More on Maturing into Personal Authority

I have posted variously on learning to more effectively employ personal authority.  Finding one’s voice, being recognized in the community and workplace, etc.

In recent months, I have benefited greatly from a resource that I wouldn’t have expected to provide insight into learning to “stand up and be heard.”

I encourage everyone interested in learning to display authority to read James Fowler’s Stages of Faith.  While I read this book to satisfy a personal interest in how people in Western faith traditions experience faith development, the insights really apply to Westerners in general – whether or not we are personally active in faith development.  As the author explains in the book’s introduction, the series of six stages in the book apply even to secularists who wrestle with how to engage and develop psychologically with ” a person’s way of leaning into and making sense of life.”

In this book’s well articulated descriptions of six stages of faith develop, the author explains that most adults settle into and/or mature through stages three, four, and/or five  of “faith development” – with an optimal continued maturing taking us into stage five by the time we are in our later adult years.  Further, there are transitions between each stage; these transitions can be tricky to navigate and individuals sometimes get “stuck” in these transitions for various periods of time.

What I found in reading this book is that I had been stuck between stages three and four for some time.  This is a transitional phase where adults learn to find their own place in the world based on personal engagement with new adult experiences and subsequently develop their own sense of personal authority based on what we learn and how we develop through those experience, though the transition can be challenging.  Reading about this helped me understand why I’ve been so fixated on learning to better display personal authority – I had engaged in diverse adult experiences that challenged me in new ways, but hadn’t fully translated my newly developed worldview into showing the world my sense of “this is who I am now and my view is worth taking seriously.”  Fortunately, this Stages of Faith book demonstrates the pathway for getting through this  transitional phase where many people can easily get stuck and how to move into stage four and a sense of personal authority.

Thus, I recommend reading Stages of Faith for anyone working to find one’s voice and/or find one’s sense of how to better display personal authority in the workplace, community etc.; it’s possible that this book could help you transition into the place of personal authority that you are seeking.

Enjoy the read.

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