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When we’re children, it seems all we can think about is growing up and becoming independent adults. But as you grow, you might tend to become a bit fearful of becoming an adult. These fears are common, and nearly everyone has felt them at some time or another in their lives. 

There are five aspects of this fear of adulthood and independence. 

  1. Breaking away from parents and other relationships that have been comforting and secure. You may feel as if things have changed and can never go back to “the way things were”. This is a normal and healthy change as you build your own identity as an adult and decide where your life is headed. New relationships will form as you find people you have things in common with, and old relationships may fall away as you head in a new and different direction. 

  2. The reality of leaving your childhood and its comfort is a strong pull to stick with the “fantasy” over the reality for some people. The inability to face reality creates mental health issues and addictive types of habits. They tend to be long lasting negative habits that are easy to fall into, and difficult to escape.

  3. Feeling lonely is threatening to most people. We are really never taught to be happy being alone, and this creates relationship issues. Once you are happy with yourself and have the skills to live and thrive just relying on yourself, it creates a much stronger personality, and there is no threat seen in being alone at all. This is a sign of a healthy self-esteem.

  4. A great fear of adult responsibilities, for yourself and for others, results in dependency issues, especially if your needs weren’t met as you were growing up. You may feel as if you can’t meet your own needs, let alone another person’s needs. If you feel this incapability, you tend to rely on others for direction and support instead of searching internally for these things.

  5. Fears of mortality as you grow and see your parents and other comfort figures dealing with illness and death. You are acutely aware of the passage of time, and this is a constant reminder of your mortality and the fact that you, too, will someday die. 

Most people will attempt to avoid becoming fully functional adults in order to avoid dealing with those issues that become painful as growth occurs, such as not receiving the love needed as you grew up. Many people have no idea they are even actively avoiding becoming independent. This all happens at a subconscious level, and the conscious mind bears it out in action.