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Nov 13, 2023

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Adulting 101


I’m always talking about how the things I love to teach most I consider ‘humaning 101’.


But I want to talk about the elephant in the room that comes along with that. 


And that is, ‘Adulting 101’.




Because in one week I had a total of 7 people say the same words to me. ‘I really thought I’d have my sh1t together by now’. 


These people, some of my favourites, beating themselves up because for some reason they believe that by a certain age we’re supposed to have everything clicked into place and know what we’re doing.


And in all honesty, nothing could be further from the truth.


I saw a quote that I loved recently and I'm sorry I can’t give credit to the original creator because I can’t find it but it was ‘I used to think adulthood was one crisis after another. I was wrong. Multiple crises. Concurrently. All at once. All the time. Forever.’


Yes it made me lol but I actually think this can spark a really important conversation. 


I’ve said it 1000 times that so much of ‘the work’ is simply learning how to deal with the inevitable stuff that life throws at you, and how reframing each of those things as growth opportunities can hugely help.


To live a happy and fulfilling life we MUST let go of the notion that that is what life is supposed to feel like all of the time.


It’s just not.


So much of the healing work is about breaking the patterns of historic triggers, recalibrating and rewiring neural pathways and your nervous system and constantly creating a new baseline of safety in your body and increasing your window of tolerance.


Literally increasing your capacity to cope with what life throws at you. 


Life IS going to throw things at you. 


You ARE going to be tested. 


I believe that learning to not see challenges as big, bad, scary things but things that we breathe through and grow through.


I’m so grateful for the work I do and the knowledge I have around how to do this because it genuinely is easier than most people think, which is why I'm always hammering home to go back to basics and prioritise the basics. 


I’m definitely not saying it’s always easy, especially at the beginning, but it is simple.


Learn to regulate your emotions and your nervous system and your life WILL get better, easier, happier, more calm.


That’s what I believe our priority is when we’re talking about ‘adulting’. It makes all the difference. 


Think about the level of responsibilities that grow as we get older. 


You might have kids, elderly parents, friends or family who are unwell or struggling, mortgages, our own health and wellbeing, job security…or lack thereof. The list really is endless.


And because life crises really don’t tend to follow a predictable or linear pattern it can sometimes feel like it’s one thing after another.


We also love to attach our age to this. Like I said, 7 different people uttered the words ‘I thought I’d have my sh1t together by now.’


That’s just a big fat lie. We think as kids that the adults in our lives have it all together. It’s interesting to consciously look back, or have the conversation with parents or grandparents and ask their perspective on where they were at your age. You might be very surprised at the answers you get.


This is one of the things I've actually loved as an adult. The dynamic can shift with your parents and you can have totally different conversations and ask the hard questions. 


If you feel like you can, I wholeheartedly recommend doing it, it can be incredibly cathartic.


So, from my perspective, ticking the boxes you think you ‘should’ have ticked as an adult really means nothing.


I thought I had ALL the boxes ticked, I’m turning 40 next year and life turned completely on its head.


I did not think I would be nearly 40, nearly divorced, living with my parents and all the other things that have happened over the last 12-18 months. 


It was not my plan.


I had everything I thought I ever wanted on paper. 


But you know what…I couldn’t be prouder of myself.


Even though there’s a long way to go still and some pretty horrendous next level adulting coming my way over the next few months, I can genuinely say that I am the happiest, calmest, most peaceful, confident, solid version of myself.


I did that.


No one else.


And I did it through my own bravery and gumption to do the big, hard, scary things I needed to do to get there.


To stare uncertainty in the face and say ok, I’ve got this. 


To put myself and my own wellbeing above anything else.


And I know there’s lots of you out there doing the same right now and might not be recognising that this is the adulting stuff that matters.


Removing yourself from situations that aren’t good for you and don’t make you feel loved and respected is a huge act of self care.


Making big decisions that might go against the grain or against what you had hoped for yourself and your life.


Staring fear in the face and doing it anyway.


Respecting yourself enough to say no, I deserve better, I’m worth more.


That’s huge.


Leaving the relationship, getting out of a toxic situation, changing careers, starting or quitting the business, leaving the situationship.


Yes it can feel like one thing after another. 


But the thing you think you should have done or be ‘at this age’ is not the right version of adulting to focus on.


That’s not the important stuff at all.


Do you like yourself?  Do you respect yourself?  Are you proud of yourself?


If the answer is no to any of those things, are you working towards it?


That’s just as brave!


I promise you no one has their sh1t together.


No one.


Doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you know. No one has it all figured out.


But knowing you’re going to be ok in the process is what matters.


Consciously living according to your values and belief systems is winning at life!


Making hard decisions and doing the right thing by yourself and other people is winning at life.


Knowing that you’re going to mess things up and get things wrong but you’re still a good person is winning at life.


Don’t focus on the material or societal things you think you should have by now.


Don’t focus on the notion that life should be rosy all the time. 


You’re probably doing way better than you think!