4 Stages of Personal Transformation: Model for Unlearning and Learning

 In Burnout & Overwhelm, Decision Making, Making Changes & Navigating Uncertainty, Practices, Sustainable Change & Growth, Wellbeing, Wisdom Blog, Working Differently

Christine Arylo 4 stages of transformation leadership model

The 4 Stages of Personal Transformation
Model for Unlearning and Learning
and Elevating Your Reality 

Too often I see people fail at making the changes they desire, because they buy into the overculture’s promises of quick fixes and seven-step panaceas, which may give a short respite or boost of elation but, like most crash diets, eventually revert back to old programming, and they stay stuck.

The truth is that lasting personal transformation and elevation is a path, a practice, and a choice in how you live. Change happens in small increments that lead to bigger changes, over time, often following these four stages:

Stage 1: Awareness.  

You see what you were blind to before — habits, beliefs, patterns, relationships, and ways of working that don’t serve you.

Action: Educate + Illuminate.

Stage 2: Reflection.

You still choose to self-sabotage or self-sacrifice, but you can look back as an observer, seeing the impact and how you could have chosen differently.

Action: Observe + Unlearn.

Stage 3: Change in the moment.

You possess the inner strength to change your behavior, thoughts, actions, and choices so that instead of habitually reacting, you consciously respond. Your imprints and neural pathways begin to break as you choose self-empowerment and sustainability over self-sacrifice and sabotage. As you continue to make the harmonious, healthy choice, you begin to trust this new way, and the elevated imprint takes root, in body, mind, spirit, and heart.

Action: Explore + Liberate + Learn

Stage 4: Integration.

The elevated program is installed! How you relate to your work, others, and yourself is different. The choices for how you design your overall life and live your daily life are different. You are freer and more empowered — centered, calm, and clear — within yourself, which your external reality reflects.

Embody + Elevate


Think of this like an upgrade to your personal internal operating system — mind, body, spirit, and heart.

When you are going through any kind of transformation, you are elevating the blueprint within you that affects your impulses, emotions, and thoughts, which in turn drive your actions and choices, which determine the reality of your life, work, relationships, health, wealth — everything.

Imprints are much more than a set of beliefs; these are imprints that exist in your emotional, physical, and energetic bodies and your mind. To make lasting change, you have to work on all four realms – mind, body, heart and spirit. (For more on the 4 elements of wellbeing and resiliency, go here.)



Take a look through this model for unlearning and learning and think of a current struggle you are in or keep having. Or a current situation that is catalyzing you. Which stage are you in? What do you need to move into the next stage of transformation or deepen in the stage you are in?


A few common questions I receive about this model of unlearning, learning & elevating

1. Why is it so hard to unlearn habits and ways of working, living & relating?

You cannot change what you cannot see. Once you see it, you must choose and commit to shifting the pattern, imprint, programming and habit within you, from compassion and commitment.

Not from a goal or resolution rooted in criticism, shame, or intense pressure (those never stick). Instead from the heart and soul, from compassion (loving truth), self-love (commitment to showing up for yourself), healthy pressure (it takes time and focus), and a relationship with the Universe, who is ultimately guiding and supporting you (whatever that universal force is for you.)  You usually can’t see it unless a catalyzing event happens or someone points out the blind spot to you. But then you have to be open to shifting it.

2. What is the first step?

Make the commitment to shift. Then the Universe and other people can support you in the shift.

Commitment is the first step in success. The Universe is always there guiding you, and people are always around to support you in this shift. But you must invite in support and open up to synchronicity and serendipity lending a hand. Wisdom teaches when we reach up, the Universe will meet us halfway. You can decide what the Universe means to you – in any case, wouldn’t you rather have an ally than have to make this shift all on your own?

3. How does the transformation happen?

Remember, your life is the playground. As you work with this in your day-to-day life, all kinds of “opportunities” show up to ‘support’ you to make different choices. Over time, you start to feel, see and respond differently, and you shift from the inside out. You cultivate within you a more pure, centered, open-hearted core. And you gain the ability to wield your power to respond vs react, to create an elevated reality for yourself and the people, places and organizations and communities you influence.

Remember transformation takes time and it is about building trust. You have to learn to trust the new way you are unlearning and the new way of doing things differently before the the mind/body/heart/spirit pathways release their grip, and give way to you new elevated reality.


Much of this post is an excerpt from the Overwhelmed and Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered and Sustained in a Chaotic World book I wrote to give people a path out of the burnout matrix into a reality rooted in sustainable success, impact and wellbeing. Check it out here.

Overwhelmed and Over it Book by Christine Arylo Burnout Prevention



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