When we get good at something, we put those skills on autopilot and we stop getting better. Author Joshua Foer calls this the "OK Plateau". It happens when we reach an acceptable level of skill, and we stop trying new things. Thankfully, it's possible to break through.
Foer identifies four principles that can help you push through your own OK Plateau:
- Operate outside of your comfort zone and study yourself failing.
- Try to walk in the shoes of someone who is more confident than you.
- Seek out critical and immediate feedback.
- Treat what you do like a science (test, hypothesize, theorize).
Foer's point is that if you want to push your skills past the "OK Plateau" you have to do it on purpose. Once you get to that autopilot mode, you're not improving, because you're not noticing what you're doing right (or wrong), and you're not trying new things. Check out the video above from the Behance Conference for Foer's examples and more info.