You Don't Know What You Don't Know! Think about that saying for a moment. The idea is deep but also simple enough that you might roll your eyes if someone said it to you. Kind of like a fortune cookie. You can analyze its meaning by digging deep into your brain or you can just crumple it up and throw it into your soup.
Personally I have not written anything for a very long period of time were format was of any real consequence to me; parts of this post may be grammatically incorrect but I'm not even aware of it. I don't know what I don't know. That (;) I threw in the last sentence, no clue if it is used correctly or not but it looks cool to me so why not? This is often the mentality people have when going to the gym, following an exercise program, or training for a sport.
Luckily for me there are no real consequences of the grammar police calling me out for my mistakes because I'm not here to win a Pulitzer Prize. My life will not be impacted negatively because of my incompetence when it comes to writing. That sentence is underlined because of a valuable point I want you to recognize and absorb. That point is I am aware or conscious that I am not a great writer. You may be thinking ok so what?
The reason i am talking about this is because when starting any new skill whether its writing or exercising there is an order of learning that takes place and it's something attributed to Abraham Maslow (psychology nerd), called The Four Stages of Competence :
When becoming competent at any new skill there is typically an order that follows:
Stage 1: Unconscious Incompetence
Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence
Stage 3: Conscious Competence
Stage 4: Unconscious Competence
I am consciously aware of my incompetence as a writer. Or to be blunt, I realize I suck, but the fact that I am consciously aware of this means I am at Stage 2 of not sucking and on my way to getting better at this new skill of writing!
What?! Why am I, a strength and conditioning coach talking about writing and psychology? What does this have to do with athletes getting stronger or faster? Why does this apply to someone who wants to workout to look and feel better? The reason is simple: you need to first attempt to KNOW what you DO NOT KNOW. Don't be Unconsciously Incompetent when it comes to exercise/movement because unlike my writing example; doing the wrong exercises/movements could have a negative impact on your health and consequently your life. Ok well how do you do this?
It all starts with questions! Ask yourself:
Why do I warm up the way I do? (assuming you warm up at all)
Why do I choose the exercise I do? (Compound Movements, Machines, Bodyweight)
What are my specific needs? (Strength,Speed,Weight loss,General health,relieve pain)
What are my specific limitations? (Flexibility, Mobility,Health history)
By asking questions you will be taking the first steps away from being unconsciously incompetent. Becoming aware of what is useful and what is a waste of time is essential to achieving your goals. Don't be asleep at the wheel when it comes to your own body and how you use it. Abe the Babe understood this concept well!
My goal for this website is to help answer those questions. I will be continually providing short articles, videos, Q&A, etc. I will do my best to keep things short, simple, and entertaining. For direct questions E-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.