On Being a Grown Up

The other day (probably shortly after being berated for some misdemeanour, I can’t quite remember), my nine year old daughter Emika grumped, “I wish I was a grown up.”

Being not only a grown-up, but a pedantic grown-up, it took me until halfway through my five minute lecture on the correct use of the subjunctive (‘I wish I WERE…’) to think to ask her WHY she so aspired to adulthood.

“Because grown-ups can do anything they want!” she harrumphed.

Now, being more in harassed mummy mode than sage life coach mode at the time (yes, it does happen now and again), I confess that my initial reaction was to harrumph back about paying bills, shouldering responsibilities and the like. However, once we had sat down on a bench together, ice creams in hand, it occurred to me that she was right:


Think about that for a moment. Maybe view your life from the eyes of a child. You can drive a car! Stay up past 8 o’clock! Go out on your own! Eat chocolate whenever you want! You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. How does it feel? Free? But actually quite scary? For most people, there’s quite a lot of fear attached to the concept of freedom, however attractive it seems on first consideration.

And here’s how we tend to deal with that fear as grown-ups: we build ourselves cages of rules and beliefs and we let our self-made cages restrict our freedom so that it feels more manageable.

Because here’s the deal – we don’t HAVE to get up and go to work, pay the bills, take the dog for a walk or do the washing up. Sure, there are consequences to our actions (or inactions), but we can choose to face them. Obviously, the choice to drive whilst drunk and the choice to leave the washing up undone are going to incur consequences vastly different in severity, but the point is the same – we CHOOSE to do or not do all the time, every day. The choice may be an obvious one, but it is still a choice.

We can choose to do anything we want.

Of course, I’m not advocating that everyone starts breaking the law, causing others to suffer or making reckless, unsustainable changes to their lives. There are workaday things which need to be done in order to oil the wheels of our bigger dreams, and these bigger dreams are the sort of positive consequences it’s exciting to make our choices towards.

So, starting today, make a conscious choice out of the things you ‘have to’ do. CHOOSE to get up, to take the dog out, to wash the dishes. Liberate yourself from the ‘have-tos’ and enjoy the tantalising freedom of choosing what to do from moment to moment, knowing you’re on your way to fulfilling your bigger dreams. Have fun, then dare to make your choices more audacious. Choose to speak your mind instead of quietly agreeing with the boss at your next meeting, choose to strike out on your own, to do that course you’ve always wanted to, to ask that person out… Break out of your cage of limitations.

Because hey, we’re grown-ups and we can do anything we want. And that includes the washing up.

Ready to choose coaching? Email me today (claire@straightforwardcoaching.com) and let’s start a conversation. September sessions are booking up now – will you choose to take the leap and book one for yourself?

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On Being a Grown Up — 2 Comments

  1. Claire – thanks for a superb Blog Post – I love the clarity and simplicity of the article. I always spend time discussing the concept of choice with clients – it’s so powerful, I’ll be sharing this post with great pride – Ross x

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