What Stage of Adult Development Do You Find Yourself?

by Houston Vetter - DocResults on March 3,


Just as children go through different stages of development; have you figured out just what stage of adult development do you find yourself? And yes there is double meaning in finding yourself. You can find yourself in a particular level of development and still not find yourself completely until another stage.

Each stage of development for an adult does the same thing as the stages of child development; improve thinking, coping and creativity skills and be able to handle more and more complex issues. Science has now informed us that adult brains can continue learning just as children do, up until death where before it was thought adults could only learn and retain up to a certain age.

What Stage of Adult Development Do You Find Yourself?

Just as the stages of child development has different levels of coping that we call maturing there are stages of adult development as well. Being aware of the different stages can help us get a better understanding of why others do what they do. As one’s stage of development determines how you perceive and interact with reality. Just as a child’s behavior let’s you know which stage they are currently in so does knowing the different stages for an adult.

The Stages of Child Development

  • infant
  • toddler
  • adolescent
  • teenager
  • young adult

Researchers have identified 4 different stages of development for adults. Most people fall into the first 3 and only about one percent fall into the 4th stage. Different researchers use different names/labels to identify each stage for our purposes here we’ll label them in more practical terms based on the focus of attention of each level. You will notice that each stage incorporates the stage before.

An interesting note about incorporating the stage before into whatever level you happen to find yourself at currently. Often when one initially moves into a new stage of adult development the previous stage is considered less than and something to get rid of or done away with. So the previous stage is looked down on and almost rejected. It doesn’t have to be this way and yet often it is as new perceptions, which form new beliefs arise.

The Stages of Adult Development

  • Me
  • My Group
  • The Planet
  • Spiritual

Each stage of development is about safety and identity. So each stage has a particular point of view. Also know as a BS-Belief System.

“Me to My Group”

In the “Me” Stage of development the focus and the filters we use are all about ‘me’ with hardly any attention to the other stages. The movement from “Me” to “My Group” moves the shift form “me to us”. Now your safety depends on the safety of your group. “My Group” could be as small as “me, my wife and our kids” or it can be as big as “My Company”, “My Religion”,  “My Tribe’, “My Ethic Group”.

“My Group To The Planet”

The current stage of adult development that seems to be at the forefront currently is the shift from “My Group” to “The Planet” or “My Planet” In this stage your focus expands from “My Group” to include other groups and the planet itself. At this stage you have definite opinions about what should or should not be done not only about you and your group, you also have them concerning other groups and the planet as well. In fact at this stage you are way more concerned about the environment and what is happening with others in different parts of the world and most of your attention flows in that direction.

As was mentioned earlier often when one initially moves from one stage to the next instead of incorporating the previous stage it is rejected.

Thus we see militant-ism, i.e. ‘us vs them’ mentality, with many in the beginning of entering into a new stage of development.

Remember each stage of development redefines your identity and what you base your safety on.

“The Planet to Spirituality”

Something that I find interesting is that each level of adult development, if you asked them, think that they are operating from the spiritual stage of development. However, according to the researchers only one percent of the population operate at the spiritual stage of development.

How you might recognize the spiritual stage of adult development…

It can look like any of the other stages of development and yet there is no charge or hook present. You are aware of the emotional charge of others and their point of view and you can support others in whatever view they are currently in, whether they think you are or not. You see yourself in all the different stages of development as you see yourself in others.

You understand and allow others desires and demand for change and yet you have a deeper sense of peace and an internal knowing that all is well and everything is unfolding as it should.

You are able to help and facilitate others in remarkable ways in this stage of adult development.

We offer the spiritual stage of adult development type of training in our Lucid Living™ One-on-One Training.

Exercises You Can Use to help you in whichever stage of development you are in…

In the mind sciences like NLP you learn about perceptual positions… 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. Consider it like going to a basketball or football game and what the experience of  the game would be like from these difference positions, a player in the game, from the bench, from the side line, from halfway up in the stands, from the nose  bleed section, from a sky box, from a blimp, from space.

Your perceptual position will determine the meaning and the charge you put on things. To get the most benefit as you do these exercises in your mind make sure that as you picture them they are level with you.

Take any incident or conversation you have had. It can be an argument or anything that had a lot of charge to it.

1st Position: Run the movie of the incident in your mind as if you are looking from behind your eyes. Notice what you think and what the sounds sound like and how you feel.

2nd Position: Run the same movie from behind the other person’s eyes as if you were them. Notice how what you think, hear and feel is different than what it felt like through your eyes.

3rd Position: Run the same movie from a 3rd pair of eyes not involved with either of those in the incident. Notice the thinking, hearing and feeling is even different from either of the other positions.

We could go on to other positions and yet simply running everything through these 3 different perceptual positions can give you flexibility and allow you to move through different stages of development. You’ll get a bigger picture and you’ll see more sides of an issue which can be very beneficial and helpful to you in really truly enjoying life.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MARGARET MAKEWELL March 6, 2013 at 5:47 am

Reading these positive exchanges between people who are all intent upon bringing light/ letting the Light shine is a healing and affirming experience for me too, thank you !
God Bless, and long may you live. Marg xxxx


Houston Vetter - DocResults March 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thank you for your kind words.
To Your Best,
Dr. Vetter


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