There are always four stages of personal development you go through whenever you set any personal development goals or undertake any major change in the way you live.
It isn't until you hit the last stage that you are fully competent and fully confident and the change has been set in concrete.
It's the stages of personal development along the way that dishearten you. They make you doubt yourself and can make you quit.
By becoming aware of these stages it should give you more drive to make lasting change.
I'm going to use the example of a young man who want to become more confident with women to illustrate these four stages of personal development.
These stages of personal development are based on Ken Blanchard's theory of leadership. It was designed so managers in the workplace knew how to motivate their people. I use it to motivate myself and it is something you can use too.
Stage 1: Enthusiastic Beginner
This is the stage where you first make the decision to make a change. You find a book or a website that opens your eyes to the possibility that with a bit of work you can overcome your shyness with women.
You are keen and motivated, you want to dive in headfirst and get on with making this change. You immerse yourself in whatever reading material you can get your hands on. You want to get out there and give it all a go.
Stage 2: Disillusioned Learner
So now you have been pursuing your goal for a little while, but you are starting to realize how hard it's going to be.
You have tried out some of the new things you have learnt, but still your results with women haven't changed. You try things but they fail.
Self doubt creeps in. Maybe you can't get any better, you think.
That initial confidence and motivation disappears and the doubt takes over.
Many people let the doubt get the better of them and quit here. But you have to conquer your doubt and keep going. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture. It is best to get to this stage of self doubt as quickly as possible and then just get over it. Don't dwell here too long.
Stage 3: Capable But Cautious Performer
At this stage what you have learnt is beginning to work. You are having more success with women and your confidence is starting to return. This was a good idea after all. You are glad you stuck with it.
But you haven't yet become a master. Sometimes you still struggle, there is still a lot to learn.
The newfound success in one area of your life is having a ripple effect across other areas. You are now more confident at everything and people are starting to notice.
You want to continue learning. You are happy to fail if it means it will push you to a higher level.
Stage 4: Self Reliant Achiever
This is when you become seriously good at what you are doing. In this case you have no trouble meeting with and talking to women. You can easily get dates and you can form healthy deep relationships. Women see you as a catch and other men are envious.
You get to the point where you could achieve any goal you set your mind to.
Why You Need To Understand The Stages Of Personal Development
Reflect upon your own life and areas of personal development you have attempted to improve but failed to make lasting change. Think about which of the stages of personal development tripped you up.
How often was it because you lost motivation when looking at the mountain in front of you and let your self doubt get the better of you?
If you can't see the bigger picture you will get bogged down at stage 2. People who are failing at stage 2 think that other people are different, that people who have what they want must have something they do not.
But this is not the case at all. We all go through the four stages. It's just that the people at stage 4 who have what you want conquered their self doubt and powered through to success.
When roadblocks and resistance come up at stage 2 you just have to suck it up and find something deep to ensure you keep going. The best motivation through this tough time is to keep your eyes on the end result.
This way you keep focussed even during the darkest times. Change isn't easy. But don't get distracted by small failings. You can lose small battles at stage 2, but get to stages 3 and 4 and you start winning the war.
A weak minded man quits at stage 2. A badass gets to stage 4. Make sure you get to stage 4.
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