Competence is key to success

“Learn to do common things uncommonly well.”- George Washington Carver

Being competent means possessing skill and knowledge that allows us to do something successfully. It usually increases over time as one acquires more information and ability through inquiry, observation, and participation. Being competent is a choice. When you feel competent, you can greet new environments with calm and confidence. Competence helps those around you feel more comfortable and secure and further inspires them to seek knowledge and skill in their own domain. This is a deliberate process anyone can go through.

Competence is the shining armour of a successful person. Skills, ability, proficiency and capability go hand in hand to describe competence. Hard work without competence is both painful and the only guaranteed way of not bearing fruits proportionate to the labour. You can only be competent if you have the desire to excel in any special field.

Competence, the commitment to becoming excellent in your chosen field, is the indispensable pre-requisite for success. If you are not competent in what you do, you really do not stand a chance of being happy in life let alone being successful.

In psychology, there are four stages of competence relating to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill. These four stages are: unconscious incompetent, conscious incompetent, conscious competent and unconscious competent.

This four-stage model suggests that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or unconscious of their incompetence. So, as they recognise their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, and then consciously use it. Eventually, the skill can be utilised without it being consciously thought through – indicating that an individual has acquired unconscious competence, which is the final stage of this competence model. Use this model to set yourself apart.


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