Shadow work, cultivating non-attachment, practicing mindfulness, learning new skills… personal transformation can seem utterly daunting. Changing your habits of being and doing is easier said than done.
However, once you try it, there’s a likelihood that you’ll keep going — because you’re designed to grow, evolve, and transform.
On a cellular level, we are all constantly undergoing natural evolutionary changes without being aware of them. It is also possible for us to transform spontaneously. However, the most powerful and profound transformation comes from within.
What Is Personal Transformation?
A personal transformation occurs when you change your thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs to expand your consciousness and live a more fulfilling life. As part of the process, you take a closer look at everything you perceive as yourself and alter aspects you no longer need.
In short, it’s a unique journey of self-discovery and personal growth you intentionally embark on to unlock your fullest potential and reach self-actualization.
According to Ken Wilber, the author of integral theory and trainer of Mindvalley’s Integral Life Quest, the ultimate goal of human transformation is reaching the highest state of consciousness. It’s also known as enlightenment, awakening, satori, metamorphosis, moksha, and the Great Liberation.
It’s called “absolute awareness” or ultimate consciousness, and Ken claims that “these states are about the nature of the nature, it’s something substantial, and you’re directly and immediately one with them.”
Examples of Personal Transformation
Personal transformation is not a linear process. It may start with changing one habit or limiting belief, or taking a leap of faith in some area of your life. Here are some examples of personal transformation:
- Becoming a vegetarian,
- Giving up alcohol or quitting smoking,
- Starting a new career,
- Moving to a new country,
- Overcoming deep-seated fears, and
- Forgiving your wrongdoers.
In short, personal transformation can be internal or external — when you transform your inner world or change things outside yourself.
Types of Personal Transformation
Michael Beckwith, spiritual leader and trainer of Mindvalley’s The Life Visioning Mastery Quest, explains there are two types, or methods, of transformation — through suffering and through the gradual accumulation of evolved meaning schema. He calls them kensho and satori moments:
- Kensho moments are the moments of pain and suffering.
- Satori moments are the moment of insight.
Most people evolve through a combination of kensho and satori moments. And although both types of personal transformation serve your growth, growing through satori moments can make your evolution faster, easier, and more graceful.
Then, why do you have to experience pain and suffering to advance in life?
Think of your afflictions as your Soul’s nudges — when you are stubbornly stuck in your limiting beliefs, detrimental patterns, and behaviors, it uses kensho moments to wake you up.
In the Zen tradition, kenshō literally means “seeing one’s true nature.” In other words, it’s a state of releasing who you think you are and coming to your true self.
On the other hand, you can evolve through satori moments of insight that allow you to shift quickly. According to Michael, the more you invest in your personal transformation, the more satori moments you will have. “The more satori moments you have, the less pain and suffering you will experience in life,” he adds.
The 12 Stages of Personal Transformation
One of the most renowned stages of personal transformation was proposed by Joseph Campbell. He studied myths throughout history and identified the sequence repeated over and over across multiple cultures. As a result, he coined the term “monomyth,” also known as the hero’s journey, which is made of 12 stages.
The hero’s journey
This is a journey of personal transformation. It’s about an ordinary person who starts a journey of self-transformation that leads them to discover a higher purpose for the greater good.
Jade Shaw, astral projection luminary and trainer of Mindvalley’s The Art of Astral Projection Quest, elaborates that the hero’s journey is an empowering way of making sense of where you are and what’s coming. It serves as a roadmap for tracking your self-transformation.
These are the 12 stages of inner and outer transformation that you’re going to go through in your life, according to the monomyth:
- The Ordinary World: This is you living your normal life.
- The Call to Adventure: Something disrupting happens in your world, calling you to take a new direction in life.
- Refusal of the Call: You feel scared and full of doubts, so you stay where you are until you get another call that you cannot ignore.
- Meeting the Mentor: You meet a guide or a teacher who gives you the tools to set off on this new adventure.
- Crossing the First Threshold: This is when you enter a new territory and learn something new.
- Tests & Allies: You step out of your comfort zone, putting your knowledge into action. This is when you are put to the test, so you call in your allies to support you.
- The Approach to the Inmost Cave: This is when you take a leap of faith and keep going into the unknown.
- The Ordeal: Here you face your major challenge. It could be your biggest shadow, fear, or limiting belief that you must overcome to proceed to the next stage.
- The Reward: This is your breakthrough moment when you see your progress.
- The Road Back: You start your journey back home, preparing yourself for transitioning. Here you reflect on your transformation and how to fit it into your life.
- Resurrection: This is your final moment of discovery or challenge. You might experience something like a rebirth after which you realize your transformation.
- The Return with the Elixir: Your final stage of victory.
There are plenty of books and movies that have been influenced by the monomyth of Campbell. Here is a list of the most well-known books and movies that incorporate the hero’s journey narrative:
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Star Wars
- The Matrix
- The Lion King
- Indiana Jones
Does your journey stop here? No, it never does as you begin another journey for a deeper transformation.
The 4 Stages of Spiritual Growth
Another well-established way of looking at personal growth was suggested by Michael Beckwith. He calls it the four stages of spiritual unfoldment. You can use these stages as a mirror to see clearly where you are in your personal growth and development.
Let’s look at every stage in detail:
1. Victim consciousness: to me
This stage is characterized by the idea that something happens to you — in other words, there are some external forces or circumstances that determine your destiny. This is why it’s called the “victim” consciousness.
2. Manifestor consciousness: for me
When you realize that your experiences are determined by subconscious programming and conditioning, you begin to see that life is happening for you. This new perspective allows you to break free from beliefs and perceptions that no longer serve.
This is a very powerful stage where you bring things into manifestation, according to Michael.
3. Channeler consciousness: through me
It’s the “vehicle” stage because something is happening through you — you become a channel through which you allow everything to happen.
At this stage, you begin to see life as it is — eternal and unaltered by your experiences and perceptions.
Michael elaborates that, unlike the manifestor consciousness, you no longer use your mind to manifest life the way you want it to be. “Instead, you use all that you are as an avenue so that life could express itself more fully and completely. You surrender to life,” he adds.
4. Being consciousness: as me
It’s the most profound stage of coherence and harmony with who you are as an eternal spiritual being. At this stage, you are aware of your eternality and your connection with life. Michael calls it a state of mastery, a state of being.
These stages aren’t linear — in some areas of your life, you may feel victimized, while in others you may flow like a channeler. So, becoming fully aware of where you stand in every area is crucial for your growth.
Inspirational Quotes on Personal Transformation
Personal transformation journey isn’t easy as it requires a great deal of inner work. But when you see it as your most important priority, life will inevitably flow.
Wherever you are on your journey, here are some inspirational quotes to help you see it as the most rewarding experience:
Your time on this planet isn’t the time of wasted incarnation. You are an instrument to bring something to it that the next generation will love.— Michael Beckwith, trainer of Mindvalley’s Life Visioning Mastery Quest
Transformation creates a shift in consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters your ways of being in the world.— Vishen, founder of Mindvalley
This journey of becoming the best version starts with celebrating yourself as a unique creation. It starts with loving yourself. So your transformation is impossible without self-love and self-appreciation.— Mahatria, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Journey to Infinitheism Quest
If you choose what happens within you, you can choose the highest level of pleasantness. And when you feel wonderful, you do wonderful things around you.— Sadhguru, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Yogi’s Guide to Joy Quest
Whatever you do inside transforms the outside.— Anodea Judith, trainer of Mindvalley’s Chakra Healing Quest
The spiritual path is a quest for self-actualization and your commitment to helping others achieve the same. It’s your desire to be all you can be as a human being.— Jon Butcher, trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest
When you raise your level of spiritual fitness and facilitate your spiritual growth, you will excel in life as a human being and a spiritual being while creating a positive influence on humanity and our collective consciousness.— Jeffrey Allen, trainer of Mindvalley’s Duality Quest
Fear is one of the greatest blocks to spiritual growth.— Charlie Morley, trainer of Mindvalley’s Experience Lucid Dreaming Quest
The purpose of life is to re-create yourself anew in the next golden moment of now, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about who you are.— Neale Donald Walsch, trainer of Mindvalley’s Awaken the Species Quest
Transforming Yourself with Mindvalley
Personal transformation, in essence, is all about awakening to the idea that you are the creator of your own reality — first, internally and then, externally. And it starts with your intention to see yourself beyond the surface, in every moment.
This is how you stop living on autopilot and take full responsibility for your misery and greatness, because only then can you choose one or the other.
If you aspire to awaken your greatness by bringing personal transformation to the forefront of all your priorities in life, Mindvalley is the place for you. Here, transformation is a lifelong adventure where you learn and evolve with the world’s most renowned trainers, experts, and spiritual teachers.
By joining Mindvalley, you are joining the world’s most powerful life transformation platform, powered by the tribe — like-minded lifelong learners from around the world. You can start your lifelong adventure by signing up for a free account.