Have you ever had a discussion or debate with someone, and it was like talking to a brick wall? It seems as if they had this belief, that was so strong, that it was impervious to anything that you said to him or her. It was also clear that they had some missing information in their arguement, or a point of view which they had completely overlooked, and they didn't even realise it. What about someone with an annoying habit like, biting their nails all the time, but they were unaware of it's impact on you?

Theres 4 states or stages of "knowing," which I recently come to understand, and it's helped me evaluate and understand some things that other people or might self, had not really taken into account previously.

The 4 Stages of

1. I Don't Know, that I Don't Know

This is invariably the first stage of knowledge. It's the stage where someone is completely oblivious to any habit, point of view, or situation that is currently affecting himself and the people around him. For example, someone might not be aware of the fact, that they constantly bite their nails all the time, and this bad habit might be projecting a negative impression of him on to others.

This is the most difficult stage to be in, especially when you are looking to make changes to yourself, or are trying to figure out how you are presenting yourself to others. It takes sensory acuteness to pick out all the small things that you do, that are impacting on other people, and could take time to realise unless you are always consciously searching for clues and cues. Almost everyone is in this stage at some point in their life, and in any aspect, where it be, learning to play a sport, or learning a new skill, or even just when they're trying to expand their thinking horizons and perspectives.

2. I Know, that I Don't Know

The next stage is a place where someone is finally made aware of something, which they had previously not realised. Taking the biting nails example again, a good friend may have come up to him one day and pointed out that he bit his nails a lot. Now, that he's aware of his situation he now knows something that he didn't know before. 

This second stage is one of the most empowering ones because, once you've been made aware of a shortfall or bad habit, you now have the power to change it into something better. However, some people can take this negatively, and could deny that their habit is causing them strife or is even within their control, thus abandoning all their power to take control and make a change, by not taking responsibility for the situation at hand. 

If you are in a state of awareness, just know that you have the power to make a change, where it be a change in your focus on what this means to you, or whether it be changing the way you approach something. Whereas before, you had completely 0% chance of taking control because you didn't know what was there in the first place.

3. I Know, that I Know

The 3rd stage is a place where you now have taken action, and started to learn all the things that you had previously not known before. You've started to learn all the different ways on improving your situation and are building a base knowledge on how to overcome your situation. Using the same example, you may have taken the action by reading up on the negative effects of biting your nails, or better yet, you could get someone to hit you every time they see you biting your nails. Another example could be if you were starting to take classes in learning whatever skills or education you didn't have before. You might be taking driving lessons to practise your undeveloped skill on the road.

If you've gotten to this stage, it means that you've started to take control and direct yourself in the direction you want to go. 

4. I Don't Know, that I know

This is the last stage of knowledge, and it is the level at which you want to do for most things. It's what we generally refer to as our gut system, our intuition, or our 6th sense. At this level, we're unconsciously doing the things that we've practised doing. If we were biting our nails before, we've now stopped. If we were learning a skill, like driving, then we can now drive without really thinking too much, and concentrating on whether we're pressing the right pedal to accelerate or brake. 

This is the level of mastery.

By understanding the stages of knowing, it can help us ultimately help us understand and expand our thinking into the areas of where we may have not considered before. We might not even realise it, but some of the things we might think are true, may not be true, because we could be trapped in the first stage.