The four stages for learning a new skill

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Julia Komarova on Unsplash

Do you remember learning to ride a bike? Or do you recall those first moments struggling with understanding how to tie your shoes? How about brushing your teeth?

If you’re like many people, these kinds of activities are most likely second nature to you now. It almost seems unimaginable that there ever was a time that you didn’t know how to do any of these things.

And yet, I’m here to remind you that there indeed was a time when you didn’t know how to do some things you take for granted now.

Think about it. What’s something you enjoy doing now that you didn’t know how to do before?

For me, it’s cooking in the kitchen. For others, it could be using social media or running on the treadmill at the gym.

At some point you didn’t know how to do something, and then you learned how to do it.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

In psychology, there’s a learning model called the “Four Stages for Learning” that was developed in the 1970s by Noel Burch of the Gordon Training International.

If you’ve learned a new skill, you’ve probably gone through these following four stages:

Why is it important to understand these stages of learning and competence?

I share this learning model with you today to help ease your heart if you’ve been beating yourself up for not knowing how to do something or if you’ve been struggling with not knowing what to do.

When I meet with my coaching clients or lead a workshop, I often hear people lamenting, “Why don’t I already know this? Why is this so hard?”

Learning to do something new sometimes feelshard because you probably don’t have all the information you need, or you simply need more practice.

That’s it.

Not knowing how to do something doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or that you’re inferior, or that you’re way behind, or that you’re unworthy.

Now that you know about these four stages of learning, here’s your coaching assignment for this week:

Wherever you may be on your learning journey is okay.

At the heart of today’s teaching is this spiritual truth:

Life is always unfolding.

You are an evolutionary being, meaning you are always growing and evolving in new and expansive ways.

And in the bigger scheme of things, perhaps the point of life isn’t getting to a place where you’re unconsciously competent in all areas of your life.

Maybe the point is to engage in life itself, and to expand your capacity to learn and to be amazed at the wonder of life itself.

Now this would be a journey of learning worth exploring.

Abundant Blessings and Namaste.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about today’s post. Please leave a comment below.

And if you’d like to talk with me one-on-one to get more clear about what living your life with purpose and passion looks like, I offer a complimentary life coaching consultation where we can chat. You can set up your life coaching consultation by clicking

Note: This article was originally published at

Written by

I’m a spiritual life coach at where I help people create a practical and joy-filled spiritual path to career and financial freedom.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store