woman in red scarf and black long sleeve shirt

The 17 Most Important Lessons I Learned In Adulthood

Adulthood is not a walk in the park. It’s so damn messy most of the time, but it comes with a lot of lessons and wisdom.

So these are some things I got to learn along this messy road. And let me tell you one thing—these were not learned the easy way at all.

1. Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you can do something in order for you to go after it. You need to have this belief from within you and not continually seek it from others.

2. Always have your own back. It’s okay to be your only fan at the beginning of what you’re doing. It’s okay to go after something even if you’re the only one cheering for yourself along the way, and it’s okay if nobody around you supports what you are doing at first. You can always be your own supporter.

3. Learn more about psychology. It will change the way you handle yourself and the way you deal with people and things beyond your expectations.

4. It’s not your responsibility to fix someone else. No matter how much you feel like it’s somehow your responsibility, this is something that’s not on you.

5. Know when to quit and don’t give a shit for being called a quitter. This is one of the best things you can master in this life, to know when to quit jobs, careers, relationships, lifestyles, and any other thing that doesn’t feel right to you and makes you miserable. Staying at something because you’re scared to be called a quitter is never enough of a reason to stay.

6. Spontaneity is an amazing thing, yet having a plan is not too shabby either. You need a mix of both in your life. If you don’t plan your life, chances are you’ll always be stuck in someone else’s plan. However, don’t overdo it so that you don’t leave some room for spontaneity in your life.

7. Your energy introduces you before you speak. People can feel your energy as soon as you walk into the room, it’s something that is instantly felt and is somehow contagious. Take care of your energy and protect it, it’s one of the most important things about you.

8. Before you quit anything, take a break from it first. After that, take your time to truly assess whether you want to quit it or not. Sometimes we’re just burned out or temporarily lost our passion for that thing, but it doesn’t mean that we truly want to leave it. Taking a break from it first makes us figure out if it’s just a burn-out or if we truly want to leave this thing.

9. If you want to truly see a change in your life, then you need to make yourself do the shit you don’t want to do. You need to push yourself to go to that one more class, do this one more workout, and push yourself out of your comfort zone when you least want to, and create a routine when it’s needed, even if you don’t feel like sticking to one.

10. Money is not everything in life, but it’s important. It can help you while gaining your freedom and independence. It gives you stability and safety, at least regarding the financial part of your life. Money alone won’t fix your problems or make you miraculously happy, but it can enhance the quality of your life and give you many things along the way to help you out.

11. Not everyone is worthy of your time. And that’s a lesson I had to learn the really hard way. It took me a lot of time to understand this. This is not you being too picky or too arrogant, it’s you valuing your time and choosing who deserves your time and who doesn’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

12. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. That’s something you should learn to accept and make your peace with.

13. Learn to bargain. Learning this skill alone has saved me so much money and taught me how to ask for things more and negotiate my way around a lot of things. Learning to negotiate is something that will take you places, whether in relationships, work, business, or life in general.

14. Don’t engage in ugly conversations; just leave them. They will ruin your day, mindset, mood, vibe, and toxicate your soul. Sometimes the best favor you can do for yourself is to not be part of these conversations and just walk away from them.

15. Know when to ditch your shyness and politeness when it’s needed. Being decent is a lovely thing, but sometimes it comes with a price. It may put you in undesired situations and affect your life negatively. Just like you acquired these traits, you should learn as well when to get rid of them in certain situations when you need to.

 16. Learn to draw boundaries as soon as you can. Even if doing so makes you so damn uncomfortable. Trust me, it will be one of the best things you’ll ever do to yourself.

17. Say “I don’t know” more. There’s no shame in not knowing. There’s no shame in just starting. You don’t need to feel bad or behind for not having experience yet or not knowing most things. This is something that I just didn’t get. I thought that I had to know it all. Whenever someone asked me if I knew how to do something and I didn’t, I felt ignorant if I said “I don’t know.” It’s a very normal thing to just not know, but it took me a hell of a lot of time to learn to normalize this for myself.

About the author
I want to write about you, me, and all of us. Follow Rowan on Instagram or read more articles from Rowan on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related