What is competence?

This is a very common question for all seeking personal growth.  If I use the language of Landmark Forum – “you don’t know what you don’t know and that’s where the biggest transformation opportunity is !”.

Different modalities (or lets call it the wisdom jargon) look at it with their own twists.  I connect more with what NLP has done and hence this attempt to describe it for everyone.

The awareness continuum (Adapted from NLP Framework)

Key principles as you study the visual above:

  1. The transformation opportunity is often in the first building block.  For example, I kept investing in taxable (!) RBI bonds for >10 years (at about 6.6%) now knowing that the stock market (on average) was growing >15% per year during those 10+ years !
  2. When I realised my folly (i.e. I am conscious about my incompetence), I decided to make the change.  This stage is often the most difficult phase to “realise” and like me, many clients spend years in the first stage only (not knowing their folly !).  This is the first and the most critical “awareness” level in the transformation journey ! In the context of “Pancha Kosha” model, this is “Vignanmaya kosha”!  Life Coaching often focusing on Stage 1 and 2 !
  3. Lethargy, even while being aware, takes its toll.  Once we shed lethargy, the transformation journey begins. This stage requires diligence and consistent follow-up since one is not (by design) competent to do what is required in this stage. This is where the help and persistent support (also called nagging) is needed.  Most of us give up at this stage and never make it to our goal (despite being aware !). Depending upon the goal and the tasks needed, this can take anywhere from 21 days to months or years in case of a long term intervention (e.g. financial planning).
  4. After doing #3 diligently, at some point, it becomes a “habit” and from that point onwards, things just happen.

The external assistance (e.g. a Life Coaching or the person who puts a mirror in front of you and show you the outages or lack of awareness in your life) is often needed during stage 1, 2 and 3. Depending upon the impact of the “lack of awareness”, one can even stop getting external help after becoming aware (i.e. Stage 2) and become completely self-driven to achieve the goals.

In case above is not clear, please read more examples below.

Gunjan Trivedi, Life Coach (gunjan@wellness-space.net)