According to NLP there are Four Stages of Learning a new skill to become Master in that skill. Most of the times we are afraid of learning new skills and having doubt on ourselves whether we are having the abilities to learn the new skills. The reason might be your old beliefs about past experiences in which you have failed in 1st or 2nd attempt whenever you tried to learn that skill immediately or it can be your giving-up attitude as soon as you experience any failure in learning the new skill.
These skills can be as simple as driving the car, dancing, singing, painting, learning new languages, acting and can be as difficult as advance selling skills, persuading others to take action, martial arts, playing sports, film making, playing several types of musical instruments, negotiation skills and advance computer skills.
Now, I will share with you, how your mind learns so that you can achieve Mastery in your particular skills by following this process. Remember, nothing is impossible in this world. Its only a matter of mind game. You have to just follow the right process in order to condition your mind to learn that skill.
The psychological field of Neuro Linguistic Programming offers a useful Four Step model of how the mind learns. It can be served as a useful calibration tool to measure your progress in mastering the skill.
• Unconscious Incompetence: You are doing something wrong and you don’t even know you are doing it wrong. Many people are not even bothered to know the right strategies to achieve a goal. Everyday they are performing the same task in same old pattern. Lack of awareness of right strategies is one of the biggest reasons in failing to achieve a goal in spite of doing so much hard-work.
• Conscious Incompetence: Now you have consciously accepted that there is something wrong in the process. You are doing something wrong and you are aware that you are doing it wrong, but you haven’t yet fixed the problem. This is the first major breakthrough in achieving Mastery because at last you have recognized and accepted your previous mistakes. Very few people have so much courage to accept their limitations.
• Conscious Competence: Now after learning new strategies and going through rigorous training program, you have learned the right way to do it, and you are doing it correctly with focused attention. For this, you have to do self-assessment about how you review yourself in perfection of that particular skill learned so far. Rate yourself 1 to 10 in each area, with 1 being completely deficient, 5 being average and 10 being perfect in the skill.
For example, you have started learning driving a car. So let’s divide the complete driving process into few steps.
• Balancing the Steering wheel while driving.
• Applying and removing clutch while gear shifting.
• Shifting from Neutral to 1st gear, 1st to 2nd gear, 2nd to 3rd gear and so on as you pick up the speed.
• Reverse gear driving.
• Parking the car at exact position.
• And most important, applying brakes at right time.
So you have to practice all these steps consciously in order to drive smoothly. In a matter of few days, you will be able to rate yourself in each step of driving skills. This is one of the simplest examples of learning new skills. If you are learning some difficult skills related to your profession or interest, try to break the whole process into very small steps and consciously practice each step. If you still find learning difficult try to break it into further smaller steps.
• Unconscious Competence: Once you have consciously practiced the 3rd stage of Learning Process and review yourself thoroughly on that skill, now you no longer have to think about something or work on learning it – you automatically do it correctly. Just like unconsciously driving the car, your hands and legs are moving simultaneously; you can even listen music, follow traffic rules or talk to other passengers.
Your mind is now conditioned to follow whole process in an organized way. In this game of learning new skills, this is when you finally become a so-called natural.
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