In Blog, Personal Development, Top

Why Most Self-Help Advice Will Never Work For You

and what to do instead…

The problem with self improvement is that there is just so much advice out there. Most self-help books offer one-size-fits-all type advice assuming that most of us are sorta kinda the same.

On the other hand, you’ve got the 1001 self-help blogs offering cookie cutter advice like “Just do it…” or “You need to love yourself more…”.

Let’s face it – the personal development landscape is more like a minefield. You could waste 5 years of your life exploring any one of the many new-age modalities for fixing your problems, only to discover that they had it all wrong. Ask me how I know.

I’m hoping that this video will get you one step closer to understanding where you are in your life and what to do next.

In this video, you will learn:

  1. The 5 stages of personal growth that we all can pass through.
  2. Which of the 5 stages you are at, and what to expect at each stage.
  3. Exactly what to do next to jump start your personal growth.

UPDATE: As you can tell (by the absence of my grey beard), I was a lot younger when I filmed this video. However, watching it many years later (2016), it is as relevant now as it was when I filmed it.

The 5 Stages Of Your Personal Growth

What Are Developmental Stages?

Just like we all go through stages of physical development as we grow up (e.g. newborn, toddler, child, teenager, 20 something, middle age, wise old man/woman etc…), so we also go through internal stages of growth.

In most developmental models, you cannot skip stages e.g. You cannot go from being a toddler to being a 20 something without passing through your teenage years.

In most developmental models, you can regress, but you cannot jump ahead to a stage you haven’t yet earned e.g. We’ve all seen the 40 something teenager, but we never see the wisdom of a wise old man in a teenager.

Many developmental models exist. Some of my favorites are:

  • Spiral Dynamics – tracks how our values evolve
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs – tracks how our needs evolve
  • Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Lighthouse – tracks the stages entrepreneurs go through

These stages are well documented by men and women a lot smarter than me, but most of the books on the topic read like university textbooks – dry, complicated and hard to understand.

With this 5 stage model, I’ve tried to simplify what I’ve learned about developmental growth so that it can actually be useful to you, rather than just more useless information.

With that in mind, here is my take on the self-evident stages of growth we go through as we grow up emotionally and spiritually.

5 Stages Of Your Personal Growth

  1. Survival Emergency
  2. Stabilization
  3. Movement and Momentum
  4. Discovery and Freedom
  5. Mastery

In the video above, I’ll explain each stage in more detail.

I hope you find this information as useful and groundbreaking as I did.


P.S. I owe a huge debt of gratitude for the shoulders I stand on that have informed and inspired my interest in developmental psychology over the years. Most namely Wyatt Woodsmall, Eben Pagan, Clare Graves, Adrian Maslow, Ken Wilbur,  Roger Hamilton and Todd Sedelmeier (RIP brother).

P.P.S. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you’ve learned about yourself.

P.P.P.S. This video was part of a launch promoting a service called Virtual Online Coaching. I no longer offer that service, but you can watch all the launch content using these links:

Showing 46 comments
  • susan

    hi bruce
    just listened to your ted talk….and the went to your web site…..your message of authenticity and less deception….really resonates with me…at 67 years…..i am a constant student in this wild chaotic earth school……and becoming a senior is very interesting experience…one really gets to shed at lot old culture programs mentally and emotionally and a real sense of freedom develops….at the same physically you witness signs of slowing down… must really have a great sense of humour…….so now i will listen to the other videos…..
    thank you very much this information

    • Bruce Muzik

      Thanks Susan. I’m glad you got something from my TEDx talk. Thanks for saying hi. Bruce

  • Paloma

    Hi Bruce! I really liked your video and your perspective on stages is really enlightening. But I cannot find the video 2. Can you send me a link to it? Thank you!

  • Jan Robberts

    Thanks for all that tremendous information Bruce,

    I’ve taken lots of notes and will put them to good use! 🙂

  • Rok


    I’ve spent years immersed in personal development (with counter-productive results), and NOWHERE have I come across such info. The distinction between the different levels is CRITICAL to success, and one many people are missing out on, thereby wasting immeasurable time & energy. PLEASE Bruce, get your message out to as many people as possible – I’ve spent SO much time taking in all kinds of self-improvement materials in hopes of getting results, and I KNOW that these distinctions of yours could save others YEARS of trial-and-error, headache, and struggle. There’s no doubt many people have MUCH to benefit by being exposed to these powerful perspectives & insights. The world is calling for your creations…

  • phil

    I have paid for very expensive one to one coaching and been left disatisfied and out of pocket. What makes you different?

  • Mary Tonner

    I love the honest & forthright way you put things. e.g. “personal growth and spiritual growth are just labels”, and as you say there will always be someone out there willing to “fix you”.
    I believe my spirit is part of the one spirit (just like the drop of water is part of the whole ocean) and experiencing life as that one part and sharing it with the whole. Sharing is what makes it (the experience) worthwhile… laugh, you cry, you share…you do the whole shebang……and I am grateful to you for including me in that sharing. Mary

  • Zara

    re. Nikki’s comment “My boyfriend and myself are currently renting a basement from this older paki couple.” Am I the only person who was offended by this blase use of derogatory language against another race as if it’s so very normal? Very forward thinking of you Nikki.

  • Sean

    Hi Bruce
    Thanks enjoyed your video plus your downloads. I am on a journey which started about 7 years ago after a walk on a beach at 5am. I woke up desperate, in panic and lost, yet I had my own home a partner a classic car and a job! but I wasn’t happy I wasn’t in control and I felt a deep sense of worthlessness. I walked the beach, crying and looking for answers, I never felt like quitting but I needed to change. As I turned back at the end of the beach I knew that I had to do something, but I didn’t know what, but I had to. I decided that I would try everything to find the answer, which was happiness but I didn’t know that at the time.
    I tried Buddhism (got alot from this, but not for me), re-birthing (never again), hypnotism, past life re-visited (met uncle jack again)and then I was watching TV one night and an ad for Tony Robbins came up and I liked what he had to say…so I went to UPW in London! I was nervous I didn’t tell my friends but I did it and was brilliant and I still keep in contact with people I met there. I then went to Wealth Mastery and well it was enjoyable it didn’t do it for me.
    since then I have done a number of courses, NLP and coaching which I really have enjoyed and I’m now working on my own business idea.
    I know that i still struggle for motivation plus I have difficulty with self sabotage and self worth. These issues are my daily challenge as i slowly break free.
    I know I will do it, but a sense of time and organisation would help..

    keep it up, it really makes a difference

  • Yvonne

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

    I always feel so uplifted after watching/listening to your videos! keep up the good work and thanks for bringing ‘your’ passions to the world!!

  • kannan viswagandhi

    Hi Bruce,

    Excellent video.
    Lot of useful information.
    I am yet to read the 5 chimps report.I am going to share it in my blog.
    Thanks for sharing.


  • Diane

    Hi Bruce, enjoyed the video, I’m always watching coaching videos & the reason I havent used a personal coach before is I don’t have the time!!! Working long hours, being a housewife etc etc. Looking forward to hearing more from you though!!
    Thanks for such great material,

  • Karrie

    Hi Bruce,
    I appreciate your interpretation of the stages. I know I’ve been up and down 1,2,3 and occasionally 4, with a tiny glimpse of 5. (I’ve found Abraham Maslows’ hierarchy of needs a great help throughout my adult life.). I reckon I might be around stage 2 right now.

    In the past I have definitely felt great despair and fear. I am glad to be unsticking myself and I do see how amazingly rich my life is, even though I have no money right now. I can see how a mentor or coach could be truly helpful. I’ve always been independent… always found asking for help difficult, but I have been lucky to meet a lot of amazing people.

    I’ve been doing your visualisations for a couple of months now… and that’s helping me change my mindset. I’m seeing more.

    Also, what I realise is that I had gotten myself into a big pattern. It went like this: I would get close to achieving something significant and then fail… I knew how to pick myself up and I would simply start over again and again, and again. And it’s like I was some cartoon character who fell over on purpose, because there was joy in getting up! (Fueled by that old self-preservation fear of the unknown)

    But at long last I’m fed-up enough with this pattern to want to change it! Hurray! I’d like to experience the joy of staying upright for a long time! So, I’m looking at who else has managed to break out of old patterns. The list making of successful people is taking me a while… but I’m enjoying the process. I’m thinking about what I might be able to offer. That feels great… uplifting. I do have anxiety about my ability to break free and stay free of the old patterns…. The coaching will help. I can feel the changes. Big Thanks

  • Sasha

    Dear Bruce,

    Thank you.

    I think I have just dropped back a stage, and am now in survival mode. But I am an actress, so survival mode is a place I live in frequently. But I am sick of it! I am really desperate to be contributing consistently and with passion to life, regardless of the fickleness of the industry and the economy etc. I have had a really brilliant year of stability playing the lead in a West End show (contract finishes in 5 weeks) – which I also have to thank you for because your Relaxation for Manifestation definitely helped me manifest it…. But my beautiful home (also manifested in same way…) has just been whipped away from under my feet, and I am suddenly living like a gypsy again, also caring for a beloved Mum who has just (last week) been diagnosed with cancer. Caught late. I know all this is a kind of beautiful opportunity, and she is the absolute priority now (no other family). But I also need to have my foundations secure now more than ever, to be of most help, and thought I’d dealt with so much of this stuff already (stability, plugging the foundations etc) and I can’t believe I’m facing it head on again. Feel like the crisis MUST precipitate a breakthrough, but also feel like I’m asking for a miracle. Sorry this is such a jumble, but am in the eye of the storm.

    So great to see you looking so shining and healthy by the way!


  • Joc

    Hi Bruce
    I have been a fan of your sound advice for a year or two. I have really enjoyed an interview you did about Wealth Dynamics also.

    Finacially I am probably Stage 2, in other areas I feel I am moving towards stage 4 and ‘recreating one’s self fits in with me, but as I am not quite there yet I’m probably at Stage 3. And the more I look at this reply and my notes perhaps even Stage 2 is Really where I am at – but don’t like to admitting it.

    I have never had a coach because there has been a feeling that many focus on one area – like money mind set – but may not get to issues that that really help me. I like a much wider approach, hence my continual seaching for books, audio and video that ring true for me.

    I am a high school teacher who has wanted to be more in business and building wealth ever since reading Robert Kiyosaki’s books many years ago. Part of this is to show my children that there are many choices in life that are not expressed by how we happen to be living. I am to some degree in Mid Life Crisis (but don’t want to hit a real ‘rock bottom’. My wife would say I have changed a lot in the last few years and (in jest) calls many of the things I have learned and am ‘into’, as “weird s#!T”

    Looking forward to your next video.


  • Pat

    Hi Bruce,

    Your video was a great reminder and confirmer to me that I am on the right path and have been there all along. Thank you for that!

    I’ve gone through many of the stages without realizing it was part of Developmental Psychology. I believe I am coming now into Stage 5. I feel the readiness of all I’ve done to bring forth the right people in my life, and it is now the time for me to meet them. I am a dancer who advertises online and through word of mouth for the right dance partner as well as putting ads up a dance studios, but the online ads give me greater response. I continue to break through higher and higher levels of professional dancing in my own right, which serves to attract the right partner.

    I continue to socialize in different groups through to attract the right love partner. The inner work I’ve done has given me a greater sense of self-love and a clarity that I am enough right now to meet the right partners in each area of my life.

    I worked with a coach of great clarity, experience and understanding to bring forth, over many months of using a tape prepared for me, a greater sense of my worth to receive the best and not to compromise on the gifts I have to give by being with anyone less than the best for me.


  • mistysea

    Hi Bruce. Sitting here with a discarded lottery scratchcard I get the message loud and clear about my lack of belief in ability to generate sufficient value. Short term goal Stage 1 …. STOP BUYING LOTTERY TICKETS.

    I am in the second phasse of life having experienced burn out, mid life crisis about 2 years ago. Thanks for mentioning the elephant in the room – suicidal thoughts and feelings. If you cant feel it you cant heal it and if cant share you cant bear it!

    I am def at stage 1 financially and emotionally (after months of recovery, learning and healing the past) I am at stage 5 emotionally/intellectually. I will endeavour to generate sufficient money in order to work with you.

    Previous experience of coaching – agree coaching only as good as the journey and experiences of the coach. The biggest myth in the coaching world is that you dont have to take the past into account and that the coach doesnt have to have experienced what you have in life. Fair enough in that we are all individual but if they have no awareness of the dev pscyhology or counselling theories then the client gets a bum wrap. I have been coached and it felt lovely being listened to and having a cheerleader but we never got to the bottom of the pit.

    As you say we/I are quick to blame and not take responsibility and so for me, having accepted I have created the whole shooting match I want a coach who is going to challenge me and educate me as to why i do the things I do. That’s why I am sooo excited to learn about dev psych.

    As for my chimps well, I need to clarify precisely what my gift is from my shortlist and then I am going to the jungle!

    Thanks for taking the time to make and share the video with us.

    Hope you enjoyed kite surfing.


  • Lori

    Hi Bruce,
    Great stuff! I enjoy the energy of your videos and your writing. Looks like I’m at stage 2. Though I’ve achieved some short-term goals, I still experience anxiety about whether the risks I’m taking to create change are “safe” financially. At times I’m overwhelmed with a sense of excitement, gratitude, and freedom. But I also have moments of doubt when I start calculating the odds and scrambling to stock my mental storm cellar. I also feel some exasperation about not being able to really get a clear sense of my purpose. “Why am I here, what’s the point” – these are questions that consume me at times, not with great despondency, but with frustration that I can’t figure it out. I trust that there IS purpose and that I’m equipped for it, whatever it is!

    Why I’ve never hired a coach – cost, uncertainty about exactly what I want to achieve, and skepticism about the chances for success.

  • kristi

    Bruce, Thanks for your wonderful videos!! I believe that I am at stage three, I feel safe in my environment: I am financially secure, have great friends, family and feel like I have internal awarness. I have never had a coach in the past although I have thought about it for a while now. I think I haven’t gone through with hiring a coach because I have always taken the easier or more affordable option such as buying the book or taking an on line course, ect. I also feel that I really do have a good life so why should I need a coach. I think I fear that I shouldn’t “rock the boat” because what I have may be better than what I believe I want. The grass is always greener type of thinking, then again I have this deep knowing that there is something else out there for me and I want a fantastic life not just a good life. I also feel that I am not 100% sure about what I truely want,that I might choose the wrong direction therefore I stay where I am, comfortable.
    I did love your Chimp report and I have started forming my list of 20 people, I think that will help motivate me and give me direction!

    Peace and chicken grease,


    • Bruce Muzik

      I like chicken grease, but my stomach doesn’t, so I’ll just take the peace.

      Thanks! 😉

  • Cassandra

    Great summary, Bruce.
    A question: where does the desire (sometimes obsession) for personal growth, change and development come in? At what stage is a person able to accept, like and love herself the way she is or appears to be. I am not talking about the authentic Self but her personality, inherited and constructed, with all the quirks and the talents, the beauty and the warts, the good, the bad and the ugly. In my opinion and my experience, it is the desire to NOT BE HOW I (THINK I) AM and to start another round of CHANGE! that creates the biggest pain.

    • Bruce Muzik


      This is an awesome question and i totally geek out on this stuff.

      There is a difference between change driven by not accepting one-self (lets call it type 1 change) and change fueled by the desire to grow and expand your awareness (type 2 change).

      So called ‘spiritual growth’ is about expanding awareness, but what most people are doing is trying to fix the parts of themselves that they perceive are broken (type 1 change). Of course, nobody is broken and nobody needs any fixing.

      A person can accept, like and love themselves at ANY stage. It’s a choice. You can do it in this moment if you like. It’s not rocket science.

      Start by writing a list of all the reasons to love yourself.
      Then write a list of all the reason why not loving yourself sucks.

      Then, when you’ve made the choice to love yourself, paractice it by expressing it in the world.

      Whenever I walk past a mirror and see myself, I always look at myself and say out loud, “Damn, you’re good looking, Bruce” This is an outward expression of me loving myself.

      The thing to get though is there is no point when loving yourself becomes appropriate. This entire conversatoin is rediculous from a philosophical standpoint.

      What’s not to love. Does the butterfly get itself all out of shape becasue it does not love itself? No.

      So Cassandra, in case you need permission to love yourself, I hereby grant you permission to love yourself. You are lovable. Ta da!

      With love (for you and me)


      • Cassandra

        Great stuff – loving myself, loving butterflies and loving Bruce – thank you!
        What then is ‘spiritual’ growth and what is ‘personal’ growth? Is there a dividing line between them?
        In my experience, it’s all so interconnected. Keeping my body fit, slim and healthy makes my spirit soar! Holding up my shield of ‘I am not good enough’ makes my soul weep.
        And, on another level, I always believed that my Spirit needs no growing (=change). It’s whole enough.
        Growing my awareness consciously, I do in my mind.
        Experiencing THE awareness happens spontaneously, I believe.
        I have ‘done spritual growth’ for decades, sat in meditation till my butt hurt, had my chakras fixed, my aura cleansed, my inner child comforted etc etc and now I have no idea if I ever needed to grow anything – except older.
        Maybe, just maybe, the only thing to grow is self-love?
        And maybe then all falls into its natural order?

        • Bruce Muzik

          You might just be right about self love…

          personally, IMO, nobody needs any of that ‘spiritual growth’ rubbish. It’s spiritual commercialism designed to make you think there is something wrong with you that the ‘guru’ can fix.

          People just need to WAKE UP. That’s it.

          But, as long as there are people thinking they are broken, there will be people willing to ‘fix’ them.

          BTW, personal growth and spiritual growth are just labels.

          To love,


  • Michelle

    Hi Bruce.

    Love the view from your house!!
    Since I have started doing research and learning more about self improvement every one says, that to be able to move forward you need a coach. I like doing things by myself, that is maybe why I have never really moved forward.
    My problem is money. I realise that we need to invest in ourselves, but I’m a stay at home mom and my husband prioritize where the money goes and after all the bills have been paid, there is little left for extra. And all that complication that goes with that.
    I also feel stuck with my time. Being a mom of young children, I feel that my self development needs to wait till they are older. But that is stupid thinking.
    So I guess I’m at stage one and feel REALLY STUCK!


    • Bruce Muzik

      You’re right about the stupid thinking thing, Michelle – well caught. 😉

      Well, if you’re at stage 1, then the work for you is to get stability financially and emotionally.

      Find a job that pays well. Or supplement your income with a part time job. Remove toxic relationships form your life and get your life on solid ground.

      The idea is to give yourself some room to breathe and create a foundation of integrity upon which you can build your future.


  • Alan

    Hi Bruce,
    I have just watched the video twice and taken notes. I am a probably at Stage 3 but still have some lingering baggage from my past which I am still working on. I reached level 4 temporarily in 2007 thru an awakening of my authentic self during an 8 day long psychology process. I felt Trust and Passion. I found my Authentic Self and started my long term goals. I took action immediately and one year later I left my 8 generation family business to find my true purpose and follow its call. I had not however fully cleaned house of my emotional baggage from my childhood and my sprint into Discovery, Freedom and eventual Mastery stalled and slowly I regressed to Stage 2 and nearly back to Stage 1. I have spent the last couple of years building my self esteem, repairing my childhood issues, moving forward emotionally, spiritually, financially and especially gradually coming to terms with life as it is and gaining a sense of Peace and Gratitude for everything especially the learning.

    I am moving in the right direction setting up short term goals but have a sense that my Passion and Authentic Purpose are going to become much clearer soon.



    • Bruce Muzik

      Nice work seeing your life in terms of the stages, Alan.

  • Bertrand

    Hi Bruce,

    Many Thanks for sharing this. I must say that you are confusing me a little bit, based on all I am reading in personal development books and listening on self improvement CDs. In fact, I was living a great life until a few months ago, until all crumbled in my life, and I sabotaged my life, and it really made reconsider a lot in my life, but also shocked me in my foundations (nearly all levels), and I am re-bouncing back to this. The thing is that I am not sure where I am, and I feel I am at the same time level 1, 2 and 3, with a clear vision of where I want to go, but I may not really know where I am now in my life. Maybe also I eager to go further in my life and be in a position to offer more of my gifts, and at some levels, I am ready for this, but same time, some other aspects are holding me back. I know that my relationship (which I also sabotaged), or lack of relationship, is not really helping me making the progress I want to make, or is it something else. I made the choice to continue my development and offer my gifts, I made the choice to continue to grow and become more, I know I can do this, I am just stuck right now and your video is making me think about where I am.

    thanks for sharing this,

    • Bruce Muzik

      Hey Bertrand,

      If you share with us where you’re confused, I can offer some clarification if you like.


      • Bertrand

        Thanks Bruce,

        I guess my confusion is at which stage I am right now. I felt that after my emotional collapse, I went all the way back to Stage 1, feeling rather lost, and that now I am not really sure where I am. I am feeling that I made so much progress in areas of my life (mainly in the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical), and that I am living very consciously on these levels, and also as dad for my daughter. On the financial (business) and relationship aspects, I do not know where I am right now (it feels that this may be a stage 1-2). Could this disparity between my dreams, and the disparity between the relationship/business and the other areas, causing such issues?

        I know it is not clear, but I feel that I am ready and committed to move on and go to live my medium term goals, but still feel stuck.

  • Todd

    BAM! Nice work Bruce. Spot on.

    I’m inspired.

    Thanks for blasting through the BS of personal development.
    For years, I was trying to make quantum leaps (as promised by coaches, gurus and trainers) and yet many times all I really needed was to get my butt in gear and create some ease and spaciousness. THEN once things were stable – inside and out – I was able to contemplate the questions and actions of the next stage.

    This information and advice is so simple, but point-blank truth telling – that it’s undeniable. It’s intuitive, logical and the natural flow of growth development. Thanks for sharing.

    I’M ON THE EARLY BIRD LIST! I’ve wasted tens of THOUSANDS of dollars on other courses and trainers that were not appropriate for me at the time and FINALLY you are someone with a MAP. I know you’ll be able to help me EXACTLY where I am (as you have in the past!)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Bruce Muzik

      My pleasure, Todd.

      I know you know this, but I’ll remind you for the benefit of everyone reading this…

      The tens of thousands of dollars you ‘wasted’ on other courses and trainers we not wasted. They helped get you to where you are now and each and every one of them supported your growth in some way, even if you are not sure how.

      Rock on.


  • Nikki

    Awesome video. I have figured out Iam at Stage one. My boyfriend and myself are currently renting a basement from this older paki couple. We have a 2 year old daughter who wakes up constantly at 5am in the morning because they make so much noise upstairs. I realize also that im partly to blame because I wanted to move in and did not know the lady has a husband and a grandaughter living with her. We want to own our own house that is one of our goals. I also want to win the lottery but am not desperate to do so lol. Iam willing to take action and get a job or write a script or something to start off. Have thought about a life coach but its the price for one that stops me from getting one right now. Anyways thanks so much for your videos. Pretty sure they are going to help.

  • Bar

    Bruce, I have had an assortment of coaches since my divorce in 2003. I worked with a coach thru Learning Strategies and I have a great vision board from that and it still has my vision on it. I had a coach from T. Harv Ekers Millionaire Mind workshop and that lasted 6 months and 3 coaches later ( I left one and one left the program and my third would have been great if I was in real estate investing. Which I wasn’t. Then let’s not forget my eft coach. that lasted about a year and I did a lot of tapping and didn’t see a lot of results. You get the idea. Now I am 60 years old and need to get a job as alimony has run out. I worked as a customer service rep in an insurance agency and have my health and life license, but luckily I was laid off. Oh, let;s not forget the 2 years of currency trading. I realize that I have been very gullible and tend to believe promises, I have only myself to blame. So, I may be your biggest challenge. As I said money is tight so it will be interesting to see if your claim is true not to break the bank. I do have to admit that your stages are new to me. I was in a different stage the first 5 years after my divorce, because I did have money, now things have changed again. So back to stage 1, but maybe I was always there.

    • Bruce Muzik

      Wow Bar,

      I get it. I’ve fired some of my coaches too.

      This is what happens when we choose coaches who have not already done what we want to do, or who cannot see deeper into our issues beyond just the surface symptoms.

      The trick is to choose a coach you respect and who has accomplished what you’re wanting to accomplish, rather than have one assigned to you.


  • Dirk

    Hu Bruce. Thanks for the great video! Now I know in no uncertain terms where I’m at, the video is clearcut and makes it very easy. Yes, I have used a coach before, but I do think even coaches seems to be valuable in ceratin stages only depending on where they are at in their own lives and perhaps also their approach to things, in other words do they speak your language? So I think its important to find one that you connect with.

    THanks again, fantastic video!

  • Kay

    Hello Bruce great video.
    I have come across this 5 stages of development before. Must own though that it did not stick. Watched your 5 chimps video, got stuck at the making friends with those above my station. (yikes too much humility/ego)
    What stage am I at. Regarding the stages having gone through the suicide thing many years ago, as a teenager into my thirties, finally let it go after Psychotherapy training. Find that I check off all the criteria of stage 4. As well as 1 – 3. Touching stage 5 in that I have a Powerful sense of self. Though can not honestly say that money is of no concern and do not contribute largely in the wider sense . Though paradoxically always tend to have enough for daily needs with a moderate cushion in the bank. This is through denial of wants and self discipline.
    Seem to be coasting at the present time and feel that more is required of me but poised at the precipice of jumping into the next stage.
    To answer your questions. Have used a coach before. Not using one at present because my inner voice says ‘you already know it, after all you help others to move on, so why don’t you take your own counsel. etc etc etc.
    In the future, the old thing MONEY stands in my way as well as lack of faith in self. After all went through 4 years of psychotherapy training already etc etc.
    My life is good and works OK just that don’t feel that am doing all that is required of me. Am however considering working with you depending on cost.
    My dream – to win the lottery mega mega and set up a centre where needy people are able to avail themselves of the appropriate alternative therapy needed, at a cost they can afford depending on their level. And the therapists are paid from the “pot” set up by the lottery win. Pie in the sky of course.

    • Bruce Muzik

      Hi Kay,

      Thanks for letting me know where you’re at.

      The video was a summary of the model I described and there are a lot more factors that I did not mention that determine what stage you’re at right now.

      From reading you comment twice, here is my stage assessment and the text that indicate it to me and why.

      “got stuck at the making friends with those above my station. (yikes too much humility/ego)” – stage 2 – I don’t think humility is an authentic reason for not making friends with ‘higher station’ people. It’s fear and lack of self worth that makes us think that we don’t really belong in the worth of higher station people.

      “Find that I check off all the criteria of stage 4. As well as 1 – 3.” – stage 1 – If you check of all the criteria of stage 1, that’s the stage you’re at.

      “Touching stage 5 in that I have a Powerful sense of self.” – not stage 5 – from your comment, I don’t get that about you, actually the opposite. I think you’re confusing powerful sense of ego (self) with a powerful sense of Self (capital S).

      self = ego (who I think I am e.g. I am Bruce. I am a teacher. I help people change. I like to kite surf. etc…)
      Self = essence (who I really am i.e. I am nothing and everything. e.g. Cannot be described, only experienced)

      “always tend to have enough for daily needs with a moderate cushion in the bank. This is through denial of wants and self discipline. Seem to be coasting at the present.” – stage 2 – not stage 1 becasue you’re meeting your needs. Not stage 3 becasue you’re denying your wants. Stage 3 people are goal achieving, motivated, driven. I’d say that you’re not coasting yet, but rather stabilized and standing still (in that you’re not breaking any new ground, just going through established routines).

      “My dream – to win the lottery mega mega” – stage 1, stage 2 – The ‘get something for nothing’ lottery win mentality is only found among people who don’t believe they can add enough value to generate money themselves.

      Kay, I’m aware that you may take offense at this feedback and my direct approach to it – If you are, I’d totally understand. Nobody likes having their blind spots pointed out.

      However, you strike me as a pretty self-aware human being, so I’m sure your lapping this up.

      I hope you find this feedback useful and I’m glad you too the time to contribute, becasue we can all learn from your comment.

      In my opinion, the work for you is at stage 2, taking 100% responsibility for your life. Here are some ideas.

      Create a safe, inspiring environment that supports your growth
      Add loving relationships to your life
      Add a fulfilling career to your life
      Add an inspiring home and workplace
      Heal the past
      Reprogram limiting belief systems
      Break limiting cycles
      Get complete with primary caretakers
      Create new habits that support high performance

      Thank you Kay.

      With love,


      • Kay

        Thanks Bruce,
        no offense taken, what is coaching if not honest feedback.
        As I already feel, think and am certain, that I take full responsibility for my life, am flummoxed as to how you got the impression that I do not. ?.
        I know your words are truthful as they brought tears to my heart. Much to ponder before responding.
        thanks for taking the time for free.
        Love Kay.

        • Bruce Muzik

          Hi Kay,

          Thanks for the response and for being so BIG about taking the feedback.

          I define responsibility as I believe it was intended to be defined – your ability to respond.

          So when I said, “In my opinion, the work for you is at stage 2, taking 100% responsibility for your life. Here are some ideas.”
          I meant that your job is responding to your current life situation NOW, rather than reacting to it on autopilot (which is what most of us do).

          That means, doing the work to heal the wound that brought tears to your heart when you read my previous response.

          Your heart never lies and you are clearly already aware enough to get that.

          However, I will also add, that most of us HATE the idea of being responsible for our lives (in the conventional sense) becasue it means that we have to own that we CREATED EVERYTHING – good and bad.

          The underlying threat of seeing ourselves as responsible for our life is that if we own it fully, we then have to do something about it, or suffer the pain of knowing that we know and are still choosing to not do anything about recreating a life that we love. See, it’s easier to complain about the way things are than to do something about it…

          Hope this clears it up for you and THANK YOU for being so open.

          With love,


  • Sera

    Wow, really amazing Bruce – you seriously are my new best friend and I love watching your videos. I take notes and watch the entire footage without moving and that really is something as my attention span is rather short if uninspired or bored! I have never been a fan of these and definitely turned my nose up at inspirational videos and free techniques even though I am at Stage 1 (and have been for my adult life without knowing).

    So that too answers your question about having a coach, I do not have one but will be getting one imminently! In the past and before discovering your brilliant lessons – the thought of a coach would have sounded ridiculous, but of course now makes perfect logical sense and really is the only way forward!

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing how to make you my coach!

  • suvef

    hey bruce you are really a master of personal development. this video really opened my eye, you know i also set a goal to become a billionaire just in a 3 years, although i am at stage one. I realize my stage because of your 2nd video thanks bruce.
    Wishing you a life full of energy, bruce! bye…

  • Nina

    Thanks Bruce, great advice, Nina

  • Steve

    Thanks Bruce … Video 2 really puts development into perspective, and explains what is appropriate action and what to expect from a coach depending where we are at.

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