Remember the last time you were deadly sure about your lifetime dream, or even your career? That last time you were on a concrete ground with all your lines and aspects set? The last time you were certain about the meaning behind big life questions? If you can- I bet- you’re so lucky, but if you can’t be sure you’re not the opposite. This is not a soap opera about how welcoming adolescence can get you into a series of chained melodramatic defeats, frustrations, and dilemmas. But rather a brief 101 for adolescents on how to confront this chaotic phase with a bit of embracement and a sprinkle of black humor.
At first glance, answering these questions may seem more natural, effortless or at least easier than how it actually feels in practice.
Fueled by pre-maturity energizing momentum, our brains are designated to set achievement expectations higher than the ozone-layer. Not just that, it starts irresponsibly exploring; you know when a 24-month-old toddler starts bewilderedly and recklessly discovering the world by putting random stuff in his mouth, throwing expensive antiques to see if they shatter, or stacking random objects that obviously have nothing in common only to a form a super-bizarre figure that no one knows what it should mean or resemble? Yeah that…
Fortunately, we all have that monstrous baby with different ratios. According to developmental psychologist James Marcia during such phase your position on the identity–achievement-vs-identity–diffusion spectrum is determined by two identity dimensions one is commitment, the other is exploration.
Reaching the maximum scale on both dimensions puts you on the identity achieved status, while the minimum drives you to identity diffusion. Combining a low level of commitment with a high level of exploration corresponds to the moratorium category. And eventually inversing the latter’s proportions is what is known as the foreclosed category.
While commitment serves a safe shore by which you can guarantee a firm sense of self and certain decisions. Exploring your roles, values, and choices is basically a healthy habit regardless of your age.
Adolescence doesn’t come with a guide that tells you when to stay strict on your decisions or what to risk blindly exploring. Nevertheless, it definitely shines as your most potential phase to point out your secret powers and beat your limits. Here are Going Deep’s five tips to survive adolescence while getting the best of it.
Keep a questioning journal
Pondering big life questions regarding values, rules, ethics, meanings or even evaluating daily situations is a must to form a coherent personal perspective. It will help you develop a way of seeing and analyzing without suffering much fuss inside your head. Once you write it down it’s painlessly kept.
If it’s personal, then it cannot be dictated
Try to pause and reflect on things yourself. You may have the same opinion as your addressee, yet you may as well have the opposite. This one is a bit tricky, because, you either subconsciously mirror the closest ones in some situations, or you were falsely told during childhood that brainless approval is what well-mannered individuals should offer with zero-negotiation. But here’s the thing about sailing through adolescence and adulthood, you are left alone with your compass. You don’t get to have the passive privilege of borrowing anyone’s compass or clinging into anyone’s ship.
Embedding any kind of meditation into your schedule will magically both recharge your self-awareness and emotional health and discharge stressful, addictive and anxious vibes and tendencies.
Navigate your talents
Picture this; the commitment pole is drifting you toward focusing on one skill or field of interest, which promises sooner approach of a certain target. The exploration pole on the other side is attracting you toward the exact opposite. Now weighing your options to see which task or target is more important is a literal painkiller. The antidote needed features you figuring out your tolerance and capacity so you can start seizing your potentials in the best way by gradually fitting new plans into your schedule. You will really get to choose how many spoons of both commitment and exploration you prefer!
Be picky about your few mentors
Whether it’s a friend, parent or sibling try to choose someone who doesn’t direct or decide for you. Instead, you can share and pinpoint smart questions regarding the issue.