Are You Stuck In A Rut?

Have you ever heard the phrase:

“You don’t know what you don’t know.”

It’s called being unconsciously incompetent.

There are four stages of competence, or as you will, there are four phases for going from not knowing to knowing well. Here they are:

1. Unconsciously Incompetent.

The person does not understand or know how to do something and does not recognise the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. This person must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.

2. Consciously Incompetent.

Though they do not understand or know how to do something, the person recognises their deficiency, as well as the value of the new skill in addressing this deficiency. 

3. Consciously Competent.

The person understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating that skill or knowledge requires significant effort and concentration. There is usually a significant conscious involvement in executing this new skill.

4. Unconsciously Competent.

Now the person has had so much practice with the new skill that it has become second nature and can be performed quite easily and routinely. 

What does this all mean?

Being in a state of unconscious incompetence is a rather dangerous place to be….

You are totally ignorant or caring of the fact that a better way may even exist, and be of use.

You are happy in your own little world.

It is not a denial of a better way. It is simply a reluctance to even consider that a better way exists.

It truly is sad, because you truly do not know what you do not know.

How can this change?


Enlightenment must occur.

Sometimes it just needs to be an “Ah-ha moment”.

Sometimes it can also be a B.F.O.. A blinding flash of the obvious.

Have you ever had one?

Are you up for it?

I’ve always been one to look outside of the box, to look outside of my industry and to see what other industries are doing and to see whether those skills and tools can be applied to my business to create improvements and increased efficiencies.

Sometimes the adaptations can be quite subtle.

Other times the ideas and changes can be totally outside of left field.

For the mind to grow you must feed it.

And feed it well.

Our minds can become sedentary if they are not stimulated.

We need to be fertilizing our minds with significant “brain food”.

What are you doing?

What sort of external stimuli are you feeding your brain.

This week I attended and also spoke at a dental conference where the topic was business.

The problem was, because the topic was business, and not clinical, the number of attendees was low.

Which was sad, because the information shared there was truly out of left field, and when applied to the average dental practice, would result in a significant increase in revenue.

Far more than any new way of doing something clinically.

I guess the great advantage for the attendees was that they were receiving that GIFT.

While those who missed this meeting were still plodding along in their rut, I guess.

Sadly, they don’t even know it.

One of the attendees who had been “dragged along by her forward-thinking business partner, said to me that this was her first ever “dental business” conference.

But sadly, she was implying that she was attending begrudgingly.

When I asked her politely why this was the situation, and whether she perceived it as an area of personal concern, her reply to me indicated that her attendance on this day was begrudgingly.

And I felt that this dentist couldn’t wait to get out of the meeting and crawl back into the comfort of her rut. 

How sad….


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