Young adulthood marks a transformative phase filled with opportunities and challenges. Thriving during this period involves cultivating essential pillars contributing to a fulfilling life. This blog will discuss four fundamental pillars that lay the groundwork for young adults to flourish. If you are a young adult or know someone struggling, these pillars can be integral in moving from being stuck to thriving.
Pillar One of a thriving young adult is Autonomy: Differentiation of Self.
Autonomy embodies the ability to develop a distinct identity while staying connected to others. It involves understanding oneself, owning one’s beliefs, and making decisions aligned with personal values. Differentiation of self is the cornerstone of autonomy, allowing individuals to navigate life’s complexities while maintaining healthy relationships.
Some critical aspects of autonomy are increased self-awareness, assertiveness, and healthy boundaries. Increased self-awareness involves understanding personal values, beliefs, and emotions. Assertiveness allows one to express opinions and make choices confidently. Lastly, an autonomous individual knows how to create good, healthy boundaries in their relationships.
Some ways to improve autonomy are producing a value worksheet, understanding one’s emotions, and working with a professional on assertiveness and boundaries.
Pillar Two of a thriving young adult is Relatedness: Developing Intimate, Healthy Relationships.
The quality of relationships significantly impacts one’s well-being. Relatedness involves fostering connections that are genuine, supportive, and enriching. Cultivating intimate, healthy relationships provides a sense of belonging and support through life’s ups and downs.
Communication, empathy, trust, and respect are the building blocks of Relatedness. Open and honest communication fosters deeper connections. Do you discuss sports or social media during the day, or do your relationships allow for deeper discussions? Empathy is understanding and empathizing with others’ emotions and experiences. Are you consumed with your actions, or are you aware of the thoughts, feelings, and hurts of the people you come in contact with daily? Finally, trust and respect are foundational elements for nurturing strong relationships. Are your relationships trustworthy? Is there mutual respect in your relationships? Sound therapy involves the client learning to listen actively to others, practicing empathy, strengthening relationships, and building deeper connections.
Pillar Three of a thriving young adult is Competence: Establishing Self in Work and Financial Independence.
Competence encompasses both professional development and financial independence. It involves striving for personal growth in one’s career while managing finances responsibly. Establishing competence empowers young adults to pursue their goals and contribute positively to society. At times, older adults will interfere with the financial issues in young adults’ lives by helping out financially or giving too much help in other ways. As a young adult, it is crucial to develop your financial competency. This can be accomplished through career development, financial literacy, and goal setting. Career Development needs continuous learning and growth in chosen fields. Use the time that could be wasted on the computer or phone to learn about careers of interest. Networking can help tremendously. Financial Literacy involves budgeting, saving, and investing for a secure future. Making a financial plan for your life now and paying attention to it monthly is invaluable in understanding ways to thrive as a young adult. Finally, establishing short-term and long-term personal and professional growth goals is imperative. Learn to write down your goals or processes and remind yourself of them often.
The Fourth and final pillar of a thriving young adult is Grit: Finding Passion, Persistence, and Resilience.
Grit is the unwavering determination to pursue and master long-term goals. It involves discovering your passion, persistence, and resilience. For passion, identify your interests and activities that ignite genuine enthusiasm. Do something you love. Persistence means maintaining focus and effort towards long-term objectives. Pick something and do it daily, even when it is no longer fun. Learn Spanish, play the guitar… anything that will ignite your persistence. Thirdly, resilience involves bouncing back from failures or challenges with renewed determination. If you fail, that needs to trigger something inside of you that you are one step closer to finding the correct answer. One way to help your grit is by breaking down long-term goals into manageable steps and celebrating small victories.
Embracing these four pillars—Autonomy, Relatedness, Competence, and Grit—forms a robust foundation for young adults to thrive. By nurturing these aspects, individuals can navigate the complexities of life, build fulfilling relationships, excel in their careers, and persevere in pursuing their passions, ultimately fostering a sense of fulfillment and success in their journey to adulthood.