When a child first comes into the world, they rely on their guardian to attend to their every need. As the child grows, they become more independent – learning to walk, talk, and make decisions for themselves. Eventually, the child becomes an adult and is thrust into the world to find their own way.
We never stop “growing up,” even far into adulthood. Change and growth are necessary parts of our existence, but transitioning between one phase of life to the next can be challenging and stressful. This can weigh heavily on people of all ages, consciously or unconsciously, making it difficult to know how to move forward.
Here are 4 tips about growing up that are useful for anyone of any age:
1. Accept yourself for who you are, but never stop growing and changing.
In order for us to be happy in all things, we need to be constantly transforming ourselves. It can be hard for people, especially younger people, to accept that the purpose of life is to be always changing when they are still trying to understand and accept themselves. But there is a big difference between accepting yourself for who you are (the good and the less good) and recognizing how much room you have for growth.
Change is about identifying and pursuing your potential. It does not take away from how special and important you are right now. The strongest indication that you are growing is that you actually start to see more and more areas that you need to work on. That is not a bad thing! In fact, it can be inspiring and exciting because it shows there are no limits to what you can achieve.
Measure your personal growth by how much change you realize you still need to do, but be patient. It isn’t a race. There is no finish line. It is a process that continues no matter how old you get. And don’t forget to have some fun in the never-ending journey of self-discovery!
2. Focus on who you want to become instead of what you want to accomplish.
The typical markers of adulthood are tied to very specific goals: finishing education, leaving home, finding work, getting married, and having children. These rigid benchmarks fail to account for the important internal development we must all go through, such as knowing ourselves, reframing past traumas, identifying core needs, or loving and accepting ourselves.
Instead of creating a “to-do” list, try creating a “to-be” list. Who do you need to become in order to achieve your goals? Start asking yourself questions like: what do I love most? What am I good at? How can I give back? Don’t settle on any answers but commit to asking these questions for the rest of your life. Accept that the process of finding and living your purpose is ever-evolving.
3. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you grow.
When our kids go through challenges, we feel their pain. We want them to make them as comfortable as they can and to give them everything they desire. But there is a danger in being too comfortable.
If our goal is to always be comfortable, we are never going to grow. Understand that comfort is not always the best thing. Pursuing just to be comfortable in all areas can often limit us from changing in ways that will bring fulfillment. Strive to step outside your comfort zone and expand your horizons.
4. Use spirituality as an anchor as you pursue your dreams.
One of the beautiful benefits of serious spiritual pursuit, study, and work is that it gives you a foundation to be successful in every area of your life, from business to relationships. Spirituality, in any form, makes it easier to pursue dreams and have the proper perspective on the ups and downs in life without fear of failure. It is fundamental to being happy in life.
When you make a conscious effort to connect with your soul, your innate goodness, and your desire to share, you connect to your life’s purpose, and the details of how your purpose will play out in this world will naturally reveal themselves to you.
Whether you are 5 or 95, there are always opportunities for you to grow and change. Although there are times when we all feel lost or uncertain about ourselves and our place in the world, if you focus your efforts on manifesting your potential, pushing yourself in ways that may feel uncomfortable, and using your spirituality to guide you, you will find your way to a happier, more fulfilling life.