How to Have a Happy and Productive Rebellious Phase

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Everyone goes through a rebellious phase. If you haven’t yet, you should seriously consider doing so! A rebellious phase acts as a mental growth spurt, when all your beliefs and ideas about the world are shaken. This inner turmoil helps us learn to think critically about our values. Here are some tips to get the most out of your rebellious phase.

  • Question everything you’ve ever been taught. Think deeply about why you believe the things you do. Are they beliefs you developed yourself – or did someone else develop them for you? Never feel guilty or afraid for thinking critically about your own beliefs.
  • Revel in the whiplash. So perhaps you’ve discovered that your longstanding worldview might not serve you anymore. Suddenly, your world is turned upside down. Don’t panic! This is what opportunity feels like. Time to channel that chaotic energy into exploring new things.
  • Do your research! Learn everything you can about new beliefs that challenge you. Get books from the library. Read blogs. Talk to people who adhere to these new ways of life that you never considered before. 
  • Accept the possibility of change. These new things you learn that turn your wheels right now might not inspire you so much in the future. That’s okay! Even if you revert to your previous ways of thinking, you are a worldlier and more informed person than you were before.
  • Be kind. You may be tempted to feel anger toward the people who “steered you wrong.” Don’t fall into this trap! They were trying to help you the best way they knew how. Instead, talk to them about your new ideas (of course, this is more complicated if your new beliefs will get you kicked out of the family. There are other resources on the Internet that can help with situations like this).

Whether it’s selling your stuff and backpacking across Australia, adopting a new spirituality, or building a tiny house on wheels, new opportunities and cool ways of thinking are there to discover. Channel your cognitive dissonance and learn as much as you can. Get excited! After all, enthusiasm is the the only force that can change your world for the better.

Image courtesy of Flickr user hugovk.

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