Common Sense Success
Mental Success

4 Stages of Belief

There are Four Stages of Belief. Once you know how you move through them you can use them to face and overcome obstacles and succeed. This is a tool understood and used by olympic athletes, professional musicians, financial wizards, and people from all walks of life who have ever worked through obstacles.

From The Five Fundamentals of Common Sense Success, Chapter Five:

For anything you would attempt, there are four stages of belief through which you evolve.

Unconscious Incompetent

This is when a person has yet to try a task, but holds high expectations for his or her ability to master it. Devoid of experience you are eager and enthusiastic and unaware of the difficulties your are about to encounter. You are unaware of what you do not know. You are an Unconscious Incompetent.

I was experiencing this stage on the first morning of our ski trip. I arose at 6 a.m. and woke my family and friends. I was ready to ski! This stage started to fade when I attempted to cram my street boots into my ski boots, and it disappeared completely when I tried to walk uphill sideways.

Conscious Incompetent

This is the next stage, and I entered this one after I realized that I had a lot to learn about skiing. I had become aware of what I didn’t know. I was a Conscious Incompetent.

Many people quit at this point out of discouragement. And that is why this is the turning point in a person’s decision to choose to believe. This is stage is the most vital. This is the battleground for Belief. In my skiing experience it was at this point that I considered retreating to the lodge. People who do stay with the task upon reaching this stage fully understand that mastering it will be a challenge. This stage stuck with me for pretty much the rest of my first day on the slopes. I was painfully aware of what I didn’t know!

Conscious Competent

I didn’t reach this stage during the first skiing trip, but I was nevertheless satisfied with my progress because I kept trying. The ability to ski down a one and one-half mile slope was a triumph in itself for me. It took every bit of my concentration to accomplish this feat. When I can do it without falling or stopping, I will reach the stage of conscious competent. I will be aware of what I know. I will be a Conscious Competent.

Unconscious Competent

I probably won’t live long enough to reach this stage on the ski slopes, although when it comes to other areas of my life such as developing my businesses I’ve been at this stage for some time. I am competent enough that I am not even aware of what I am doing sometimes. I am an Unconscious Competent.

If I had reached this stage as a skier, I would have been able to zip expertly down the slope while thinking about what I had for dinner the night before. Once a person reaches this stage he has reached the goal and is ready for more demanding challenges.

What is wonderful is that when you accomplish such high competency and confidence you never rest on your achievements. It equips you for the next challenge. But as important is when you bump up against failings. Nobody likes failing. Remember, though, that failing is only failure when you quit. I could have failed as a skier by retreating to the fireplace but I didn’t. Instead I persevered and turned my failings into success.

The person who would try anything new must be willing to risk embarrassment because he or she must go through the Conscious Incompetent stage to succeed. There’s no way around it. And there is a practical tool you can use to help you successfully advance through the Four Stages of Belief: The Tool of the Three A’s.

Learn to Overcome with the Three A’s →

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Common Sense Success: The Book

In the book Common Sense Success, Entrepreneur and Fortune 100 trainer Bill Arnold reveals the everyday practices behind his family's success both at work and at home.

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Bill Arnold, author of The Five of Fundamentals of Common Sense Success, shares common sense practices in these short videos to help you Find Your Way in business and life. Inspiring, instructing, entertaining.

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