Being young is a luxury because the greatest moments in life happen when you are still young. There’s a reason why people say, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” We can create unforgettable memories, but it is good to remember that we will eventually grow old, and the best time to make preparations for the future is while you’re still young. It is always an exciting time in our adolescence and adulthood that young people make so many mistakes at this stage of their life. As a stage for growth and development, we are here to share the five mistakes young people make and regret later on in life so that you can avoid them.
1. Trying to please everyone
As humans, we are conditioned to believe that kindness is always kind, and what is good is always good. However, things are not always what they seem, and one of the most challenging behaviours to fault is kindness. At first glance, kindness has been woven into our culture as socially acceptable and desired.
Regardless, have you ever been the type that answers with “Whatever you want is fine with me” when asked which restaurant you’d like to dine in. Have you ever voluntarily do the group assignments despite receiving zero help from your teammates but still share the marks? For an act of kindness, it leaves you feeling lousy, doesn’t it? Sacrificing who you are for the sake of pleasing others and fitting their needs will lead you down a path where the one person that won’t be happy is you.
2. Wasting time trying to “find yourself” instead of creating yourself
We are often taught to put ourselves out there to discover who we really are. But, according to George Bernard Shaw, “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” We spend so much time just sitting and waiting until the day we find our real self when life is about going out there and discovering what we are capable of and evolving from our challenges.
Life isn’t easy, and one way you can look at it is that life is not about what you see but about how you see it. Whether you realize it or not, every decision we make has an immediate effect on who we are. So, change your diet, eat healthier, or choose to walk away from bad relationships. Change your perspectives, use your problems as a medium to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.
3. Fearing rejection and failure
In any adult life, what remains as our biggest obstacle is our fear of rejection and failure. The words “I can’t” have been mustered too often that we learn to believe that over time. We become people who fear making mistakes and seek approval from others for a small sense of security. Giving in to these fears will interfere with our performance and inhibits negative expressions.
Often, this behaviour manifests because of our parent’s conditional love, where if we do what pleases them, only then will we earn their love and approval. If we fail to do so, they will withdraw their love and acceptance, making us feel rejected. Take note that the opposite of fear is love, self-love and self-respect. Start developing courage, character, and self-esteem. These will help our fear subside and stop it from affecting our behaviour and decisions.
4. Making your parents happy instead of standing up for what you are truly passionate about
When your parents tell you to study engineering or when your dad told you to take that entry-level position at the local law firm, I’m sure they meant well. In hindsight, our parents want us to be happy, be fulfilled, feel significant and valuable. To them, the only way to provide you that is by laying out a life plan for you to follow and that will magically lead to your happiness. Unfortunately, that is not how it works.
Living someone else’s life plan is the easiest way to end up with a future that is unrewarding, and unfulfilling. Too many people nowadays live in frustration and this robotic ways, a life without passion. You are your own person, and at the end of the day, it is you who knows yourself the best and the path that will give you a sense of fulfillment. Each morning, you are reborn. Hence, leave the path your parents planned for you and start forging your own destiny.