When I was younger, I thought adults had everything thought out. That they were grown-ups in every sense of the word.
And, while that might have been somewhat true 40 or 50 years ago, I think ever since the 90s, most adults haven’t had it all together. Too many wander around aimlessly and don’t reach their full potential.
Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it all together and genuinely be a grown-up.
So, time to kick some bad and harmful habits and level up? Yes, damn sure. But where should you start if you want to grow and be mature in life?
1) Procrastinating instead of taking action
Procrastination often feels like a cozy blanket, but it’s time to step out of that comfort zone.
Perhaps the worst thing when you face a big task is how immense and unmanageable it looks and feels. Without looking too much into it, you think that it’s simply too damn hard, and that’s why you keep postponing it.
To deal with that, I break my tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. This way, by taking small steps consistently, I create significant momentum.
For instance, your car insurance is ripping you off. So you’re thinking of changing it. But because it’s so daunting and boring, you never get around to it.
You just keep paying your current insurer a small fortune even though there are more affordable options out there.
But why not break it into three simple tasks? On the first day, just google for 10 minutes about brokers and about which insurance might be more affordable.
The following day, enter your details on an insurance broker’s website and see what comes up without the pressure that you’ll sign up for any that day.
And finally, on the third day, go through with the quote and talk to a broker about switching to the cheaper insurance you’ve found, or even better still, do it completely online. Voila!
You can do this with basically everything.
2) Overthinking stuff and getting stuck in your head
Procrastination often comes from thinking too much about things. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely think things through, but you should also take action in a reasonable amount of time.
Don’t postpone things and get paralysis by analysis. At some point, learning too much about something gets to a point where it isn’t beneficial to you anymore. Well, except if you’re a doctor or something, of course.
Think of overthinking like it’s quicksand for the mind. Practice mindfulness and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Not every thought needs an in-depth analysis – sometimes, simplicity is the key to clarity.
3) Making excuses instead of owning up to things
Mature people know that the best course of action when they mess up is to admit it, apologize if needed, and fix it.
Excuses offer temporary relief, but owning up to mistakes is liberating. Accept responsibility, learn from the experience, and use it for personal development.
You can make excuses all day long for who you are, where you are at this point in life, and why you haven’t reached your full potential. But guess what? That ain’t helping your case.
If you don’t have a windfall from your parents, you will have to pull yourself by your bootstraps no matter how cringe it sounds and who is saying it on TV.
If you aren’t willing to work hard, wake up early, and go to bed late for the things (and people) that matter to you, who will?
4) Hanging onto negative vibes instead of letting them go
I find that it’s far too easy to fall into a trap and end up in an endless cycle of negative thoughts.
That’s why I started paying attention to the times of day these thoughts start creeping up. For me, it’s as soon as I wake up. I start thinking how I’m an imposter and how, as a freelancer, I don’t have job security.
It’s something most creative people battle with. And that’s comforting. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who has these issues.
But because I’m aware of how harmful these thoughts are to me, I immediately get up and don’t let them set the mood for the day.
Negative vibes are like a storm passing through. Acknowledge them, feel them, and then let them go. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and watch how it transforms your outlook.
I simply start thinking about the thousands of people who enjoy reading my articles each day, how I have a lot of flexibility with working hours, and how much I enjoy doing this.
Also, beware of toxic people surrounding you (friends, family, coworkers, but also politicians, influencers…). Their toxic and negative vibes can be contagious.
Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Genuine connections can be a powerful force in your journey toward growing up and maturing.
5) Constantly comparing yourself
Comparison is a thief of joy. There’s always going to be people who are more successful, wealthier, and more beautiful than you.
If you browse through social media with envy and bitterness, you’re using it wrong. I’ve trained my algorithms to show me things that satisfy my curiosity about the world, things and people who inspire me and motivate me to do better, music I like, and to show me photos and videos of cute animals.
That’s about it. No drama, no flaunting wealth, no negativity (well, except world news, of course).
Stop comparing yourself to others. We all have different traits, abilities, backgrounds, etc. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
Plus, you don’t know how much blood, sweat, and tears someone invested to be where they are now.
6) Skipping learning opportunities
A thing that most people don’t understand is that life is a constant classroom. You need to approach every experience with curiosity and a willingness to learn because growth often comes from unexpected sources and situations.
Too many people stop learning as soon as they step out of high school or college. They get a (crappy) job and think that’s their life now.
No ambition, no drive. I’m not saying that’s inherently bad. In fact, I’d love it if my mind let me just sit and relax on a patio without doing anything.
But that’s not who I am, and neither should it be you if you continuously want to grow and be mature.
Adulting doesn’t only mean doing housework or sitting on the couch watching TV (although that’s a big part of it).
It means leaving a relatively lasting legacy and interacting with others. Ask yourself, if you dropped dead tomorrow, is this the legacy you want to leave behind?
7) Prioritizing others over you
Growing up means taking care of those around you. First, you have kids, pets, and a partner, and later, it could be your elderly parents, too.
Taking care of others can quickly lead you down a black hole where you only look after their needs and not enough after your own needs and wants.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Prioritize self-care without guilt. Taking care of yourself enables you to be more present and supportive of those you care about.
Many people are either too selfish or not selfish enough.
Waving goodbye to these habits is like decluttering your life for a fresh start. Each bad habit, when kicked to the curb, opens up space for positivity, growth, and a more fulfilling journey.
Here’s to the adventure of self-discovery and the exciting chapters that await on the road to becoming the best version of yourself. Cheers to growth, positive vibes, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead!
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