Everyone knows what maturity looks like on the outside. Anyone can look like they know what they’re doing.
Internal maturity, however, is something you must (actually) work on to attain. It requires getting to know yourself.
It’s a behavior that simply can’t be mimicked, like how we act in public or fashion trends.
I’ve become acutely aware that age has no bearing on this at all. I know some (very) mature 20somethings and some (very) juvenile 40somethings. This conundrum baffled me for quite some time. The conclusion I’ve finally come to over the past few months is this:
Self-Awareness is the No. 1 Qualification for (Real-Life) #Adulting.
Some of us are naturally tuned into our internal frequencies and others simply need a little more time to find the station.
It’s okay if you’re not one of those naturally tuned-in folks, you just haven’t found your station yet. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll be one click closer!
Here’s one (small) example of the many invaluable life lessons one can learn in #Adulting 101.
Once upon a time, yours truly had this horrendous little habit:
You know the ones. I am one, so I can be real - it’s annoying. Sure, your friends might laugh and joke that “you’ll show up when you feel like it.” But that’s only because no one wants to be the donkey that says it to your face and ruins the good vibes only GNO.
I learned this one more than a few years ago, and I’m still trying to fix it.
As with any (bad) habit, it’s not something you can correct overnight, nor should you expect to. You see, if you tell yourself, “I’ll never be late anywhere, ever again,” you are (definitely) setting yourself up for failure.
Because, you will be late. Probably today.
And then you’ll feel guilty. Get mad at yourself.
And after a few of these bloopers, you’ll begin to believe that “you’ll just always be this way.”
And that, my friend, is a self-defeating lie.
I didn’t want to be “that girl” anymore, so I set some small goals in an effort to rip that label off.
First Goal: I’ll be on time to church. That’s once a week. I can manage that. It’s not always a perfectly-timed Sunday, but I do my best and I’m now more on time than I am late, so that’s something.
Second Goal: I’ll be 10 min. early to work every day (instead of on-the-dot, causing me to spend the next panicky-30 minutes chugging coffee and checking emails before my boss walks in with his 1,001 “emergencies”). Again, not always perfect, but it’s getting better.
You see, Awareness isn’t necessarily fixing things about yourself, it’s the knowing that’s important. We've been taught our whole lives “Knowledge is Power.” It couldn’t be truer here. Think about all those revelatory “ah ha” moments you’ve had. Game changers, right?
My example is on the smallest of scales of (bad) habits.
However, this is the same method I’ve been using to fight the bigger ones: body image thoughts, my insatiable “need” for the Mr. Wrongs of the world, eating cake for breakfast, and the ever popular, “just one more.” 😉
I’ve been practicing this method for quite some time and I’ve overcome most of these bad habits and self-defeating thoughts. BIG and small.
I can’t stress enough that when it comes to cultivating self-awareness and becoming a Real-Life #Adult, it's best to start with small, achievable goals. In the long run, small Goals = BIG rewards.
There’s one teeny catch to all this. (Come onnn, you knew it was coming). Getting to know yourself requires reflection, and not always your own.
Have you ever asked a friend or family member his or her opinion about something you do or say, only to find yourself red-faced and fuming at their response?!
Has anyone ever said to you, “Why do you always do ____?!” (Jaw Lock. Every Time). I mean, I might have asked that question because I felt like I should or because on some intrinsic level I felt guilty about whatever thing it was, but I wasn’t asking you to really point out my blind spots. Duh, Elisabeth.
That’s the thing about blind spots though, they are only blind to You! When faced with criticism, our primary instinct is to: blame, defend, deny or justify.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with these initial reactions, they’re natural.
But, what if that person truly is being constructive? Is really trying to help you be the best version of you??
If you want to achieve internal maturity, you’ve got to start owning these emotions, not letting them own you!
Your power will come from acknowledging them, whether rational or not, and letting them go.
Fun Fact!!! It only takes 90 seconds to process an emotion.
Anything after that is fluff (aka unnecessary). So, when you start to feel any negativity or you’re bombarded with self-defeating thoughts, take a deep breath, start counting, and cut off the fluffy stuff!
If (When) you start practicing mindfulness or any other self-awareness trick, just remember to take it one day at a time.
Also (and most importantly), make sure the people you are giving permission to speak into your life (aka point out your blind spots) have earned the right to do so!
Everyone, and I mean everyone from the Deli guy to your Great Aunt Patti, has an opinion on how you should, who you should, what you should, why you should, where you should… UGH.
Of course, they mean well, but not everyone is a qualified expert on the subject matter of YOU.
Pick 5 folks, if you don’t know 5 folks, pick 2. Hell, just find a rock solid One, and make sure whomever they are, they have your best interest at heart.
Side note: Don’t stress too much over this “selection” process. It’s not hard to figure out who the real ones are. They’ll show you. How do I know?
Because, Actions Speak, my friends, Real LOUD. 😉
You’ve found your tribe, so what next? LISTEN. TO. THEM.
And, when these same people speak positive and encouraging words, BELIEVE THEM! Ironically, sometimes it’s harder for us to accept the positive reviews than it is the critical ones! It’s important to learn your weaknesses, but more important to know your strengths! Don’t cower down or brush off the compliment with that nervous (insecure) laughter we are all so good at! Believe it. Own it. Because it’s true!
Just a few lesson notes from one #Adulting student to another. Take ‘em or leave ‘em. And, if any of this struck a nerve or you still aren’t sure what the hell this is all about, keep clickin’ that dial my friend. You’ll find the channel sooner or later. 😊
Also, if you like this post and/or are interested in learning more about mindfulness, self-awareness, etc., click here: http://www.drjoedispenza.com/
Dr. Joe Dispenza is a researcher, corporate consultant, author, and world-famous educator and lecturer. He received a B.S. from Evergreen State College and his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University, where he graduated with honors. His postgraduate training covered neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, and aging and longevity.
As a researcher, Dr. Joe’s passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to explore the science behind spontaneous remissions. He uses that knowledge to help people heal themselves of illnesses, chronic conditions, and even terminal diseases so they can enjoy a more fulfilled and happy life, as well as evolve their consciousness.