Becoming an adult with a healthy self-esteem and responsibility for your life

Becoming the adult true to your biological age, healing from your childhood traumas means feeling your sense of self and learning to act to that. But how tot do that, when you never made your own choices or took care of yourself? 

First when you acknowledged that you were born with unique qualities worthy of love and support it takes some time to identify those qualities to build your self-esteem. Self-worth is a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. Your self-esteem will be built by showing your ability and achievement in those areas that matter to you.

Remind yourself of what you achieved in life? What are you good at, what do others appreciate in you and what are you proud of? What are you passionate about? 

Be careful not to damage this process with your self-criticism that you likely learnt in your childhood. Self-criticism doesn’t serve you anymore and it is entirely useless. It actually never helped to achieve your goals. It is time co substitute it with self-compassion and positive affirmations. What would you say to a friend or to your family to confirm or comfort them? It is time to use that approach to you.

And here comes the challenge, learn to receive compliments even if they make you feel uncomfortable. These compliments will help you identify your qualities and make you feel appreciated. Resist your resistance and thank those that respect you with their compliments. It will improve your self-esteem after some practicing.

Failures or rejections belong to life, learning to cope with them and not allowing those situations to damage your self-esteem is important. Remind yourself of the qualities you identified earlier and know that there will be other people who will appreciate them. One opinion doesn’t define who you are, you know best what your value is.

Your newly gained self-esteem will help you when starting to make choices. You will not have to fear the consequences of your choices. Knowing what you are capable of, you know that even a negative consequence of your choice can be solved. Whatever the future holds, it will hurt you less than you imagine. 

Next to weighing your pros and cons learn to use your gut feeling. Don’t mix your instincts with your emotions like fear of anger. It is good to be conscious of them, however emotions affect our thinking and motivation, you better avoid making important decisions under their influence. 

When you already made the choice, accept it. You made the best choice true to your guts, your ratio and self-value. Just don’t let someone else choose, it is your learning process to make the choices, feel the consequences and take responsibility of it. The most important thing to learn about being an adult is that your actions have consequences. However you learn from your mistakes and will act differently the next time when you are faced with similar circumstances. This way you learn to take responsibility for your life in general and direct it the way you want it.

13 further lessons on how to become a responsible adult

  1. Learn about cause and effect
  2. Learn the importance of hard work
  3. Learn self-reliance
  4. Learn emotional self-regulation
  5. Learn to plan, organize, and prioritize.
  6. Learn to take responsibility for things
  7. Learn to delay gratification and consider opportunity costs.
  8. Learn to have courage in your convictions
  9. Learn to be open-minded
  10. Learn healthy conflict resolution.
  11. Learn to communicate effectively
  12.  Learn to consider the other person
  13. Learn the importance of learning.

Enikö Hajas

Born into a diplomat family in Hungary, I lived in Vietnam, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal. My lengthy experience of understanding different cultures makes it natural for me to work with any nationalities.

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