Psychological Stage 3.5

The 3.5 Stage of Development (Achiever)

Subtle. Individual. Active

At this stage, your subtle identity, which is a subtle upshift of the concrete 1.5 stage, is well established and you can own and have power over your own ideas: thoughts, emotions and your future, and you can actively make subtle choices. For example, you can choose, or prioritize one subtle creation (such as a strategy, feeling, idea, goal, or feedback structure) over another one. You may want to pursue your goals and visions, independently, or with others, and it may feel important to do it “first” before anyone else does. The sense of competition arises, and copyrights, contracts, and other legal protections may be important to you to safeguard the ideas that you have created. You may not easily understand the concept of someone else having the same idea you do, so even when you use an idea that you have heard of, you may still sense it as yours. Conversely, if you think of, or copyright something first, it may feel as if it belongs to you even if someone else thought of the idea independently at the same time, earlier or later. Thus, it may sometimes be confusing to you about what is "mine" or "yours" from a subtle standpoint.

Although you often see the concrete materialistic ego, it is difficult for you to see your own subtle ego, which may appear to others just as self-serving though you tend not to think of it that way. At this stage, you may generally assume that everyone sees things as you do on a subtle level. Thus your conversations may involve talking "at" or "about" to others, rather than "with," others, on the subtle level of ideas, and this promotes a subtle parallel existence to others, often known as "agreeing to disagree."

In addition to seeing symbols of symbols, at this stage you begin to think about your thinking, which allows you to create planning into the future around your ideas to achieve what you want. This allows you to use approaches, analysis and linear planning with feedback to reach a goal in the future.

You understand that you are seeing the same subtle whole when you look at a subtle object such as a goal, idea, or plan, from many different angles. Thus, 360 degree feedback processes, multiple feedback loops, and multiple measures of analyses arise from this understanding. Science and R&D become a magic bullet.

Focusing your attention is seen as critical to choosing and accomplishing your goals. You now can categorize, prioritize, and bring a hierarchical trajectory to thoughts ideas, goals, plans emotions, reasons, and analysis. Observing these same subtle objects arising in others, allows you to create plans to compete with them, although you may not see how others are also seeing your ideas in return. Because of this lack of mutual seeing that you are seen on a subtle level, individual competition (as opposed to a collaborative approach), tends to accelerate, where you may want to build planning strategies to be more and more efficient as well as effective–enough to bring your ideas out first before anyone else does.

Since this is still an individual stage, you tend to pursue relentlessly the goals that you set, sometimes to the neglect of your family, personal life, and even your health. You may also expect people who work with you to be just as driven. However you probably work well with teams, delegating and collaborating for the purpose of efficiency, in pursuit of your aims.

People experiencing this stage

  • See subtle either/or choices: subtle decision-making capacities are mature.
  • Can project self into other's shoes and imagine what they will be experiencing, so they think they know themselves and others well on a subtle level.
  • Tend not to recognize when others see them subtly in return.
  • Can employ strategic thinking: thinking about thinking and feeling; planning, analysis arises.
  • Operate in a time frame of one-five years or more into future; allows for deductive reasoning, hypothesizing and goal setting.
  • Experience a space that includes all of us: exterior facets of humanity are vital, thus social justice appears.
  • Value effectiveness and efficiency more than perfection (80/20 rule).
  • See the possibility of progress: the perfectibility of human kind through the scientific method.
  • Accept feedback, especially if it helps them to achieve their goals and to improve.
  • Value teamwork, for that gets them to goal.
  • See infinite options and are able to prioritize best ones.
  • Struggle with balancing work, family, play.


  • Can find their own authority; can distinguish their internal world from that of their community and act on their environment strategically
  • Can learn to identify their own boundaries and begin to communicate these to others, albeit with concern/anxiety that they will be rejected or judged
  • With guidance, can revisit past traumatic events in their minds and revise the past in order to heal the present
  • Enjoy concrete and subtle practices, assignments and structures to support their psychological growth and development
  • Learn from role-playing, conceptual dialogue (psycho-educational models)
  • Enjoy self-help material, because they like to "do it themselves".
  • Their reliance on science or "proof" may support a one way seeing of what is factual or not factual and not be able to discern their own interpretations of "facts" and what they believe to be "true".
  • Because there can be a confusion, on a subtle level between what is mine and not mine, they may intrude on others subtle boundaries which can lead to social conflict. They can take on a victim role from any reprisal from others, or they may take on a subtle bullying, using courts, money and power to enact reprisal and control;
  • Trauma at this stage may regress them to the 3.0 Expert stage where they may obsess over or lose themselves in a project which distracts them from solving their problems.
  • Self can be primarily identified with doing and achieving making "being" seem inferior
  • They can sometimes struggle with emotional intimacy and emotional differentiation in the presence of interpersonal pressure