Process of Change

Author: Mohammed Nazari

Education is the key, although "forcing change" might be needed at times it is not as effective as "education"

Travelling, mixing with others, listening to other point of views, and seeing the life styles of others will helps us to expand our views, helping us to decide wether to make a change or become more adamant on who we are.

As a general rule there are the following four stages in a "change process":

1. Unconscious Incompetence (people who do not know that they don't know):

People whom have an answer for everything and have an opinion on everything are often at this stage. This is the most scary and dangerous stage.

Example: Johnny who has never driven a car, thinks that driving is very easy, turn on the ignition, put in the gear and go, simple!

I started my own business at this stage. Not knowing the challenges and actually I started two businesses at once. While not knowing the Canadian rules and the culture that well, pretty scary. In reality I started my business due to A. my courage and drive on one side and B. lack of knowledge on the other. I am not sure which one was the main reason.

2. Conscious Incompetence (People who realize that they don't know):

Example: Johnny tries to drive for the first time, and realizes that in order to drive smooth and avoid collision, he should do everything at the right time and properly. At this time Johnny realizes that driving is not as easy as he thought and there are a lot of other details to driving.

Often people quit at this stage, Conscious Incompetence, when they realize the challenges they were not aware of.

Same was for me, one year after starting my own businesses, I did think of quitting and claiming bankruptcy, however I didn't because of my pride, as well I was kind of trapped.

At the beginning I blamed everyone else for my failure but shortly after I noticed that my failure might have partly to do with me more than others.

I spent a lot of time educating ,myself, taking a lot of training and asking other successful businessmen and woman for direction and guidance. I never hesitated to ask and I believe that was one of the main reasons I improved and could make it work against all the odds.

To this date I believe circumstances outside my control had to do with some of the challenges I faced and do face even at this time. There is a saying "Good things happen in good places". This is why all of us need to change "to Feed the good wolf/characteristics and suppress the bad wolf/ characteristics in ourselves and each other".

There is a difference between "Knowing" and "Understanding"

Knowledge: Is learnt from an outside source e.g. through the school, or reading or hearing it from someone. Often it is theory and not practical. knowledge does not equal understanding. This is why going to school or university does not equal becoming a good professional and needs experience and practical mentorship.

Understanding: is when you have the Knowledge and can explain it well in your own words or through real case scenarios. Understanding can be achieved as a progression from "Knowledge" or at times from a life experience and personal observation and research. While knowledge can be gained by reading, understanding requires practice. I strongly recommend having the knowledge first and understand it later/gain experience. In another word the best way for learning is to READ then gain experience instead of experiencing everything on our own.

"Understanding" does not equal "doing" and practicing what you know, it only means that you can do it if you want to. This is why one can be a "teacher" but not a "doer", or the saying "Listen to what I say and not what I do". A good teacher is the one who "Understands" it well. The one who "understand" it well and "does it", is a "Leader".

3. Conscious Competence (Conscious effort to apply):

It is when you know what the right thing is however you have to consciously think about it.

Like Johnny knows when to put the signal on before turning however he has to think about it and can't do it automatically. That's why he finds driving a bit stressful and tiring.

In my case, was exactly the same, I had to think twice before making any decision or taking any action.

4. Unconscious Competence (Becoming a behaviour):

You don't have to even think about it or necessarily remember it and simply you normally do the right thing.

Like Johnny after driving for several years, often does the right thing without thinking too much about it.

The same applies to me and my decision making as a physical therapist or a business man. At this time often I do the right thing without thinking much about it and my work is not as stressful.

Studies show that we take action 0.6 seconds before making a conscious decision

E.g. when driving if something unexpected happens, an experienced driver will take action e.g. putting on the brake, 0.6 seconds before he makes a conscious effort to put on the brake. This is "Unconscious Competence".


When someone has a quick answer without thinking much about it, is in one of the two stages: Or he/she doesn't even know that he/she doesn't know (dangerous), or knows it really good. Often it is not too difficult to differentiate between the two.

When one has an answer for "everything", almost definitely doesn't know much at all, very sad case:(

Strong opinions are more frequently due to lack of knowledge than abundance of knowledge