Being a young adult is both exciting and confusing. On the one hand, you have so many options on where your life can go. You’re only now starting to figuring out who you are. But, some of you may be wondering where is the young adult manual on how to thrive? And, when do I become confident in who I am? Trust me we all get there.
I think we hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations that we should have it together. We expect ourselves to be fine since we hear our parents did. Here’s the thing. Once you get into your twenties and thirties, that is when you begin to realize, nobody knows what is going on. We are all figuring it out, one step at a time.
Many young people in their twenties are hit with rude awakenings, including when:
jobs pay is low.
qualifications are high.
new relationships begin.
When everything else under the sun hits us, this can take a huge toll. Our self-esteem and confidence may drop. So how do you navigate it when there seems to be no right answer?
Here Are Some Tips on Becoming A Confident Young Adult
Don’t hold you’re self to unrealistic expectations, we are learning and growing
Remember when you were younger and you thought “man when I am 23, I’ll be married and having kids, or I’ll be making six figures.” You may have even thought you’d have it all figured out. Right, that’s what twenty-year-olds do? But, now you’re a young adult and life is looking pretty uneventful. You had plans and the pandemic ruined them. You may live with your parents, and all the dreams you once aspired to feel like a distant memory. But, who says you had to have it all together? We are often fed a narrative that tells us “hey, you need to be successful by 25”, but who’s narrative is that. That isn’t mine and it doesn’t have to be yours.
If you’re struggling to be confident because of high expectations, it’s time to challenge that. Understand who created that story and work on creating a new one. What are you aspiring to? Is it stable income, to move out on your own, to get in a relationship? Break it down and work in baby steps. You don’t have to be a confident put together individual tomorrow. But today, you can write some first steps.
Stop looking at other people’s life and wondering why you don’t have it
Let’s face it, we see the most ridiculous things from people all over the world. “Twenty-Two years old, a self-proclaimed millionaire see how they did it”, or “get a side hustle and retire by your 30’s”. You may be looking around thinking “where is my significant other?” or “when will I have a family?” Or, you’re struggling with finding the perfect career path for yourself. This is challenging when everyone seems to have it together. This can lead us to hold expectations of ourselves that we should already have a plan and since we do not, we are behind. But, that is not true. That mindset is also very harmful to you.
Our twenties and thirties are opportunities for growth and learning. Even if we make silly mistakes, we are young and they won’t impact us as much as when we are older. That’s not to say go crazy. But, if we mess up in school or a job, we can still bounce back without a ton of repercussions. If you’re thinking “why don’t I have it together,” take those thoughts captive and throw them out. You’re learning and growing at the pace you’re meant to. Everyone else is on a different path than you and that’s OK!
Get comfortable with change
As you know this year has been kind of insane. Realistically we all had plans and that has changed for everyone. Many people are struggling to maintain their confidence and you’re not alone. Even people twice your age are struggling. So, before someone tells you to get it together remember, we are all going through it. This is a wonderful time for the overachiever or list-maker to be more flexible with life.
If your identity is tied to an idea that life looks a certain way, it may come crumbling down. If so, your confidence will be too. But, that doesn’t mean be twice as prepared. What it means is we have to find our identity within ourselves. Life circumstances are not guaranteed and we need to prepare for when life goes awry. You can manage your confidence by seeing yourself as a competent and worthy person first. Then even if plans fall through, it will be so much easier to not lose yourself in the process. You will recognize yourself as resilient first.
Practice positive self-talk, and challenge beliefs that hold you back
Hear me out before you close your ears. Toxic positivity is a no-go. But, what are you telling yourself about your confidence levels? Is it something that will impact you in a positive or negative way? Are you telling yourself you’re a failure, you’ll never get there, you are not allowed to take a break, and so on? Imagine telling that to your best friend or your sibling. That would be awful, so why do we say things like that to ourselves. You may think it’s harmless, but after listening to it enough it can become a belief of yours. Think about it. Some people listen to certain songs because they like the beat and don’t listen to the lyrics. But, without realizing it from time to time they’ll sing the lyrics. All even though they are not listening to the message. Interesting? It’s the same concept.
If you repeat harsh words to yourself, when it happens you’ll repeat those phrases back. As a result, your confidence will suffer. Be kind to yourself and stop those negative thoughts from taking over. Try reframing what you said rather than ignoring it. Instead of saying “I am a failure,” say “things didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but it’s ok.” Give yourself grace.
Get young adult therapy
This is an opportunity to grow and move forward. We are still growing and developing in our young adult years. In fact, we may have trauma, anxiety, and self-defeating thoughts that prevent us from living life to the fullest. Talking with a therapist has helped so many with deep-seated struggles find freedom. A young adult therapist can see you objectively and recognize your many strengths. If you are not seeing the issues, they can confront the blind spots. Plus, you have your hour to focus on yourself. What a great way to develop confidence and work on personal growth!
Begin Young Adult Therapy
Being a young adult is a unique time! This is the opportunity to make mistakes, figure out who you are, and grow. You’re more than your past, so don’t let that tear you down and keep you from living a fulfilling and confident life. The work you do now to overcome your self-esteem will help you in the long run. As seasons change our confidence may too. So, take some of these principles and live by them. By doing so, you’re telling yourself that no matter what season you’re in, you’re worthy and capable of confidence. Even when it’s hard.
If you find yourself challenged by the weight of young adulthood, get support. Our therapists are happy to walk alongside you. The first step is reaching out to someone who can give you tools and help you see life from another perspective.
Start Working with A Young Adult Therapist in Roswell, GA
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Other Services Offered at Wellview Counseling
Young adult therapy isn’t the only service we provide at our Atlanta, GA-based counseling practice. We also offer anxiety treatment, PTSD and trauma treatment, chronic illness counseling, and therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression. In addition, we also offer play therapy, child counseling, family therapy, individual counseling. Contact us to learn more about our social skills groups for kids, young adult support groups, and parent education classes. We understand it can be hard to make it in person, so we also offer services via online therapy in Georgia. Contact our Atlanta area mental health clinic to learn more today!