Over the last 5 years of my life, particularly during the last 12 months, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve noticed that this change tends to proceed in phases – for a period usually averaging about 6 weeks, my confidence grows, my success with women increases and I become more socially dominant, reinforced in a positive feedback loop by reference experiences. Positivity bubbles out of my every pore, and I genuinely feel like I am radiating value to the world.
Inevitably however, some random event will knock me out of this cycle, such as losing out on a hot girl that I was sure I had in the bag, or a set of events that are totally beyond my control. What follows is something of a plateau, the duration of which tends to be much longer than the preceding period of growth.
How we approach each of these different phases is vital to maximising the time we can spend growing as individuals.
When you find yourself in a period of rapid change, your goal should be to maximise the duration of this to gain as much from it as possible before it inevitably falters. It’s easy sometimes to become complacent when you suddenly find yourself going through a purple patch with ladies, and cease doing the very things which caused you to get there in the first place. Whenever you decide to stop and smell the flowers (as enjoyable as it is to revel in your own awesomeness) you are applying the brakes to your own development. Each phase of growth can be extended to its maximal length by making sure you retain the discipline to keep taking positive action – keep going to the gym, keep forcing yourself to interact with strangers, to approach girls, to work on your personal projects, keep studying game, even if you feel like you don’t need do – in fact, especially if you feel that you don’t need to.
Of course, it is unfortunately impossible to be flying forwards in all areas of your life at all times. Before long, despite your best efforts, your progress will slow and grind to a halt, and a plateau will be reached which will last much longer than the preceding period of development.
These plateaus really used to get me down. I wanted to feel that I was progressing continuously, seeing rapid improvement in all areas of my life on a daily basis – it would almost feel that I was going backwards by comparison if I couldn’t perceptibly detect growth each and every week. I would become grumpy and disheartened, retreating into myself for a while, until such time as I was ready to put it behind me and try and move on with my life.
If there’s anything experience has taught me though, it’s this – despite how easy it is to be positive and upbeat when everything is going well in your life, it’s how you deal with adversity that really defines your character. You never really find out who you are until the shit hits the fan. Equally as important as how you approach your periods of growth, if not more so, are how you mentally frame and deal with whatever event put you on a downer, and the plateau that inevitably follows.
More than anything, this is the time when it is most important to retain your discipline and ensure that you carry on taking the action that you know will continue to progress you as a person, even if it’s the last thing you feel that you want to do, and you stop seeing any tangible benefits in the short term.
Rather than seeing these plateaus as a negative phenomenon, it is important to view them for what they are – periods of consolidation, where the identity level change that has been blessing you over the preceding weeks is actually now taking root as part of your personality. Habits that you initially had to make a conscious effort to adopt are becoming learned behaviours, and seeping into the core of your being, and the event that initially caused you such anguish quickly fades into the past.
Deal with your plateaus in the correct manner and you’ll ensure that your next phase of growth will be just around the corner.