Common Sense Success
Mental Success


Success (worthwhile achievement) leads to an attitude and knowledge of capability which motivates your habits and leads you into a cycle of more knowledge, experience, success and so on.

4 Stages of Belief

There are Four Stages of Belief and once you know how you move through them you can use them to face obstacles and succeed. You can use these four stages with any activity. Whether you are completing household chores or accomplishing a long-term business goal.

From Common Sense Success, Chapter Five: “You Can Succeed: Believe It!”

“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. Though devoid of experience he or she is eager and enthusiastic.

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. Many people quit at this point; 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Three A’s Tool

As soon as you are shocked awake by your knowledge of your incompetency you have a choice to press on or quit. This is the great battlefield of belief. A quote from Common Sense Success says: “Failing is only failure when you quit.” (Pg. 83) When you choose to press on you have already succeeded Mentally.

This is how you press on in the face of your incompetency: You fire up the engine of the Three A’s. The Three A’s are your tool for overcoming obstacles and fear! You Admit you don’t know everything. You find a way to Adapt a new approach. And sometimes you Augment your abilities.

Admit, Adapt and Augment:

When you encounter an obstacle your response will likely first be frustration and maybe even a desire to quit whatever you are doing. Admit to yourself you don’t know all the answers to solve the problem you are facing. When I first realized skiing was much more difficult than I had imagined I had to admit to myself I didn’t know what I was doing. If I was going to learn to ski I would have to ask someone for help. I was going to have to Augment my abilities by finding someone who could help me. I also realized that I wasn’t going to be able to learn how to ski in an hour so I had to Adapt my approach to learning to fit a new time schedule. Instead of jumping on a ski lift and heading to the top of the slopes after a few hours I adapted my learning to fit the schedule of my teachers who kept me on the bunny slopes for the morning.

The biggest hindrance to your Mental Success will be your inner frustration and fear. But when you learn to Admit, Adapt and Augment you can move past your obstacles.”

K + E + S = C / Confidence →

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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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