Once, a long time ago, my phone just gave up. It was bound to happen. Google updated Android and my phone didn’t like it at all. It was too much change too fast for my baby phone and it just died. It choked on the Lollipop and I became the sucker.
So I got a new phone. And it took me a full working day to get the phone, the wireless headset and all of the little stuff sorted out on this new device. And by “sorted out”, I mean “functioning to a point that I can use them” not actually fully set up or as if I know what the heck I’m doing. By the time the end of the day came around, I felt as if I’d run a marathon and I had half a head of hair lying on the floor.
It’s frustrating learning new things.
And it seems these days, there are lots of new things to learn. I just read a headline on Fortune’s twitter feed about a woman who makes a million dollars on Snapchat.
What the heck is Snapchat?
These days it feels as if you have to be part computer programmer, part copy expert, part marketing guru, part sales wizard, part leadership consultant, part advertising god (etc.) just to run a small entrepreneurial business. There are so many hats to wear. There is so much technology to learn. There are so many opportunities.
Now add all the frustration of these work related stresses onto our normal life of relationships with family and friends, finances, maintaining our health and you end up with a hurricane whizzing around in your mind from all the new stuff your brain needs to process.
It’s frustrating learning new things.
In the NLP Practitioner Certification, one of the greatest things I learned was giving myself a break via the learning levels. You see, when you begin to learn something new, you are in this state of being consciously incompetent. You know that you don’t know what the heck you are doing and it sucks. Before this, you didn’t know that you didn’t know which is called unconsciously incompetent. I didn’t know that I didn’t know about Snapchat until I saw the Fortune headline and then all of the sudden, I knew I didn’t know. I went from unconscious to conscious incompetence.
Being unconsciously incompetent is bliss. You have no idea what’s happening. It’s a complete state of unawareness. You have no idea that something is there or not there. You have no clue that there is something you need to learn.
And then it hits you. All of the sudden you are aware you need to learn something or you are about to learn something or that something is coming your way. And this is where the frustration begins. You are aware and yet you can’t really do anything about your awareness because you don’t know how to. It’s time for that learning curve to start its climb.
I know it’s going to sound funny but I bought a book to teach me how to run. I knew that I didn’t actually know how to run. I didn’t know what my breath or heart-rate should be, or my strides, or my pace or my shoes. The shoes! Who knew about the shoes? I had to replace my running shoes with a pair 2 sizes bigger! And with my book and my new shoes (that I learned about in the book), I started testing what I was learning and practicing “running.” Running was a little frustrating a first. There was so much to pay attention to!
After awhile, I graduated up another level to consciously competent. I could now run. I could now keep a pace for long distance and increase my distance each time I went out. I knew how to tackle hills and practiced it. I knew how to vary my running speeds and how to stretch after my runs. All of this knowledge was now becoming habit and I was consciously going through the motions of my new found knowledge. I still used my heart-rate monitor to keep track of my pace and still paid attention to my mind set and my breathing. It was all part of developing my habit of running. The frustration of being incompetent had gone and in its place was a much easier routine.
Now, years later, I am unconsciously competent at running. I don’t have to wear a heart-rate monitor to know where my rate would be. I can pretty much guess accurately by paying attention to my breath and how I feel. I don’t have to follow a set strategy nor think about my shoes size when buying a new pair of running shoes. I can run with a headset and listen to self-development programs throughout my run and everything is sort of on autopilot. This is the unconscious part. It is the “I can do it in my sleep” kind of operation. It’s natural. It’s easy. It’s a way of life.
Our minds like it when we get things to this unconscious level. It uses less brain power and leaves more for those unexpected days where Google decides to upgrade to “Sour Balls.” And then the frustration begins again…
Here are some other posts in the same series you may want to explore: Tip #1 Chunk Size, Tip #2 Submodalities , Tip #3 Metamodel, Tip #4 Presuppositions, Tip #5 Frame of Reference, Tip #6 Complex Equivalents, Tip #7 Outcomes, Tip #8 Re-program, Tip #9 Self Hypnosis, Tip #10 People Are Not Their Behaviors