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1. Unconsciously Incompetent.

We learn something for the first time and compare it to something we know well. We speak confidently on the subject despite our points being shallow and speculative.

2. Consciously Incompetent.

We learn enough to know just how little we actually know. We become reserved or disinterested in the subject.

3. Consciously Competent.

We learn a lot and we know our stuff but we put the idea of being an expert ahead of the subject itself. We often come across as inflexible around the topic and are resistant to learn more.

4. Unconsciously Competent.

Less than 1% of people make it to stage 4. This is where we become so engaged with the topic that we don’t even stop to consider ourselves an expert. We become a wealth of knowledge. We find it effortless to find work. We’re invited to speak at events. We’re encouraged to write books. We learn the true reward of learning.