Growing into yourself - what does it really mean?
Growing up means accepting the world and the reality of what it can be sometimes, whereas growing into yourself is your ability to navigate the world in your own way.
There is often a lot of fear associated with growing older, mostly by societal standards: that we have to look, think and act a certain way, or that we are no longer desirable because we’re older. However, growing older can bring us a lot of inner peace - the “small stuff” matters less and we become liberated because we are more familiar with ourselves.
Let’s talk about ageing…
“I’m in my late 20s, and whenever someone asks about my age, I spiral into anxious thoughts about how I’ll soon turn 30. Time passes too quickly! As a kid, I was eager to grow up, imagining a life full of freedom and independence. Yet today, here I am, imagining myself as a wrinkled, old woman burdened with responsibilities, aches and pains.
And I’m not the only one.
Many people feel a general sense of disappointment regarding their exit from youth and gradual ageing. They associate ageing with fading beauty and a general loss of worth. Many fear that growing older means an inevitable decline in health and lucidity.” - ScienceABC
But, it shouldn’t all be seen as doom and gloom. Many of us dream of being older as children - we have the freedom to earn our own money, move out of living at home, go on holidays and ultimately be our own individuals.
But the negative connotations of ageing leave a lot of us wishing we were still teenagers again. It’s incredibly common and the only way you can truly enjoy growing into yourself is through acceptance as well as gratitude.
Your mind matures
Did you know that your brain only starts to finish developing in your mid to late 20s? For the majority of people, our brains are fully formed by the age of 25 - meaning that up to that point, it’s completely normal to feel like you haven’t completely “found” yourself yet. Even after that point - in your 30s and beyond, your brain is constantly changing. Your views and morals may change and grow, and even how you communicate and handle situations can change tenfold.
Let’s say for example dealing with conflict - it may have been something you struggled with in your teenage years and even in your early 20s, but, you experience a “lightbulb” moment in your late 20s which enables you to handle conflict in ways that you never thought possible. News flash - it’s probably because your mind has fully matured and the way that you process, store, and look at information (especially from an emotional perspective) has changed.
You realise that change is a good thing
As humans, we are creatures of habit. We love routine, we love consistency and a lot of us hate change. But, growing into yourself is accepting change and understanding that even when it can feel overwhelming, change is the gateway to something different - and the majority of the time that can be a good thing. As you grow older you become more open to change and the ebbs and flows that life can bring you, and that in itself is a positive.
Gratitude vs wanting more
When we are younger, it’s normal to yearn and want more. We want to look our best, feel our best, and do absolutely everything. But, the beauty of growing into yourself is that you understand (and tend to practice more) the notion of gratitude. Being content with what you have and where you are in life is a great state of mind to be in, and being older affords you this luxury of gratitude.
Taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally
A big part of growing into yourself is knowing yourself physically and mentally and what works for you. Whether it’s assessing your drinking habits or checking yourself into therapy - there are so many things that you can do to enrich your mind and your body and ultimately live a healthier, more fulfilling life. As you get older you develop a sense of self-awareness and can tap in and be in tune with yourself, which can give you a lot of inner peace.