Trading is no exception.
The 4 levels are:
• Unconscious Incompetent – when you have no knowledge and no experience
• Conscious Incompetent – you achieve this level once you’ve gathered some bit of knowledge, and can now recognize you still have a lot to learn and experience.
• Conscious Competent – when you have the knowledge and know how to use it, at this point you are starting to see great progress and results.
• Unconscious Competent – The last level of mastery at which point you perform the task with a crystallized behaviour and you no longer think about it, you just do it right and comfortably well.
A fair example of this ladder would be in driving.
When we start, we are unconscious and incompetent, as we don’t know the Highway Code and don’t know how to operate a car.
Then we learn the code and the basics of how to drive a car and become aware of what we have yet to achieve. We therefore passed to be conscious and incompetent.As we try to gather experience we have the knowledge but we are letting the car stall, braking too hard etc.
With further experience, we then progress to conscious competent, where we know the code and how to drive the car. However, we still are thinking and focusing on these tasks.
And then we finally achieve the last level of mastery where we become unconscious and competent, we no longer need to think about driving we just do it well. We don't need to look to the gearbox anymore, pedals etc.
The unconscious competent level of mastery can be linked to the psychological state known as “flow” where you possess a very high skill level and you feel perfectly comfortable, with contained emotions, and can handle changes with ease.
The flow state is the state you want to achieve whilst trading in order for you to be relaxed and successful.
This is all about you, so don't focus on the others and how much they're making and how well they are doing, instead focus on yourself. Be able to humbly recognize and pinpoint accurately where you stand in the learning process, embrace it and focus on your progress.
So what is your level of mastery?