I just saw an article named “Do I Know Enough to be a Grown-Up?” and I found this so interesting I wanted to elaborate. Having done my fair share of worrying over the years and helping countless people with all sorts of questions, decision making skills and life concerns, I know there are a few keys to ditching the stress and moving forward.
It’s very common to wonder if you’re doing it right or to be concerned about a new phase of life or uncertainties. If you make a decision, will you be trapped forever? Will it always be that way or can you course correct and adjust?
Change can bring up a lot of fear, doubt and questions about your own ability to make the “right” decision. One of the questions in the article was: “What if I don’t know enough to make this all happen—to be a ‘successful’ Grown-Up?”
A version of this question is present in almost everyone’s thoughts. We always seem to think at some unknown point in the future, we will know more and have enough information, but yet in the moment, we are lacking and missing some crucial keys to be able to choose our lives.
Those inner voices that we all hear calling NEED to be called out. Rather than give attention, listen to and further induce doubt, we all need to get curious. Get in there with a large flashlight, and shine some light on those thoughts. The more light we shine, the more the real fears are felt. It’s amazing when you feel, those fears just melt away. Yes, there will always be doubt, cause for concerns and questions. The ability for you to be a “functioning” adult living above the normal emotional response is directly related to your ability to process your emotions and the depth of which you are willing to feel your inner thoughts. How present are you willing to be?
The point of the mind is to think. We can’t always control what the mind will think. Doing so will only magnify your frustration and lack of control. It’s impossible to know every little detail and thought that pops in our head and sometimes they are in the opposite direction of our goal or completely self-sabotaging. What you CAN control is the direction of your focus and ultimately, the choice of which path you take: one of complaint and victim or one of commitment and contribution.
When the mind wanders, you can first just notice. Say wow, that was an interesting thought. Do I need to check in more or release something? If yes, you can look further with that flashlight. If no, just move back into the direction you want to go. A great stress reliever is to get used to just letting things be and reinforce the habit of changing your focus back to what serves.
When you allow your mind to process and wander freely, your control actually rises and there is a freedom to decide. If it’s not right, you adjust. It’s only once we are on the path that we can truly course correct. Without taking that first step, it’s always impossible to know where to move. Life is like a chess game. Without being on the board and seeing where the second person moves, how could you possibly know your second move? It makes sense there, yet this is how most people live their lives.
So, can you be a responsible grown up and make mistakes? Of course! What a silly thought, right? So ask yourself: are you making it okay to live your life without taking the leaps you could be making?
If so, what is holding you back? What really has been holding you back? Are you really held back or have you just been comfortable where you are?
Ultimately, it does come down to a choice. YOU CHOOSE. You can either choose worry, fear, anxiety, or positive anticipation, butterflies, excitement, and finding mentors with whom to step into the unknown.
The potential questions we could be asking will probably never end, but we can choose where we focus our attention. I can tell you, when you change your focus from “Do I know enough to be a grown up?” or “What’s the right decision?” to “I know everything I need to know in this moment to make a choice,” your choice will become easier to make. Any choice you make is just a choice, and at least it’s step 1, which is closer to step 2 than not choosing to jump on the board.
Here are the 5 steps to implementing a successful plan:
1. Intentions: Set an intention of what you want. Why do you want it? Who will you contribute to by getting there or reaching an outcome? What will be possible in your life?
2. Actions: What actions will get you there? Lay out a plan and start putting dates in your calendar.
3. Accountability: What will keep you on your plan? Who do you need to tell? What’s your plan for when you get off track? (Hint: we all get off track—it’s about how fast you get back on, not when you get off)
4. Course Correct: Adjust as needed to get to your outcome.
5. Celebrate: Celebrate along the way and at certain benchmarks along the way, depending how long-term each goal is.