One of the biggest challenges facing young people today is how to create personal freedom. Whereas in the past there were perhaps more opportunities for young adults, with notably lower real estate prices and less developed industry, for instance, the same is not so true today. Many young people transitioning from the teen years to adulthood find themselves intimidated by the prospect of standing on their own two feet.
For the majority of young people, leaving full-time education and the homes they have known their entire lives is a daunting prospect. Learning how to live and even think independently can be challenging for young people who have been used to 24/7 parental or familial support. Straddling the years between being completely dependent on others to a time when the buck stops with them is difficult for many youngsters.
One of the best ways of creating personal freedom is to find a strong sense of autonomy in the world. In this article, we take a closer look at the mindset shift required to successfully navigate the path to achieving personal freedom.
Scrap the permission-based mindset.
As young people transition from being dependents to going-it-alone in the world, it can take some time to adjust. It’s important to fully acknowledge that there is now no need to seek permission from anybody else before committing to a professional strategy. Ultimately, the best way to achieve financial freedom is by being your own boss. Learning how to take calculated risks and educated guesses without seeking permission from someone older and wiser is the fastest route to professional freedom and financial autonomy.
For example, if you would like to lease a new car, it’s a better idea to do the math yourself to calculate affordability rather than seek someone else’s permission. After all, you’ll be making the repayments and not them!
Naturally, this doesn’t mean the younger generation shouldn’t look to their elders for tips on how to get ahead in the business world. It’s more about developing a sense of accountability for one’s own financial freedom.
Don’t do things just because someone says you should but because you believe in them.
Although young people are naturally influenced by those around them, it’s important to discover what they really believe in, especially when it comes to their future. The pressure to continue in education rather than hit the business world can be considerable for young adults. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that people can only find success through accumulating academic qualifications.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs skipped further education in favor of making money because it was right for them. If someone is passionate enough about their ambitions, they need to find a way of pursuing them that resonates with the kind of individual they are. The ability to toe the line is not generally considered to be an attribute of a business leader.
Understand what’s valuable and what isn’t.
Determining the value of something is important for personal success. Value is essentially the driving force of society and what all human systems are built on. Throughout the many civilizations in human history, the foundation of networks has been based on the trade of goods and services. However, some people work extremely long hours and seem to achieve nothing whereas, for others, the opposite is true.
It makes sense then that if a young adult wants to achieve financial freedom they need to create something of value. Whether that is a particular skill, a product or a new piece of technology, learning what is valuable to employers, businesses, and consumers and shaping a career around it is an accelerated way of attaining personal autonomy.
Take ownership of your actions and your decisions.
Once a young adult has stepped out into the world on their own, it is important for them to know that to path financial freedom is strewn responsibilities. Every cause has an effect and every action a consequence and so it is important to have full control of the decisions you make so that the outcome is something you can deal with.
Flexibility is a key attribute of a successful business leader because it enables businesses to be responsive to market conditions. A young adult in business needs to recognize that they will almost certainly mess up at some stage but that it represents an opportunity to learn from a mistake. When it comes to making financial decisions that impact your future, remember you are free to make those choices independently and that nothing is set in stone.
Hold yourself accountable.
One thing it is important for young adults to learn is how to not make excuses for poor decisions. It is very easy to apportion blame when things go wrong but owning up to the consequences and moving on is the mature response. If you have made a decision that has backfired, it’s easier and more effective to work out how to move on from it rather than spend time dwelling on the mistake.
For example, if you’re tired and choose to watch Netflix rather than write a blog post and end up feeling guilty about the situation, you may find yourself making excuses. “I was too tired”, “I needed to recharge my creative battery”, “I had writer’s block”; when you are making excuses to yourself you’re taking the easy route out. Although it’s important to balance work with leisure if there’s any guilt involved you need to find out why that is and deal with it.
Making excuses is a sure-fire way of being mediocre so it’s crucial to eliminate them altogether.
Don’t accept failure as a possibility.
People who accept that failure is an option are most likely to fail. By focusing on negative outcomes, they become magnified on the horizon and you end up attracting them to you. In order to achieve personal freedom, you need to be resilient to bad times. They are inevitable and without them, our lives would lack texture.
When something doesn’t go according to plan, the first thing to do is establish why things went wrong and take responsibility for it. It’s crucial to have complete conviction in everything you do in life in order to achieve it. However, it’s equally important to know that life has twists and turns and we are not able to predict outcomes. Remaining flexible at all times ensures failures can be overcome quickly and without being too damaging to personal growth.
Be relentless in your pursuit of self-betterment
Determination is essential in order to achieve personal growth. The best way for young people to navigate adulthood is by having a sense of purpose in everything they do. Setting goals and objectives is a good way of motivating forward motion and taking time to acknowledge achieving them is vital.
Always remain open to new ideas and opportunities. Networking with others introduces new concepts that might be valuable for your personal strategy. Even if an opportunity doesn’t resonate with your objectives, they may still represent an opportunity for personal growth. Ultimately, have very clear intentions for growth but on the basis that those goals can be reached through unexpected routes.
Young adults are at the beginning of their journey of self-understanding which is a lifelong process. We all fall under several influences without being aware of it, from peers and loved ones to the pressures we place on ourselves. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is useful in finding your place in the world because it allows for making better lifestyle choices.
By knowing yourself, it is possible to avoid knee-jerk reactions to difficult situations or circumstances, allowing time to make rational choices. When it comes to making mistakes, if lessons aren’t learned they inevitably recur again and again. The only way of breaking this negative cycle is to deal with the mental blocks preventing them from responding in a more productive way.
Don’t rest on your laurels.
Personal freedom is hard-earned and there is no easy way of achieving it. We live in an aggressively competitive world where others are more than happy to challenge your freedom on a daily basis. The temptation to “suck it up” and do what you’re told is enormous for young adults and yet it is the biggest block to achieving personal freedom.
Once personal freedom has been earned, it needs to be retained and this requires continued forward and upward momentum. Recognizing goals have been achieved and raising the bar propels young adults towards personal success. By auditing successes and failures en route, the lessons learned can be applied to the future to promote further growth.
Personal Freedom is a Hard-Fought Privilege
Through the generations, numerous people have fought long and hard to achieve personal freedom. Nevertheless, there are still pockets of society where any kind of personal autonomy is rejected as in North Korea for example. It is important to acknowledge that we are privileged to live in a society where personal freedom is actively encouraged and promoted. Young people can gain tremendous advantages from owning their individuality and choice from the onset of their journey into adulthood.