It’s fascinating to me how most of the world dislikes change. They dislike asking the difficult questions. They dislike growth… they just want to sit in their comfortable armchairs and keep things exactly as they are. (Or as Henry David Thoreau puts it: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”)
This is what Jen Sincero (author of “You Are A Badass”) calls The Beige Army. And if we have any designs on personal growth, we will meet this army in force.
One of the most damaging weapons they’ll use is the “just a phase” argument.
You see, we life explorers like to try stuff. Not sure if this life choice or that life choice will serve us best? Pick one and try it.
You’ve heard about a carb-free carnivorous diet? Try it.
You’ve heard that plant-based whole food is better for you? Try it.
You fancy seeing what it’s like to live with almost no belongings? Try it.
You fancy owning a fast pointy sports car at some point in your life? Try it.
And when we find that thing doesn’t do what we wanted it to do, we learn our lessons, we let it go and we move on.
And that’s when the Beige Army pounces!
“Told you so!”
“I knew it was just a phase.”
“You never stick to anything.”
As you know from our journey through the levels of consciousness, all of the upper levels are reached through courage. And the onslaught of the Beige Army is just another opportunity for us to test our courage.
If we tried things out from an egoic perspective—to make us ‘better’, to elevate our sense of ‘self’—there’s a good chance we’ll feel guilt and shame about our decisions and the Beige Army will have us.
But if we tried things from an authentic perspective—to explore life, to experience all it has to offer, to follow our passion or even just our curiosity—then the Beige Army has nothing.
It was a phase. Fine. Does that matter?
I got what I needed from it (even if that was to learn never to do it again), and I’m content to move on.
And if I’m content to move on, we say to the Beige Army member, why are you still holding on to it?
The lesson? I think it’s to have phases. Celebrate phases. Do what seems like a good idea at the time, and if you find something that works for you, well done… if it doesn’t work for you then you now know that through experience.
But don’t let the fear of hearing “just a phase” stop you. It’s your life. Live it.