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How to Ease Your Fears About Growing Up

Something I’m figuring out about growing up is that it can be tremendously draining. I’m entering one of the biggest phases of my life – one that requires responsibility, accountability, and independence. Although that can bring on an abundance of excitement and joy, it simultaneously brings on vast anxiety and fear. I see my decisions now as especially important as it seems there is always a wrong and right answer, and the fear lies within choosing the wrong answer. 

[bf_image id="cbwq5hj59rwvc9sx6ztbtj"] All of these feelings can be overly stressful and at times cause me to shut down. I find myself afraid to make the wrong decision and become paralyzed, unable to move in either direction. The reality of the matter is that it’s okay to not be able to move when you feel fear and anxiety, but you can’t sit still forever (even if it is overwhelming). I’ve always struggled with not letting fear overpower me. It’s a lot easier said than done, but you can’t let fear consume you; you just have to take time to plan your steps before you take them.  I’ve found that writing down what is important to me has helped me make a lot of decisions in my life, whether it be in my career, relationships, or personal pursuits. For the longest time, I’ve always looked at the smaller picture, one step at a time, and eventually, I would find myself at the right destination. That worked for decisions that had fewer options and required less planning, but now it’s time to start viewing the bigger picture.  I wrote down everything I viewed as what a successful life and person would be at different stages of my life. This consists of what I value and what I would like to experience in life – anything from running a marathon, to obtaining a work-life balance, to having a child. But the important thing is to get really specific about what you want to accomplish and when. It’s a lot easier to make a plan of what to do next when you know what your long-term goals are. If you only look at the smaller picture, you’ll never be able to strategically direct your energy toward a goal… because it doesn’t exist (or is blurry and broad).

[bf_image id="9tnvrgp8ck7gg97bjvvg8pnc"] The main lesson I’ve learned these past few months is that growing up is hard, but it’s important that you step up to the plate. You can give yourself generosity and be gracious with yourself (especially in the middle of a pandemic), but don’t let that hold you back if you’re ready. If you set a clear and concise goal (it’s okay if it changes), things seem a lot less scary and the first step seems more manageable.   

Abby is a fourth year at the University of California, Davis majoring in Human Development and Psychology. She enjoys music, spending time with friends, the outdoors, and writing.
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