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What Are the 4 Stages of Personal Development?

The 4 Stages of personal development can be broken down as follows:

  1. Doubt & Resistance
  2. Becoming Open Minded
  3. Awakening
  4. Integration

1. Doubt & Resistance

When we first embark on our personal development journey, we know that there is a lot of work to be done. However, we try not to focus on that, because it may seem so overwhelming that we give up before we’ve even really begun.

beautiful girl in white and yellow floral dress covering her face with her hand, overwhelmed by the 4 stages of personal development
It may seem daunting, but it’s so worth the effort!

Instead, we begin researching and looking for manageable solutions. Solutions that we believe can solve our problems, and that we believe we are capable of implementing.

There are numerous systems and programs out there that offer plans for organizing this type of work. Many of them are wonderful, effective, and change lives. However, none of them work if you don’t do the things that they suggest.

This is why many people think that these products are scams and rip offs. They buy the program expecting results simply because they bought the program. And it doesn’t work that way. All of the programs, workshops, and tools in the world will not automatically fix you just for signing up.

No, finding a methodology that works for you and allows you to make steady progress is the way to improve your life and yourself as a person.

Now, you can write this program yourself. But it is very difficult to come up with a roadmap when you’ve never been there before. So do yourself a favor, and use someone else’s ideas to get your start.

Having a system will help you through the first of the 4 stages of personal development.

Even still, the road will not be easy. It will be plagued with setbacks and delayed gratification, and many people will never make it over the hump that stands between themselves and success.

But that will not happen for you, because you will persevere through the doubt and resistance until you start seeing results.

photo of people analyzing results of the 4 stages of personal development
Put in the work, and the results will follow.

This is where a system helps. It can serve as the catalyst that gets you moving with enough momentum to crest that hump and get on with your life and all of the good things that live on the other side.

It’s difficult at first, of course, because you do not see change immediately. You may spend a long time working on yourself without making any progress at all, as far as you can tell. This is when having other people in your life comes in handy.

Ask a friend or loved one if they can see any differences in you over the last however long it’s been since you began. Their answers may surprise you. Listen with open ears, and keep that in the front of your mind when you get discouraged.

Do not let doubt win, and let go of resistance.

The things you may be asked to do might not make sense to you at all at first. But have faith. Trust the process. You will likely suddenly realize that what you’ve been doing is paying off. Don’t stop until you begin having those “Ah Ha!” moments where the point of what you’ve been practicing becomes clear to you.

At that point, you will have broken through your doubt and resistance, and will begin to get open minded.

2. Becoming Open Minded

Congratulations, you have arrived at the place where the real work begins. So roll up your sleeves, and get ready to commit. That is how this thing works.

Becoming open minded.. what does that really mean? An open minded person is tolerant of other people’s ideas right? Like, I accept all people regardless of their gender identities, sexual orientations, race, etc.. Right?

Although that is all very important, that is not what I mean when I refer to being open minded in this context.

Assimilating other people’s ideas is a key skill for mastering the second of the 4 stages of personal development.

What I mean is, going beyond the awareness that ideas exist beyond your own, and really making an effort to see that they are indeed valid, and are applicable to your own life.

the second of the 4 stages of personal development, (open mindedness), has very little to do with respecting other peoples' lifestyle choices
Go beyond other peoples’ choices and opinions.

That’s right. It’s not just a theoretical understanding of another’s choices, or the belief that other people can do whatever they want as far as you’re concerned.

It’s the willingness to apply other people’s ideas to your own life.

So, what does this mean? It means that you are at a point with immense potential for growth. If you unlock this concept, you will begin growing by leaps and bounds, because you will actually be listening to the advice of others who have gone before you.

Tapping into this well of knowledge and experience is paramount to self development. It’s like putting your journey on steroids. Everything you need is right in front of you. So build yourself a pipeline, and get busy using it.

3. Awakening

Now that you have processed all of the information necessary for reaching a higher level of existence, it is time to just be.

woman holding lights on seashore at sunset
Grant yourself the freedom to just be.

There is no longer a need to quest and seek and effort yourself into something else. That work is over. So set it down and tune in to the present moment.

Isn’t it freeing and peaceful?

Letting go is crucial to awakening and passing through the third of the 4 stages of personal development.

Believe it or not, this sense of serenity is the goal. You sacrificed your previous life with all of its nonsense, and now live in a place with very little negativity.

Anxiety and worry are a thing of the past. Depression is out the door too. All there is now is security in knowing that you can handle whatever life throws at you because you have already weathered the storm.

The challenge for you now will be existing in harmony with other people. Especially with people who are entirely unaware that this work even exists. And of them there are many.

young positive indian couple discussing daily life and gesticulating
You can still relate with others, just differently.

So now that you have quit scrambling for success and fighting for superiority, how will you handle those who continue to do that?

Sometimes even your closest relatives will not understand you because you see the world so differently.

But do not despair. There are others out there who have awakened as you have. Find them.

And there is no need to write off the unconscious people in your life. Just continue loving them as they are, and letting them be who they are, and your life and relationships will continue improving.

4. Integration

What does your world look like to you now that you are awake? Take a step back and zoom out. What do you see in the big picture?

Opening your eyes can be difficult at first. After all, the energy and healing light that have always existed are bright now that you can detect them.

But your eyes will adjust in no time, and you will find that you rather like this new way of being.

small golden scissors on beige surface
It’s ok to put down the tools now. You have gone beyond their usefulness.

It is time to shed the things that you have learned. The affirmations, mantras, practices, disciplined attention to your thoughts, etc can all go. You no longer need to carry them around with you.

These tools will always be available to you should you ever need to reach for them. But generally, they have become so integrated into your being that conscious effort to use them is no longer necessary.

So breathe deep, accept your new reality, and get going. There is a lot of life out there to be lived, after all.

We are so curious to hear about your personal development journey. Please share it with us in the comments section below!

If you found this breakdown of the 4 stages of personal development helpful, go ahead and give it a like and share it widely. The goal is to get this information onto the screens of all who can benefit from it.

Below are some links for further reading on this topic:

What’s Another Word for Inner Peace?

Why Do People Have Such Hard Time Accepting Other People?

How To Not Let Things Bother You In a Relationship

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