There’s no official age for being an adult. While you may be legally considered one at 18, adulthood is a lifelong journey. Many people struggle to feel like “grown ups” even after they move out and start their careers. There are plenty of milestones adults strive for that make them feel like they’ve really made it. Graduating college, getting married, buying a house and gaining financial security are just a few of the markers many people view as emblematic of adulthood.
But what really makes you an adult? You may be well into your 30s or 40s and still feel like a child sometimes. If you’re in your 20s, it’s natural to feel torn between the freedom and passion of your adolescence and the obligation and pressures of adulthood.
If you’re wondering how to feel more like an adult, here are three tips that will help you on the pathway toward maturity and independence.
Learn How to Manage Your Finances
Budgeting is important whether you make minimum wage or earn a CEO’s salary. When you learn how to manage your money, savings become a lot less scary. Many adults feel anxious about how they’ll ever afford a mortgage or other major investments.
Asking questions like, “So how much does home insurance cost?” can make anyone nervous, but when you follow a plan and stick to a budget, you can learn to live within your means without sacrificing your happiness or living essentials.
Don’t worry if you’ve spent frivolously in the past. Adulthood is all about learning from our experiences. Now that you’re ready to become more grown up, it’s time to hunker down, break out a notebook and start keeping track of your money.
Don’t consider leftover funds from each paycheck as spending cash right away; consider what you want in the future and begin putting money away accordingly. You can open a savings account that accrues interest, and stop relying on credit cards. Financial freedom starts with honesty and limitation. Learning how to budget like an adult is an exercise in both self-discipline and delayed gratification.
Connect and Communicate With Yourself
There’s a sense of loss and disillusionment that accompanies growing up, and it’s important to acknowledge that so you can move forward. Many of us often go through life seeking out positive emotions and trying to escape from negative ones. When we live our lives subjected to the wills and unpredictability of our feelings, we never mature or develop emotional intelligence.
Our emotional intelligence impacts our decision-making, self-confidence, relationships and influences how we perceive the world around us. In order to mature and progress as an adult, you must first get in touch with your inner-self. Learn how to cope with your feelings responsibly, and prioritize your mental health. Talk to a therapist if you need it, and understand that in life, we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.
Lose Your Ego
Finding out the world doesn’t revolve around you is a tough pill to swallow. Many of us are fed the idea that we’ll grow up and everything will just fall into place. We’ll go to school, find a job, fall in love and live happily ever after.
The reality is that life is often times unfair, and there are many instances we’ll give it our all only to fail. It’s not the end of the world, but when you’re operating from an egocentric mindset, every failure feels like a reflection of your character.
How do you let go of your ego? It takes a lot of patience, practice and self-love. Many of us rely on our egos as a shield from anxiety, fear and judgement. Self-love, on the other hand, is all about acceptance and honesty.
When we learn to operate from this standpoint with ourselves, we can communicate better with others, too, and realize that there’s a lot more to life than what we experience.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I have accepted that I will never find perfect balance at as a mom, and no matter how others perceive me as a working mom, both being a mom and a professional help me to progress as a woman.
2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I’m grateful for the resilience that my trials have instilled in me. As hard as my trials have been they have helped me empathize with others more and to become a better person.
3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Becoming a mother and feeling the love of my children has been the most rewarding experience of my life. That love coupled with a desire to maintain their love and respect is one of my biggest motivators in life.