1. Unenlightened Stage
Joe Vitale calls this the victim hood stage, where there is no conscious understanding and belief of what is happening to us. In this stage of personal development there is a lot of focus on pointing fingers at others about the many ‘bad’ things that is happening to us.
Of all the stages of personal development, this is one that is hardest to get out of. Many people live in this stage for their entire life without knowing how to get out of it. Hence, the term unenlightened or victim used to describe this.
2. Crisis Stage
Sometimes, along the progress through the stages of personal development, people hit a wall that they could not break through. This leads to something quite tragic or devastating like a death threatening illness, an accident, financial crisis or relationship breakout. This crisis is often enough to force the person to seriously re-examine the issues in their life, thus leading to some useful soul searching with break-through in the end.
For me, it was my financial crisis which I am still trying to extricate myself. Without meeting near bankruptcy, I would have never looked hard for my solutions. That has led me to where I am today. As I look back, I could not have imagined myself pursuing some of the things I am going after today.
3. Searching Stage
During the searching stage, the key thing that is happening is quest for more knowledge. Of all the stages of personal development, this could be the most confusing stage. As you sought new ideas, knowledge and philosophies to pull you through, you could become overwhelmed and confused by the mountain of information, especially in the days of the internet and social media.
4. Enlightened Stage
Inevitably the crisis and searching stages of personal development will lead to some kind of breakthrough whereby things suddenly click for you. It is a naturally law of enlightenment for people who truly seek and search to receive this for of revelation. I think the Bible says it very well;
“Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it shall be given. Knock and it shall be open unto you.”
If there is anything comforting thought for those who are initially lost, I think it is the certainty that clouds will clear with a true quest to find out more.
5. Building Stage
Passing the first four stages of personal development is a fantastic milestone in many ways. Once enlightenment comes, you become more centered in your life, things begin to make more sense, and there is sense of destiny in building a life you want.
It is no longer about selfish wants but rather wanting to be the best personal self you could be. It is about aligning your actions to your mission in life. It is about developing your gifts for the fulfillment of your life.
The building stage is also characterized by a stage of forming good personal development habits for growth. Without the automation that comes with forming of good habits in various stages of personal development, success and growth is never going to become permanent.
6. Contributing Stage
Completing the entire stages of personal development is the contributing stage. When good habits form over time, results will inevitably follow. These results could be more wealth, health, better emotions and relationships and generally the desire to do more good.
With these newly acquired treasures of personal development, the person develops the capacity to give and contribute more actively to others. This is one of the key philosophies of personal development; you can only give as much as the person you become.