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How to Grow Up: Escape the Peter Pan Syndrome and Grow Fearlessly

how to grow up

The responsibility of being on your own is overwhelming. Learning how to grow up is less about your age and more about your mindset.

Have you ever heard of the Peter Pan syndrome? It is becoming more and more common in the Millennial generation. Here’s a little secret—no one wants to grow up. We all hit a crossroad in life where we have to take the plunge and leave our youth behind. If you wonder how to grow up, it is all about believing in yourself.

Stop being afraid to fail! Find the confidence to know you can stand on your own two feet.

If you are tired of sleeping in your parent’s basement and don’t know what you want to do, nothing is going to change if you don’t change it. No one knocks on your door begging you to come work for them, give you a company car, and hand you the corner office. Those are all things that take time, experience, and a lot of hard work.

How to grow up with confidence – The 7 keys that make all the difference

It seems easier to sit back and take a spectator’s role in life. You can’t possibly do that forever. At some point, whether you like it or not, you must behave like a grown up and care for yourself. Choosing sooner than later saves you a lot of time and gets you where you want to be much quicker.

The reality is that you start at the bottom, we all do. But, the good news is when you are at the bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. So, with just a little effort and perseverance, you see your life change before your eyes.

#1 Have a plan. Working for minimum wage isn’t a plan, it is a cop-out. It isn’t that you won’t start with the lowest position possible. That not only builds character, but it also builds experience. But, choose a position or career that you want to excel at and that you can grow with.

Stop hopping from one dead-end job to another thinking the next dead-end sign isn’t there. There is no shame in taking the bottom rung of any job ladder. There is shame in not working toward anything at all. [Read: The checklist you need to successfully move out of your parent’s house]

#2 Find out what makes you happy and build a future around it. The biggest mistake I see in the Millennial generation is they make their decisions for their future based on nothing but money. Taking a high-end career path might bring you a lot of money, but if it makes you miserable, what you find is that money truly can’t find happiness.

If you want to grow up, then find something you like to do and build a career and life around it. Be creative, but focused, and take your talent and make it something lucrative that you can really grow, and grow up, with. [Read: 12 steps to help you change your life and find your happiness]

#3 Take responsibility. Learning how to grow up maturely means taking responsibility for our actions. That means not always blaming someone else that you lost your job or that you didn’t get the apartment you wanted.

Figure out why you didn’t get what you want and where you went wrong. If you want to play the blame game, it makes you feel good for a while. But, in the end, it keeps you stuck and keeps you from growing up and accepting responsibility for your future.

No one is responsible for your needs now but you. If you don’t make it, then it is all on you and no one else. Until you realize that, you aren’t going to be anywhere but stuck in NeverLand and wondering how to grow up.

#4 Work hard. If you want to grow up, then you must realize that nothing comes for free. If you are tired of not having enough money, stop bitching about it, get a second job, and start investing.

Only immature people think they get something from nothing. Not many successful grown-ups get there by never rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. If you put in the time and energy now, then you reap the benefits later in life.

But, it is time to grow up and start to work your ass off to get somewhere besides the garden apartment. [Read: 10 songs to help you work hard for your success]

#5 Stop going with your back-up plan. If you constantly turn to mom and dad to bail you out of jams, you aren’t ever going to get a shot of reality. When our generation graduated, guess what? We either went to college, or we were on our own.

There was no such thing as moving back in with mom and dad. It was a shameful thing and the last resort. Learning how to grow up means pretending that it is a make it or break it on your own merits situation.

No one is going to save you, but you. So, stop turning to plan B and figure your own way out.

#6 Realize that you don’t deserve anything. You know that old phrase “The world doesn’t revolve around you?” It wasn’t just a saying. It was a way adults tried to tell you that you aren’t entitled to anything.

If you need something, no one owes you anything, not your parents, not your relatives, no one. Until you realize you aren’t the center of the universe and that no one has an obligation to care about you, but you, you won’t ever grow up. [Read: 15 reasons you can’t figure out the next steps in life]

#7 Life really is not fair. Just because you didn’t get into the college of your dreams or you got passed over for the promotion you thought you were entitled to, there isn’t anything you can do about it but start over and try harder.

The reality is that life isn’t fair and sometimes we don’t get what we want. We get what we need. Instead of always pouting because you can’t have what you want, count your blessings and be happy for what you do have. Work harder to get more of what you want.

Understanding how to grow up is not an easy thing to do. If you thought puberty was difficult, then welcome to the real world. Even if society grabs you kicking and screaming, you need to grow up at some point. You aren’t going to feel very good about living in your parent’s basement in your thirties, and you know what, it is right around the corner.

[Read: The 12 steps you need to grow up and be happy in life]

No one WANTS to grow up, but everyone has to. It is just the way it is. The more that you accept it and try to find the positive aspects of learning how to grow up, the less fear you will feel.

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Julie Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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