Barrier Bashing: the Seven Stages of Action

“We don’t lack for knowing; we lack for doing.”

In the health and fitness world, we often focus so much on everything below the neck (look/feel/perform), when all the results you could ever want happens when we master above the neck (mentality and mindset).

Barriers are obstacles and impediments that consistently keep us from acting on what we know.

Years ago I read an excellent book called Up, Down, Sideways by Mark Sanborn. When faced with a barrier, Sanborn describes and details the seven stages of action below.

The Seven Stages of Action Against Barriers

Find out where you fall in the seven stages of action. Assessing and understanding what level you are at can be critical for you to move forward in your life.

1. You don’t know.

  • Problem: You lack knowledge (ignorance).
  • Problem: You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Solution: You need to focus on what you can do to keep learning and growing in this area.
  • Solution: Determine what is the right and wrong information, ask questions, and keep searching for the truth.

2. You know but don’t believe.

  • Problem: You’ve heard it but don’t believe it or feel it applies to your situation.
  • Problem: You don’t buy in, so you don’t listen to it.
  • Solution: You need to be reminded more than you need to be instructed.

3. You know and believe but don’t do.

  • Problem: You lack conviction. Beliefs are things you hold; convictions are things that hold you! You can say what your values and beliefs are, but your schedule shows your convictions.
  • Solution: Things in this stage are inconvenient, unnecessary, or difficult. Do them anyway.

4. You know and believe but can’t do.

  • Problem: You lack the skills and training that increase your odds for success.
  • Solution: You can learn the skill or enlist someone else to help you.

5. You know and do inconsistently.

  • Problem: You lack commitment and get distracted. Things never become part of your daily routines. What is keeping you from being consistent? Do you rationalize, procrastinate or waste time online?
  • Solution: Determine what is stopping you and commit to making a change.

6. You know and do consistently.

  • Problem: You are finally getting it. You’re going to the gym consistently and having dinner with family together every night. However, you still don’t follow through in every single area of your life.
  • Solution: Getting to this stage requires knowledge, understanding, commitment, hard work and discipline.

7. You know and make it second nature.

  • Consistency is important to success but isn’t the end of the line. When you know something and believe in it and do it consistently over time, you reach a point where living out the principle becomes as natural as breathing.
  • What you know is right takes a higher priority than what you feel.
  • Our culture puts an emphasis on what feels right or feels good, rather than what is right.
  • Solution: When you don’t feel like working out, but you do anyway because you know you need to and you actually want to!
  • Solution: The right thing will eventually become second nature.

Where Do You Fit In?

Did you identify yourself in any of these stages?

We all have barriers keeping us from our goals and desires in life. Knowing where you fit here is the first step toward overcoming a barrier.

Need some help? You don’t have to go it alone. Find accountability in a spouse, friend, coworker, or other leader in your life.

And when it comes to your fitness and nutrition barriers, we’ve got you covered! Reach out to your CPM coach (or find one if you haven’t yet!) to talk about the barriers you’re facing and how to crush them.

Find a coach in Sioux Falls »