This process is never done… you’ve never arrived as an onion slayer. As you get better at removing layers in yourself and others, you begin to realize that the process never really ends.
But that’s the point. As in life, you’re never done learning. However, you have the opportunity to build your toolbox and fill it with resources and experience to help you learn faster and more effectively.
“You might think you’ve slain that onion layer and then be surprised when another layer emerges from beneath. Be prepared to give yourself grace and walk away from the experience for a season if need be.”
– April Ballestero, Slaying the Onion
In unconscious incompetence, the learner isn’t aware that a skill or knowledge gap exists.
In conscious incompetence, the learner is aware of a skill or knowledge gap and understands the importance of acquiring the new skill. It’s in this stage that learning can begin.
In conscious competence, the learner knows how to use the skill or perform the task, but doing so requires practice, conscious thought and hard work.
In unconscious competence, the individual has enough experience with the skill that he or she can perform it so easily they do it unconsciously.
When we tie this knowledge with our understanding of our layers, we understand that each has its own stage of competence. Our first introduction to new ideas happens in the Conscious Incompetence realm, because this is the stage that learning can begin. When we are introduced to a new idea, we are aware of the idea’s existence but have not yet moved into Conscious Competence, where we can start actually building our knowledge and skill. When you discover you’re in the conscious incompetence realm, don’t be discouraged— it’s time to celebrate! This is the stage where learning and growth begin.
When this happens in relation to ourselves and our layers, it can sometimes be a painful process to constantly discover layer after layer, after layer… after layer. It can feel exhausting! Each time we peel another layer, we discover something new about our mental assets and biases. Our past experiences create our current biases, and it’s a laborious task to discover the origin of your beliefs. This is why we say, slaying onions is a lifelong process that’s meant to be done one layer at a time.
So as you’re peeling back your layers one at a time, remember that granting yourself grace is a necessary part of the process. Prepare yourself for continued self-discovery as this exercise reveals the biases that live in each of your layers. Commit to addressing one at a time, and keep your slaying sword sharp— another layer is waiting for you.
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