If you’re facing difficulties or feeling dissatisfied, it might be related to moving from one stage of life to another.
At different times in our lives we face different challenges. While each of our journeys through life is unique, there are some common factors that relate broadly to our age and what is going on in life.
A metaphor that can help us understand these stages goes like this:
“When I was a child and teenager, I lived in my parent’s house. In my 20’s I built my own house. During my 30’s I lived in that house. When I reached my mid 40’s I burnt it down. In my 50’s I moved into a different house that suited me better. Now I am in my 60s, I keep making improvements, so I can be proud when I leave it.”
The different stages are not so clear cut as this, but thinking in decades can help you understand what the struggle might be in your life, as you move between stages.
For example, during your 20’s you are often building your own house, which usually means moving away from your parents, finding a place of your own, the work you like, and often a partner. This can be difficult for all of us and often breaking away from the influence of parents can be a life long task.
To take another situation, during our 30’s we are fully engaged in the struggle with coping with the demands of work, family, finances and stress. Then in our 40’s we may look at our lives, taking a step back, and think ‘well, how did I get here?’ or ‘is this what I really want?’ These questions particularly arise as the kids get older and leave, or as we reach a more secure financial situation. We may also see our own mortality in that of our parents, and that can make us wonder what it’s all about. Sometimes we realise we like the ‘house’ we live in, but sometimes we may need to burn it down.
A number of people have written about the stages of life, and the challenges you face at different time. If you’re interested in more about this, a place to start is with Erik Erikson and his stages of life theory.
Coaching can help you navigate these changing stages of life. If you’re wondering ‘what’s the point?’ or ‘who am I?’ or how age matters to you, please feel free to contact me, Life Coach Chris Paul at [email protected] .