Why You Need to Go Through Phases In Order to Grow
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that “changed your life” for that moment in time?
Something that you saw had the power to change your whole mindset on how things were then. All of the beliefs that you had before watching that movie or reading that book were then in question.
Everybody goes through different phases of their life whether it's biological or a childhood phase that led us to believe that we were superheroes.
Those phases molded you into the person you are today. It’s interesting how phases only stick to us for so long. When we’re experiencing them we think that we will go through that phase for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately and fortunately this isn’t the case.
Reality ends up hitting us at the craziest moments and something else begins to grab our attention. The reason why we let go of these phases is that we stop trying to advance in them.
At the beginning of this year, I was introduced to Stoicism and I was hooked on it for months. Even when I was doing all the research that I could on it from books to videos I would call myself a “Stoic.”
Something led me to believe that this was the way how I should live the rest of my life. Eventually, I started watching fewer videos and reading fewer books and it’s something that I still try to apply to my life but is no longer my main concern. I’ve learned a lot from that time but I am now engaged in newer and different topics.
It’s best to accept that you’re going to go through phases in your life and not beat yourself up for losing them. When we’re going through a certain phase we think that we’ve found the solution to happiness and longevity.
It’s a great feeling to have once we discover some topics but shouldn’t dwell on for too long. Our minds like to adapt to new things at different moments in our lives.
Here’s what you need to understand when it comes to going through different phases of your life.
Each phase you go through is a life lesson
Whether you realize it or not, things that you learn in different phases stick with you. Some of the habits that you’ve built into your life now are based on those phases.
As kids, we were told to think of a song while brushing our teeth so that we did it in a 2-minute period. Now, unknowingly you probably have a rhyme or some verses of a song that floats around in your head while you’re brushing your teeth. Or you remember how long that song was and you fill your head with thoughts leading up to that time limit instead of a song.
Think about some of the biggest life lessons that you’ve learned over the years. Do you remember where you were or what you were going through when you discovered that lesson?
Even some of the things that you’re realizing now are part of a phase you’re going through. This is why one of the most common phases that people go through in the self-help world is morning routines.
People (including myself) find something fascinating about how different entrepreneurs and successful people start their mornings. We think that if we somehow copy or find a way to hack their morning routine into our own lives then we will be successful like them.
When writing this out, it even seems crazier to read out loud than in my head. The point is that when going through a phase, you will experience at first a moment of excitement, motivation, and a moment where you judge the phase and see if it’s actually helping you in life. Throughout all three of these stages, you will come to realize that you have a lot to learn from yourself and others.
In order to be interesting, you need to be interested
Dale Carnegie said this in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This goes to show that the more phases you go through the more interesting of a person you'll become.
What’s great about going through different periods of your life is you spend a good amount of time becoming one with what you’re interested in. It’s not like you’re skimming over something that caught your attention but you’re really immersing yourself in it.
Different phases allow you to become a better version of yourself, you become more knowledgeable and more open to learning about new topics. There will even be a time where you feel like you’re going through two different phases at once.
Self-improvement starts with educating yourself on things that you can do to better yourself and one of those things is sticking to something for a certain amount of time. There are different rules you can follow if you feel like you’re missing out on a potential phase that can improve your life.
One rule is the 90-day rule where you stick to doing something for 90 days straight and seeing if you like what you’re doing or if it comes with any results that you were hoping for.
Phases also allow you to keep learning from different perspectives. You may go through a phase where you're really into fitness. You will start learning from people who have dedicated their lives to fitness and you will also have that perspective of somebody who is just starting out.
Having experience like this will help you to have more open conversations about different topics and you can even relate to somebody who may be going through a phase that you’ve already gone through.
Being able to look back at what you know
Sometimes we get so ahead of ourselves when it comes to encountering new experiences that we forget to look back at what we already know. The phases that you’ve gone through in your past will give you valuable actions to take and how to react in certain situations.
Yes, there are life lessons that you learn from these phases but also you build new skills and mental strength.
Even till this day when I find myself in a stressful situation I think back to my experience with Stoicism earlier this year and remind myself of some quotes to keep me sane. One quote is
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality” from Seneca the Younger.
You will meet many people who are confused in life just like you, you both may be going through the same phase without even knowing, help each other out and look out for that person’s best interest.
These phases will always be in the back of your head so you’ll have them there whenever you need to use them. The more experience you have in different areas of life the more ready you will be for the obstacles that life has to offer.
They also allow for good memories, times that you can look back on and laugh about.
Embrace the current phase that you’re going through right now. Life will lead you to different topics and will offer you the time to learn about them. I’ll leave you with a quote from Mokokoma Mokhonoana that says
“Life is a process during which one initially gets less and less dependent, independent, and then more and more dependent.”