• The Learning-Spiral Thoughtmap explains that anyone on the Learning Team enters a new level of awareness by first looking bad, and evolving through FOUR STAGES.

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  • The 4 Stages of the Learning Spiral

    I often wish it were otherwise but there is no way to avoid that sometimes brutally-painful first step in the four-step Learning-Spiral: becoming conscious of your own incompetence.

     

    This is when, often without warning, the Universe smacks you up-side the head how unaware you have been about how unaware you have been. It can be a devastating experience – the beginning of a ‘Phoenix Process’. Those shocking, embarrassing, perhaps even disgraceful moments of seeing the idiocy of something you were certain, only a moment before, was genius and useful, can be re-packaged into the starting points of a new and better future.

     

    Here are two thoughts to keep in the back of your mind during such a roasting: A human being rarely changes until it becomes too painful to keep doing things the old way. If you responsibly experience the pain of new awareness it can serve you as the most powerful catalyst for dissolving your inner resistances to becoming more conscious.

     

    The second thought is this: The more unexpected the event, the more information it contains. Since a Beep! is, by its nature, unexpected, it arrives full of valuable insights to unwrap and apply. Do not use the unexpectedness to beat yourself up for not seeing it coming. Instead try to receive the Beep! with appreciating yourself for having achieved the capacity to see it now, and use the shock of the unexpectedness to hammer a remembrance-stake into the new territory revealed to more easily find your way back.

     

    You have two options. One is to be on the Looking Good Team busily doing everything you can to keep looking ‘good’ even if this involves avoiding learning. The other is to be on the Learning Team busily looking ‘bad’ as a side-effect of admitting that you did not know that you did not know and going through transformational liquid states.

     

    The proposal is to rewire your mind about welcoming Beep!s. This moves you from the Looking Good Team to the Learning Team. Then each time you become newly conscious of an incompetence, your tears, red-face, bulging veins, and shaking hands will look inspiring to your peers.

    driven by a wake-up call

    STAGE 1: UNCONSCIOUS-INCOMPETENCE TO CONSCIOUS-INCOMPETENCE Ignorance of your ignorance is bliss! The first indicator that you have entered an authentic learning opportunity is receiving feedback that you are ignorant about something you didn’t know was possible to be ignorant about. Suddenly you see yourself as having been stupid in some tender place you assumed was working just fine. It’s a wake-up call: Beep! Game over! The rude awakening from being unconscious of your incompetence to becoming conscious of your incompetence makes you look bad to your friends, your boss, your partner… and especially to yourself. Conscious-incompetence is that moment when the façade you invested so much effort in concocting to present the illusion that you’ve got your act together is suddenly seen from the back-side as a bundle of fantasies and reasons cobbled together with paperclips and chewing gum. That pesky little dog has pulled open the curtain and your bare manipulative arse is revealed to the whole world. A cold draft blows in from a strange direction: becoming aware of something that you were not aware that you were not aware of. Ouch! Is it really this bad? Actually, it is probably worse. The feedback may have been knocking on your doors of perception for a long time and only now could you hear it. Better late than never… Certainly others saw the pie-in-your-face long before you did. A useful suggestion here is: try to not kill the messenger. Trying to kill the messenger suggests that your highest priority is still trying to keep up the ‘looking good’ illusion. Here is a useful strategy: When the shit hits the fan, let yourself get utterly lambasted.... Instead of being like a bear in the woods hiding behind a tree to minimize the Great Hunter’s chances of hitting you in a lethal place, step out from your hiding place, spread your arms wide, and stand still so He can take you out with one shot. BOOM! Your old world has died. As soon as enough dust settles and you remember that you can breathe, examine details of the feedback you got. Repurpose the details in your mind so they serve your Rapid Learning as an exact description for what to practice to get better results next time. The Learning-Spiral driver that moves you to STAGE 2 is choosing the learning path in preference to merely defending your old ways.

    driven by practice

    STAGE 2: CONSCIOUS-INCOMPETENCE TO CONSCIOUS-COMPETENCE Keep practicing. Even if you think you got it, keep practicing. Each step further along the learning spiral occurs through attentive and diligent practice. Persistence is key. At first every aspect of your new behavior is painful while physical joints and energetic synapses realign. “How do I even hold a violin?” is the same question as: “How do I even notice when I am being adaptive and giving my authority away?” or, “How am I supposed to know when my daughter wants attention and when she doesn’t?” There will be internal resistances from your fear of change, and external resistances from other people’s fear that you might actually change, plus resistance to your resistance, plus sore psychic muscles as you bend and stretch to take up ever-new presencing space. After all, how boring is it if you keep presencing the same old thing, especially for your partner? (Very boring…) Persistent practice is the driver that moves you to STAGE 3 in the Learning-Spiral.

     

    driven by identity shift

    STAGE 3: CONSCIOUS-COMPETENCE TO UNCONSCIOUS-COMPETENCE Practicing your changes: attitude, timing, purpose, tone of voice, inner energy management, discernment, respect, energetic space distinctions, and so on. Practicing changes who you are because it changes how other people experience you. Listen closely to other people with the intention of hearing what you are creating in them about you. When other people experience you differently, then you have changed. Not before. Conscious practice builds matrix in you to hold a changed Being. This indicates that practice is perhaps the most powerful non-aggressive transformational force in the Universe. By changing yourself you change other people’s experience of you. By changing other people’s experience of you, you have changed them… and thereby changed the world. At some point during practice you forget you are practicing. It simply becomes your ordinary way of perceiving and interacting. It becomes who you are. The practice slips unconsciously into your pocket with your car keys and becomes your new normal. You have become unconsciously competent. The Learning-Spiral driving force to STAGE 4 is your willingness to shift identity, to let your self-experience alter, to become a new you. Letting your previous identity go the way of the dinosaurs permits personal transformation into STAGE 4 of the Learning-Spiral.

    driven by love

    STAGE 4: UNCONSCIOUS-COMPETENCE TO UNCONSCIOUS-INCOMPETENCE The Universe will be the first to confirm that you have changed by giving you new jobs to do, jobs that you may or may not have dreamed of, jobs that pick you up by the scruff of your neck and drop you into situations you could never have arranged for yourself. No matter how inconceivable, these sudden gameworld shifts are not a mistake. The Universe only gives you a new job when you are able to handle it. You can trust the Universe on this one. However, in the fine print at the bottom of the new job contract, often overlooked in the rush of enthusiasm about your upgraded status with the Universe, there is this sentence: The Universe hereby certifies that you have the potential to do the new job, however, that potential may still be dormant. Activating your potential may require you to continue further times around the Learning-Spiral after you commit to doing the new job. Sign here: ______________.

     

    There is no certification of blackbelt mastery in Possibility Management. Once you have gained a bit of STAGE 4 unconscious-competence your friendly local Possibility Team will help you avoid retirement by not letting you rest on your laurels. They will give you about fifteen seconds of applause and then level-you-up to your next unconscious-incompetence with a swift kick-in-the-butt: feedback and coaching about a new thing that you didn’t know you didn’t know about! Beep! Shift! Go!