumed that the growth line is straight. Yet, if you zoom in closer, you’ll see that it’s not straight at all. There are many ups and downs between one level to the next. That’s because everything in life is energy, which is made of waves that ebb and flow. And we will be going deeper into this at a later time, but for now it is just something to keep in mind.
Once you learn this, you will start to notice that unfortunately much of life is viewed from a linear lens. The way most people think and see the world is in a straight line, with little room for deviation. From economical theories to architectural blueprints — straight lines and 90 degree angles tend to dominate our reality. This is the norm, but this is not natural at all.
In fact, this is what makes the works of Gaudí so impressive! His works help remind the individual that life can be more flexible and magical if we get comfortable with thinking out of the box the world tries to place us in.
His architecture is breathtaking and is one of the reasons so many tourists flock to Barcelona, Spain on a yearly basis. If you have not seen his work and experienced it firsthand, then I highly recommend it!
The buildings he designed introduce an element of movement that is energizing and awe inspiring. Being around his works one quickly realizes that separating the self from nature and its diversity is a choice, and therefore can always be changed.
But let’s be honest, such brilliant minds are few in history. Most people choose to follow the status quo, so this out of the box thinking and creating is in limited supply in the modern world, and this series is a desire to change that.
The good news is that today I will share the steps we take when learning something new, so if there’s any change you want to add to your life, you’ll have the exact roadmap for how to do it. You’ll notice that it all starts with awareness. By simply being here and reading this information, you will have already taken the first step to change, and that is something to be proud of.
Let’s get started!
Four stages of learning
To transition from one stage of perception to another you need to expand your awareness and understanding. Learning happens incrementally, not all at once. That’s because our brain is a network of connections, not a cabinet filer that neatly organizes new and past experiences into their tiny compartments.
And because everything is connected to everything else — learning takes time, practice and patience. It is a process of integrating the old with the new, so that a bigger, brighter and more comprehensive picture of ‘reality’ can emerge.
Here is the process:
Step 1 — Unconscious Incompetence
You don’t know what you don’t know. Unless someone introduces a new idea, a new language, a new food, that idea or possibility will not exist in your mind.
Step 2 — Conscious Incompetence
Once that seed of potential is planted in your mind, you begin to comprehend that another way of doing or being is possible. If this is something that is appealing to you, it grabs your interest and you spend more time getting to know it. At this stage, the individual begins to take the necessary steps to familiarize them self with this new concept.
Step 3 — Conscious Competence
When that idea is fully understood and accepted, the individual begins to make an effort to incorporate it into their life. Bridging the gap between step two and three is not easy. It requires commitment, accountability and discipline. This includes making time in your schedule for the new activity, investing in the change and altering daily patterns to introduce new habits.
Step 4 — Unconscious Competence
After several days and weeks of retraining the mind, the new behavior becomes more habitual and eventually turns into a new routine. At this point, the mind has had so much exposure and training with this action or activity that it happens subconsciously, and can be done with ease and almost no effort. When this point is reached, the individual has mastered the new skill.
Zones of learning
When the difficulty of adopting the new skills seems to match the available time, interest and resources, the individual enters the ‘learning zone’. When the difficulty looks greater than the available skills and resources, the individual becomes overwhelmed and enters the ‘anxiety zone’.
This is why moving slowly and deliberately through new goals and aspirations is so important. Most individuals are overcome with the passion and inspiration in the first stages of getting introduced to a new idea that they go all in without taking into account all four steps of the process.
Without a proper plan and preparation, the motivation can quickly run out, and the new goal or idea is put on the shelf or replaced by something else. If this is something you are familiar with, then I recommend checking out a free masterclass in which I walk you through the 5 steps of reaching your goals without delay and overwhelm.
As Alexander Bell once said:
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
Progress doesn’t happen in a straight line. This information is nothing new, but it is something we easily forget in moments of urgency, stress or emotion. So reminders are important.
It’s valuable to recall that life is more like a dance, maybe something like the cha-cha slide. Depending on the time and day, your motivations can be high and encourage you to move your feet closer to the goal. Then life gets in the way and other commitments grab your attention, so you take a few steps back. And so this up and down, side to side pattern emerges.
With enough time and commitment to the dance, the steps become more familiar and natural, and the learning progress turns into something exciting and meaningful.
The key is to take it easy and have fun with it!
In time, all will come together.