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The circle of competence model states that everyone has an area, or circle, of expertise. However, the circle of objective competence may be surrounded by a larger circle of subjective, and often over-inflated, belief in your ability.
Your circle of competence represents what you really know, versus what you think you know.
To determine your circle of competence, you have to understand where your true competence lies, without allowing subjective beliefs to create undue assurance in your abilities.
To determine the breadth of your circle of competence, you need to have an honest look at your background, training, qualifications, or personal familiarity in a subject.
If your goal is to avoid risk, you should stick to your circle of competence; however, if your goal is to innovate, you will be better off stepping outside of your circle so you can come up with non-obvious solutions.
Never stepping outside the boundaries of your circle of competence may stunt your creativity and ability to discover new ideas.
To take advantage of your circle of competence is to find a balance between honestly acknowledging your capabilities, and strategically striving to expand your knowledge and horizons.
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