Jan Scholten

0.3.3 Stage 3

Investigating Discovering Scanning
This is the stage of investigation. These people start to look beyond themselves and begin to investigate other possibilities and ways of doing things. They want to find their own potential and how they can develop this. They are like the scouts in the army: they go out to investigate, they scan the area to get an idea of the general situation, but they don’t intend to engage in any fighting.

Discerning Comparing
They like to compare the different possibilities to see what suits them best. They learn to discern between different factors in order to make the right choice. ‘Look at all things and keep the best’.

They are at the stage where they try all sorts of things. They want to get a taste of everything to see if they can use it. This is all very tentative, like sticking a toe in the water to test the temperature.

They underestimate their own potential, they don’t have real faith in their abilities yet. This causes them to hesitate a lot. One day they think this is best, and they next they think that is better. They’re always changing their mind. This seemingly impulsive behaviour stems from an inner urge that they have to do something.

Doubt Hesitation
Because they feel so weak and inexperienced they soon succumb to doubt. They would like to try something but they don’t dare. They never have the courage to start something real, they can’t make up their mind what to do. They have to do something to prove themselves, but they don’t know what and how. They don’t feel safe enough to make a real choice.

Changeable Unstable
When they finally do try something they are so nervous that it often goes wrong. So they will look for something else, another project, another path. They go from one thing to the next without ever sticking to one thing and persevering with it. Their own changeability can make them feel very confused, they get caught up in their own doubts and won’t know what to do anymore.

As soon as something goes wrong they retreat into their shell. The slightest opposition or misfortune can bring them into a state of uncertainty and confusion. And then they will give up, feeling it is better to give up straight away because they won’t succeed anyway. They often feel they are being attacked and they don’t have the courage to stick up for themselves. They are easily intimidated and discouraged.
Unofficial Uncommitted
If they get stuck in this stage they will never commit themselves to anything. They cannot make a real commitment because deep down they feel that they might not be able to do it, so they have to keep their options open and allow for an escape route. Nothing official, no ties.

The prefix un- or under is often seen in this stage. They are under age, unofficial, under the mark, too small to participate in the real thing.

We also see the number three as a significant number in this stage. The electric charge of the ions in this stage is three. The act of comparison is only possible when there are three people present, i.e. the observer and two others. ‘The eternal triangle’ is also a theme in this stage. We also see the root in words such as try, trial and trifle.

DD Stage 2: is more passive, as they feel they are being looked at but they won’t undertake anything to avoid the criticism. In stage 3 there is some action: the action is one of investigation, of trying out different possibilities. It is like the difference between the oyster and the lobster. The oyster remains in his shell, whilst the lobster investigates his environment, only to retreat inside his shell again at the slightest hint of danger.
DD: Stage 5 also has many doubts, but their main concern is whether they will carry on with their project or not. However, they have already chosen their particular project. People in stage 3 don’t even know what they want yet. It is the difference between alternating and changing.