Cocky or Confident?

I recently had a conversation with my husband about someone he had interacted with that day that came off as quite arrogant and cocky when it was obvious that he had no idea what he was talking about. This, of course, brought up a whole conversation on the levels of competency. Let’s go into the levels in the event that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ll use driving as an example because I think that most of us can relate to that learning process.

Level One: “Unconscious Incompetence” – this is the “you don’t know what you don’t know” level. Remember before we started even thinking about driving? When we had others drive us around and we didn’t realize how much work it actually required to do it?

Level Two: When we get close to the age for driving, we start paying attention. We take a driver’s education class for an entire semester and very quickly go into the second level of “Consciously Incompetent” when we realize that we don’t know. This can be a very uncomfortable stage and if we try to learn as much as we can, we reach the third level.

Level Three: “Consciously Competent” –  At this stage, we are aware of needing to glance in our mirrors every few seconds, the need to turn our head to check blind spots, what all of the signs on the road mean – you get the idea.

Level Four: Finally, after lots of practice, we reach the final level of “Unconsciously Competent” where we forget just how much we know. We safely drive to our destinations without thinking about all that goes into making that trip.

So how does all of this apply to superachieving? Superachievers are confident, not cocky – we know that there is A LOT out there that we don’t know we don’t know. However, we are confident that if and when we need to learn it, we will. AND if we need to learn it to the level of becoming “Unconsciously Competent” we are willing to put in the time and effort to do so.

So here is your call to action – is there anything that you need to learn more about to work your way up the levels of competency? I can guarantee there is as “self-development” is one of the five pillars to superachieving. Since this is the case, what are you doing to do about it today?