Trusting Your Decisions and Abilities in Your 20s

by Abby Cole

            Whether you are in your 20s or at any other point in your life, it is likely that you can remember a time you went through a period of transition. All of a sudden we found ourselves in disorienting unchartered territory. You changed careers, you graduated from college, or you got out of a long-term relationship. Initially, it is common to feel uncomfortable with the unknown. After all, we are creatures of habit whether we mean to be or not. Big habits or small habits, when they disappear it can be difficult.

            Often we feel defined by our activities, locations, jobs, friends, etc. I will be the first to attest to that. When someone asks, “Who are you?” I typically end up listing my job or my hometown rather than what about these things, feed into my identity. While this is just one angle of the larger picture, routinely reminding yourself what makes you you is an important task to take on from time to time. When you have a better grip of your own identity, you’ll feel well equipped to deal with times of change.

            When I was younger I had this idea that there would be a certain age where—poof! I knew everything about myself, what I wanted to do, and how to do it. I envisioned this mysteriously mature adult who would do things like cook dinner each night, navigate unique social interactions with ease, and regularly call my extended family to chat. (And the answer is yes, I am still holding out for this magical shift; so don’t ruin it for me). But all jokes aside, I believe I realized somewhere around the age of 21 that I was always going to be the same person, there was no “adult version” growing in like a second set of teeth. This was it. I began to forgive myself more easily, I laughed louder, and I cared less. Of course, this awareness is ever changing, and it is humbling to go through new difficult experiences that facilitate personal growth.

So far from what I can tell, adulthood could be summed up with the phrase: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It makes sense. When you think about your own decisions and abilities, yes, there might be doubts some of the time but so what? You know you’re capable, and I mean heck, you made it through grade school. You’re practically invincible after that! And trust me, your decision making skills have undoubtedly come a long way since the crimped hair, bowl cuts, or gigantic bell-bottom jeans.

Growing up, we spent a lot of time getting to know our peers. When you go through your 20’s, you spend a lot of time getting to know yourself. It’s a blessing really, and as you get to know yourself better and better, you trust yourself more and it feeds positively into your entire being. For what it’s worth, I have found that as I keep trying new things and putting myself out there, it gives me the opportunity to know myself even better which allows me to trust myself. 

Last winter at a work meeting, we were brainstorming what sessions would be best to offer women in their 20's at the upcoming Women's Retreat and this topic was at the top of my list.  I I must admit, I've really enjoyed writing this post.  It's been informative for my own life and I can't wait to see what's in store for us all this summer!