Why Going Through a Life Crisis is a Positive Thing

Sometimes crises are also brought about by drastic turning points in one's life where the person feels that he or she is losing solid reference points such as identity or life purpose.

In my life and work I have come across many people who have gone or are going through what can expediently be defined as a life crisis. The word carries a lot of negative connotations of course since it is associated with very difficult life passages often brought about by circumstances beyond the volition or ‘control' of the person, such as: loss of loved ones, difficult family problems, financial loss or a health related issue. Sometimes crises are also brought about by drastic turning points in one's life where the person feels that he or she is losing solid reference points such as identity or life purpose. The classic middle life crisis is a pertinent example.

What I would like to talk about is the positive and constructive side of crises which is very often overlooked. When I was doing my research for my masters in Philosophy some years ago, I was looking into how intelligent adaptive systems behave. To cut a long story short, what I realised was that systems change and self-organise themselves by going into momentary crises – a shock to the system where it loses balance, integrity and identity for a brief moment. The result is that it changes and restructures itself into a system that is better adapted to its environment. Continuous change and evolution happens through big or small crises and ‘revolutions'.

An obvious analogy to the above is with the human life crisis. When we go through a crisis, we are not experiencing a fault which needs to be fixed but rather living through an opportunity to ‘restructure' ourselves and come out as stronger individuals more adapted to life's currents and problems. Here are some of the great opportunities offered by life crises: 

Break the Illusions:

A crises very often shatters the ‘reality' of the individual. It can be so disruptive that the whole reality seems to come crumbling down. In many ways this can be a really positive thing. In our lifetime we build all sorts of beliefs, attachments and ideas which are illusory at best. Some of them grow stronger as they get reinforced by decisions we take and experiences we make. These fabricated realities or illusions can be so deeply ingrained that it can only take a ‘system shock' or crisis to pierce through them. In fact crisis makes the person feel bare and naked. Stripped away from his constructed illusions he comes to realise how deeply attached he or she was to something inauthentic and unreal.

Discover New Signs & Meanings:

When someone goes through a crisis it changes their perspective on life. Those things and beliefs that were once held sacrosanct are questioned. With this fundamental change in values and perspective, we are given the opportunity to discover new meanings and signs around us that symbolize these new meanings. We change our language of life which can make us fluent and conversant to experiences we never brought to our attention before.

Propel Change:

Of course change is the obvious positive overtone of a crisis as pointed out in the idea of system shocks. A crisis can rock us hard to the core. But although its passage can be dark and painful it can resurrect us to new beginnings — the most positive and transformative change. 

Opportunity to Overcome Fears:

In our darkest hour we face our biggest demons which ultimately translate to our deepest fears. Fears can persecute us throughout our whole life but without critical life passages such as crises, we would have no opportunities to come face to face with them – and this is where the biggest chance of overcoming fears lies.

Reboot your System:

By breaking illusions and overcoming fears you are going through a complete system reboot. Crisis in fact can be a very thorough cleansing process. Of course it feels nothing like that when you are going through it, but once the storm passes by you are left with new eyes and most of all a stinger heart. Sometimes a crisis can be considered a second death — or a death of the ego — and with death comes rebirth.

Peeling Off Old Skin:

Crises are not always totally disruptive. There can be minor life crisis which are not strong enough to reboot your system and build you up from scratch but tough enough to be able to peel off layers of old skin. It toughens you up, make you more supple and better adapted to many of those things that were grinding you down. You experience an opening, emotionally and sometimes spiritually, that syncs you with a deeper part of your being.

Come out Stronger:

Crises can most of all be testing. In those moments were one feels completely lost and hurt, there is opportunity to be tested. Remember that crises can also be seen as initiation of life — a test or challenge that can take you to a new level of being. It ultimately makes you stronger not because it would have ‘hardened your skin' as some suppose but oppositely because it makes you more supple and open to life's storms. 

Getting in Touch with your Authentic Self:

The point about openness in fact points to another hidden benefit. I mentioned how crisis can break our illusions in the first point. Illusions can be both about our external life but also about the internal one. We can have many illusions about ourselves such as inauthentic self-images or identities. Breaking those illusions and being more open will lead us to a closer and truer aspect of ourselves.

Opening up to Love:

Even the toughest of characters can be softened up in the middle of a life crisis. We realise how frail and sensitive we are. We understand the importance of other people's care and love but more importantly we realise how important it is to give it out. A crisis can be a really big opportunity to come to terms with our past and ourselves. It shakes us to the core and often we fully comprehend how we were ‘stiff' and closing off ourselves to love behind the mask of our careers, our social personas or our self-images.

An excellent Opportunity to Trust:

The real challenge of a crisis is letting go and trusting. It is counterintuitive to let go and trust in the moment when we feel most battered or betrayed by life — hence the challenge. Yet, it is the greatest and most rewarding benefit of any crisis. The harder we resist, the more difficult the passage will be. It is a little bit like when you are floating at sea and waves come at you. If you struggle hard, your muscles stiffen, you lose a lot of energy and breath and you might eventually risk going under. By letting go and relaxing it is easier to stay afloat.


Gilbert Ross

Gilbert has been writing about personal growth topics for a number of years on his blog SoulHiker and on various other media.

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Thank you for this informative article
Gilbert Ross
It’s a blessing.
Good wishes and prayers

Jackie Wilushewski

Such a deeply insightful article, I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to red this article, thank you! I really felt a tingle when I read about how “crisis in fact can be a very thorough cleansing process”. SO interesting how this process of crisis, growth and trust reciprocate <3

* sharing *

Robina fazal

Thanks!for a nice inspiring article..💖👑💐Happy Spring.. no one come into this world with out a laugģe…we have to bear our hardships.. we have to face our pains..we have to be patient enough for wht we desire….and goals…Life is always a toughest bird to handle…we can’t make it so relaxed and soothing…we have to make choices.. we have to face challenges.. we have to compromise at some points..we have to sacrifice at times…to get our own identity ..our own self power…we have to make life bit easy with cold..calm…heart…We have to learn some skills to go along the Journey is not supposed to be so daring easy and relaxed.. we have make it fruitful…with our intellectual powers…with eagerness.. and patience.. any thing is possible…main thing to be strong enough.. not quit… Be happy.. care and peace among all….you will be successful…one day.. don’t be feared in God Almighty.. Be positive and productive..your ways will be made by God..The main thing take life as a lesson.. as a priviladge as a source of inspiration…to do good for others…one who think good for all….They are just loving their own Souls to grow…and they…make others hearts pump in normal ways…to live a happy healthy life….Amen


wow thank you so much for sharing i found this very useful and inspiring to i have reaped on alot of things here and very wise advice i needed to hear this for my own peace of mind many blessing


I have been threw a lot lost family I’m in pain 24 7 my children are grown with children and are now becoming grandparents I need to go home I’m tired but god makes me stay here 🙁 I wait daily for my end I have no purpose here anymore so why am I here?


Jo, I’m so sorry to read about your current life experiences. You deserve to feel better! Pain can make all of us weary and feel weak. God has a purpose for your life. Always. Can you get to a doctor to help you manage that pain? Maybe a friend or one of your children can help you make and get to that appointment? Also, is there a church or spiritual friend that you might reach out to for
discussion about what you’re going thru these days? God doesn’t want us to be in pain and to struggle. I believe that He wired us to need Him and to need others to help each other. Please make a phone call today to someone that may be able to help you. No crisis should be walked thru alone. You’re a worthy and precious person. I promise to pray for you and if you care to reach out to me, please message me on fb. You WILL get better. This too, shall pass. Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle. Many ARE available to help you these days and I’m sure you’ll be there for others as well, as you get your strength. Please take a step today and call someone for help. God bless you, Jo.


Not everyone knows how to deal with life crisis or the opprtunites that could come through it , this article is very helpful


Thank you, I am in my 5th week after a huge shakeup in my relationship. The first few weeks were very difficult emotionally particularly as I initiated the breakup as I felt that I had lost myself and there was to much anger in the relationship. It changed me so much, I chose to no longer be that person and knew I needed to at least be removed from the relationship for us to both reflect on our behaviours and ask ourselves what it truly was we needed and wanted for the future. I am in a much better place now, i don’t feel so negative and actually feel very optimistic about the future and generally a lot more at peace. I still love my partner and want him to work on his recovery as I want him to feel as good as me. At this time I am unsure if it will happen, he has a lot of childhood trauma that needs to be “unpacked”, but I’m unsure if he wants to deal with it. I will however continue to support him however I can. This article is really just confirmation for me. Thanks Again

Julia Kinandu

Wish you all the best. I think you can only be able to work on your self.

Angeliki Anastasia

Well, first of All I want to say what a great honor it is for me to be communicating with a Great Philosopher!!! How can Anyone disagree with you Sir, since you speak words of wisdom!!! Phrases like you aforementioned!!! “Thorough cleansing process! Come out stronger!!!” One will never feel Great happiness, if one does not feel Great Pain!!! The lower the level of pain, the higher the level of happiness!!! If you are strong enough like you very well said, to overcome your great pain, than you can climb mountains!!! Another plus to this situation is that your invisible shield becomes stronger and you have a better insight of recognizing your enemies!!! Ancient Philosophers have said that it is Amazing when people have enemies because they give them free publicity!!! I mean people pay soooo much money for publicity!!! Some people even create their own scandals for publicity!!! A best friend might forget you, a Great Enemy Never!!! So you see Sir you will Always have great publicity without even paying a penny!!! Thank you very much for your Great Advice🏆🏆🏆🏆🥇🥇🥇🥇🙏🙏🙏

Rhonda Martin

Thank you, This message was VERY Inspiring!!!
I Really NEED Encouragement right NOW.

Beatrice Hernandez

Excellent and very much needed in today’s world.
It seems like our world is in constant crisis mode.
It is not easy for an entire nation. To pull themselves
together quickly.
They do adapt and grow stronger together.
It is the fight or flight we all have within us.
Thank you for sharing your very well thought out lessons on what we all know is true…
Then again we eventually will learn…

Laurie Lankins Farley

People can learn so much by these words. And, I agree 100%.