Eight Stages Of Awareness and Behavioral Change Ep 61

Eight Stages Of Awareness and Behavioral Change | Marriage & Relationship Coach

Welcome my AwakenYou listeners! I have just returned from the Life Coach School Mastermind in Austin, Texas, and I am on fire to get this quarter going! This month I have several fun ways for you to learn more about yourself and the ways you can grow and develop a more connected relationship with yourself and your marriage. First, I want you to get yourself registered for this month’s AwakenYou Masterclass which is all about creating the connection you desire in your marriage. In this class, we will explore different aspects of connection and look at how you like to connect while also taking some time to recognize how your spouse likes to connect to understand better how they show up when you are in your element. Join us by clicking on the link provided and learn how to find more connection in your marriage.

I also want to remind everyone that this is the last week to throw your hat in the ring to win a $100 Amazon gift card! Yes, you heard that correctly; over the past three weeks, I have been giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, but this last week in celebration of AwakenYou in your marriage’s first anniversary I decided to double the gratitude, so, right now, please, scroll to the bottom of my podcast page and write a short review sharing what you love about AwakenYou so that other people can find the help they need to start feeling better about themselves and their life so that they can get back to a place where they love being with their spouse. All you have to do to get entered is take a screenshot of your review and attach it to an email to christine@christinebongiovanni.com, you can also send it to me as a DM on any of my social platforms or from my website. This is the last week to enter!

This week I want to talk to you about the different stages of awareness and behavioral change, which ultimately are the different stages or levels of awareness that you walk through when you are changing behavioral patterns. Specifically, today I am going to speak about emotional behavioral patterns because it is our emotions that dictate the changes we make. I’m going to talk about eight different stages of awareness that I see when most people are doing the work of changing behavioral patterns that they developed in the early stages of their life. Understanding these stages will help you better recognize where you are in the continuum of change in your own life and help you better understand and evaluate where you are to keep moving forward.

I think too often, we have an idea of what we would like our life to look like if things were going in a way that we think would make us happy. Let’s look at weight loss. With weight loss, what I saw over my thirty years of working with athletes is that we have an idea of where we want to be and when we’re not there, or we can’t seem to make it there in the amount of time we think is acceptable we give up and decide we have failed. In the recovery world, I like to share that relapse is a part of the recovery journey; it doesn’t indicate failure but when we make it mean failure, guess what happens? It takes us a whole lot longer to get out of our relapse.

It’s the same when it comes to changing the way we interact with ourselves and others that we are in relationship with, which we will be focusing on today. Let’s dig into these steps of awareness throughout our change process and see how we can use it to propel us forward instead of holding us back.

The first stage: no awareness or understanding of the problem or habitual dynamic

I wanted to include this stage because it’s where many of us start with the different ways we interact with ourselves and others. Our awareness is what we do; it seems normal like it is who we are and how we deal with life’s circumstances; it’s “in our blood.” Throughout these different levels of awareness, I will use an analogy that I first encountered in the first meditation app I used way back when I started meditating, Headspace, where they used a hole in the road analogy. In this first stage, imagine you are walking down the road, a road that you commonly use, and there is a big hole in the road that you fall in. You are angry at the hole, the people who dug the hole; you are in the hole for a very long time before getting yourself out.

The world has happened to you.

Stage two: awareness of the problem or habitual dynamic

You become aware of a different option, but you don’t completely understand it or that there would feel better than where you are. You walk down the same street with the same hole; you don’t see it; you fall in it and are utterly annoyed that this has happened to you again.

Stage three: awareness of the problem after an occurance but don’t do anything to create a different result

This is where you keep falling in the hole, blame the world, it takes you a long time to get over it, and you keep doing the same thing, getting the same result.

Stage four: awareness after occurance with an evaluation and steps to create a different dynamic

You know the hole is there; you think about it and how you will avoid it, but you still fall into it. When the hole is in front of you, you don’t actually see it, and you fall in, but now you see that it is your own doing, and it doesn’t take you as long to get out of the hole.

Stage five: awareness while the old behavior is happening and you continue with the old behavior

This is where you step into the hole, realizing you stepped in and just let yourself fall. It feels awful, but you get up, dust yourself off, see your part in the problem, evaluate and move on.

Step six: awareness during the old behavior while able to interrupt and choose a better option

This would look like falling into the hole, grabbing on to the ladder, that has always been available to you, and climbing out. At this stage, you are still evaluating how you can no longer fall in the hole.

Stage seven: awareness of the old dynamic as it is approaching but still fall into old behavior

This will look like seeing the hole coming but falling in anyway. You don’t make it a big deal; you catch the ladder and climb out, moving on with your day and evaluating how you will catch yourself earlier next time.

Stage eight: awareness of the possibility of old dynamic before falling into old behavior patterns and choose something different

This is where you see the hole coming, know it’s there, and walk around it. Eventually, you continue to walk around that hold and don’t even notice it being there.

The truth is that there are many mini-stages in between all of these stages. There will be times when you are at stage eight, and because of the circumstances, maybe lack of sleep, an illness, stress at work, the hole arrives, and you fall in it. As frustrating as it may be, you recognize that this was your own doing, you stepped in the hole, and you climb out and move on.

This is the process of change, and it is the process you will go through with any behavior you are trying to change. In our relationships with ourselves, we are constantly looking at how we treat ourselves, and those habits change as we let go of the more obvious ones. Then we go to work on the sneakier ones, the ones that seem helpful but are actually just as destructive. As we do this work with our own self-relationship we also do this with our outside relationships.

Everything we do here in AwakenYou is about growing your relationship with yourself so that you can learn how to have a better relationship with your spouse. What we do here is ultimately about honoring our true selves, and the better we get at that, the better we can show up in our marriages. I absolutely love this process, and every day I get to see for myself how this work makes me feel so powerful in changing my own relationship with myself and with Jeff. You deserve a better relationship with yourself and your spouse as well, and I hope that as you listen, you will discover that spark to create the change you have been dying to make. I’d love to help you find that spark; schedule your free coaching call or book a call to talk about our work in AwakenYou and how it will help you start to love your life and your spouse!


I am a life coach who works with women and couples struggling with how their lives and marriage feel through awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your life and marriage, which will have you see your partner changing as well. If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can fall back in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about your next steps to a life you are crazy in love with!