5 Ways To Build The Confidence That You Can, In Fact, Take Care Of Yourself

The concept of whether or not you'll be able to take care of yourself — or, gasp, another living being — is probably the most nerve-wracking part of new adulthood. I do not know anybody who doesn't stress about whether or not they'll be able to handle whatever life throws at them with the particular kind of grown up grace the real adults always have. While so much of it seems like common sense (I can go to a doctor if I'm sick, I can learn to cook, I can pay off my debt bit by bit, etc.), there's something so daunting about confronting the reality of whether or not you can care for yourself in a real way.

And it's for this reason that it is so absolutely imperative that you do go out in the world on your own and develop those skills. Whether or not you have someone around to help you with the day-to-day necessities of, you know, human functioning, is irrelevant. If you don't have the confidence that you can take care of yourself, you'll either wind up at the whim of the person you've attached to your survival, or just perpetually insecure. It's really important that part of everyone's coming-of-age includes learning that you do have the capability of being responsible for yourself, even if it's scary at times. So here, a few ways you can build the confidence to know that you can be your own best friend, money manager, nurse, chef, and life partner of your dreams. (It sounds lofty, it is lofty, we're gonna get there together.)

Travel By Yourself

Even if extensive globe-trotting isn't in your budget nor your realm of desire, consider taking even just a day trip to a neighboring city or a road trip with a bestie or a week-long excursion to your second cousins' house in Portland. Traveling by yourself teaches you more about yourself than anything else — you're totally out of your comfort zone, so you're faced to learn exactly what thrills you, what scares you, what you need, and so on. If you can take care of yourself then, you build the confidence that you can really do anything else.

Make Your Own Appointments, Especially For Well-Checks

Assuming you aren't already doing this, make it a point to take control of your health before it becomes an issue. Know your doctors, know your prescriptions, know exactly what's going on with your body.

Build A "Peace Of Mind" Savings Account

Or, for normal people, an "emergency fund." Take on a few side gigs (even babysitting works!) and build up a fund that's just for you. Differentiate between what's an emergency and not. (Having money for a security deposit to leave an unhealthy roommate situation? Yes. Needing new shoes that are on sale? No.) Just the fact that you have the ability to take care of yourself in the worst case scenario will give you a degree of peace of mind (hence the title!).

Be Aware Of What You Have, What You Owe, And What You Have To Do

Keep things as organized as possible. Have a spreadsheet that lists your bills and when they're due, a clean closet, a calendar that reminds you when you have to be somewhere. Nobody expects you to be able to remember or maintain these things on your own, but almost everybody will expect you to show up and pay on time.

Make A List Of Everything You've Done So Far

Every illness you were able to soothe yourself through, every instance where you took care of yourself, every month you were able to pay all of your bills, everything that you've bought for yourself. You've taken care of yourself far more than you realize — it's usually only a matter of becoming more aware of it.

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