4 stages of embodiment to create lasting change in your daily life

Changing your life can feel hard. Whether you want to run your first 5k,  feel more confident at work or start living your life purpose, at some point you’re going to feel frustrated and doubtful that you can ever make it happen. 

When you know the steps to truly embodying the change you seek, it’s easier to know what to do to keep going… and have peace with the more challenging aspects of the process.

Learn about the Four Stages of Embodiment in this post.

Or listen to the accompanying podcast episode here.

The four steps are:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Inform yourself
  3. Integrate solutions
  4. Embody the solution

For each step, I cover the following questions:

  • What is this stage about?
  • How do I know I’m in this stage?
  • What are the pitfalls?
  • How do I overcome the challenges and get through this stage?

What is embodiment? 

Embodiment happens when the change you seek has become so much a part of you that you do it effortlessly.

Embodiment looks like:

  • You love your running routine so much that it becomes your favorite part of the day
  • You speak up at work meetings without a second thought, and people thank you afterwards for sharing your ideas
  • You love waking up each day because you feel so aligned and alive with your life, you’re bursting with ideas and joy


Embodiment is when when your body, mind and spirit have incorporated the change so deeply that you no longer have to expend tons of thought and energy on it.


I talk more about this below in stage 4.


A caveat about embodiment:

Embodiment is about becoming more of who you truly ARE not something you are not. Most life friction comes because you are living the shadow side of you, beliefs and mindsets that are not your truest nature, a life path that was projected onto you and isn’t in alignment with your highest purpose.

For example, when you try to force yourself to be an extrovert when you’re an introvert, it’s going to feel as hard as forcing yourself to run a marathon when you actually thrive as a yogi. Sure, you can train and learn all the things, and it’s well worth trying if you feel called to do it (because you never know) but if you’re forcing it, then take that as an invitation to examine your underlying motivation. Oftentimes you’ll discover that the “desire” you’re feeling is a reflection of someone else’s values and expectations placed on you.


Ok, I’ve got a ton more to say about that BUT let’s move on to….


The 4 Stages of Embodiment 

Stage 1: Identify

What is this stage about?

This stage is about identifying that there is a problem, but you might not know what it is.

How do you know you’re in this stage?

  • Something feels off
  • You’re struggling, life isn’t fitting anymore, the things that worked before don’t 
  • Feel a deep urge, a calling, a drive to change
  • Pattern of failure, of coming back to the same problem and it keeps getting worse
  • Hit tipping point/ rock bottom
  • Chronic stress, doubt, anxiety, depression, lack of focus

What are the challenges of this stage?

  • Feels disempowering, stuck, 
  • Your schedule and thoughts are overwhelmed and don’t have the time for reflection or rest
  • When placing blame on things outside you, you can solve for the wrong thing

How do you get through this stage?

  • Reduce stress and nervous system depress/agitation through self-care
  • Rest deeply
  • Create space in your schedule for self-reflection
  • Find the voice/energy/questions to reach out for help via
    • Prayer to a higher source
    • Support from trusted friends
    • Therapy or coaching to help you identify the problem & its root source

Stage 2: Inform

What is this stage about?

This stage is about seeking information about the problem:  what the problem is, why you have it, what to do about it, etc

How do you know you’re in this stage?

  • You’re doing lots of research
  • Taking classes, reading books, joining Facebook groups, talking to friends & professionals
  • You’ve just gotten a diagnosis from a professional 

What are the challenges of this stage?

  • Spending too much time researching. Information doesn’t create change, application does. The best information comes from you learning from your experience. 
  • Looking solely outside yourself for answers can lead to solutions that don’t fit you
  • Limiting beliefs and self-doubt can make you think that change isn’t possible. You might even convince yourself this is true by looking at “proof” from your past.

How do you get through this stage?

  • Combine information with integration = consume only as much information as you need to start taking action
  • Make sure that your information sources align with your values and way of being (knowing your human design can be a big help here).
  • Create a practice to access YOUR inner wisdom for insight. This could be journaling, meditating, connecting to your guides.
  • Set gentle deadlines for when to begin Integration
  • Lean into trust that you know enough and that you are on the right timing


If you’re in this stage and want the support of coaching, I invite you to chat with me about my 1:1 coaching.


Stage 3: Integration

What is this stage about?

Taking action to solve the problem.

How do you know you’re in this stage?

  • You have a fairly clear vision for how you want your life to be different
  • You have a good understanding of the changes you want to make
  • You’ve decided to make the changes you want (habits, goals, boundaries, etc) and are actively “working on them”
  • You’re aware of when you are in an old pattern while it’s happening or afterwards
  • You’re using focus and energy to solve the problem… which can feel hard or tiring


What are the challenges of this stage?

  • Getting caught up in urgency/impatience/unrealistic expectations. You want it to go faster and so you get frustrated when it takes longer than you want, which makes the process painful.
  • Change is bringing up trauma responses or limiting beliefs that make your nervous system freak out
  • Environmental factors: your exterior life is built around past-you and the new you doesn’t fit the same into your schedule, work, relationships, etc. This creates friction.
  • You doubt your ability to actually change
  • Giving up before you see results

How do you get through this stage?

  • Lean into trust that you are in right timing
  • Learn as you go by having a system of self-reflection and evaluation so that you walk away with clear steps on what to try next time. I have a super simple process for this.
  • Set up a system of accountability: find a friend, community or support group that can do it with you and support you to keep showing up 
  • Get coaching : a coach will help you create a fit-for-you strategy, identify the blocks that you can’t see, keep you moving forward at an efficient yet comfortable pace, provide additional resources & support to guarantee your success
  • Healing work: address trauma and limiting beliefs with coaching, therapy, reiki, eft or other therapies that can heal underlying blocks


If you’re in this stage and want the support of coaching I have two options this summer: Summer Integration Coaching & 1:1 coaching.


Stage 4: Embodiment

What is this stage about?

The problem is solved.

How do you know you’re in this stage?

  • It requires much less thought and energy to “live the change”
  • The solution is now part of who you are and how you do things, which makes it easy to continue
  • When you revert to old patterns, you don’t fear you’ll get stuck there. You return to your new way of being without too much effort.
  • People come to you for guidance on how to solve this problem because you are an example of success


What are the challenges of this stage?

  • Acknowledging and celebrating your success

How do you embrace this stage?

  • Take a few minutes each day to express gratitude for your life and what you’ve achieved
  • Make it a practice to acknowledge your achievement every time you do the “thing” that you now embody. For example, everytime you go for a run, say to yourself “Look at me! I’m a runner. I am amazing.” 
  • Share your knowledge and experience by teaching, coaching or mentoring


Thanks for reading my friend! Wishing you all the best in embodying change into your daily life.

 Photo by Greta Hoffman