The secret to achieving the fourth and final stage of change is to have an experience of transcendence. I know, I know. WTF does that mean? Don’t worry. I will explain.
When I use the word “transcendence”, I mean surpassing self-imposed limits and reaching beyond the usual range of perception. Where you go beyond what you have known previously through an “aha” kind of experience. The world suddenly looks different, not because it is, but because you are seeing and experiencing it differently. Like the first time you heard that you are a spiritual being having a human experience, and it explained so much of your life. Or when you bought your first house and had to redefine yourself as a homeowner and mortgage holder.
How To Tell If You’ve Had A Transcendent Experience
There are many such experiences. The consistent things about them are:
- They are new; you had no previous experience of them.
- No matter how much anyone tried to tell you about what it was like, you didn’t really understand until you took that leap of faith and experienced it.
- From your new perspective, you see things / people (often the same things / people) differently than before.
- From your new perspective, you see yourself differently than before.
An “aha” experience takes you to another level. You leave your old “either/or”, polarized thinking behind. Instead, you see the bigger picture, your context changes, and you are able to encompass a broader “both/and” perspective in your approach to the world
Everything Changes – Reality Is Different
When you have this “aha” experience, it shifts everything you have learned and practiced up to this point, and puts it into your next context, your new framework. Now you no longer have to think about what you are trying to change because the change has already occurred. You have arrived. You have achieved this new level of reality and this is your new foundation.
This then is Stage 4 – Unconscious Knowing or Mastery. From this place, you don’t have to work to change because the change has happened and it is your new norm. This is the fourth and final stage of change. The one where the process of change is no longer relevant because it is complete.
To summarize the complete model – all four stages and three phases of effective change processes – you have:
Stage 1 – Unconscious Unknowing – where you don’t know what you don’t know; Phase 1 – Initiation / Awakening
Stage 2 – Conscious Unknowing – where you do know that you don’t know; Phase 2 – Transition / Action / Learning
Stage 3 – Conscious Knowing – where you know it and practice it; Phase 3 – Integration / Incorporation
Stage 4 – Unconscious Knowing or Mastery – where you have mastered it and moved on