The Fear of Growing Up

Fear of Growing Up

Being an adult comes with many responsibilities that our modern generations are not always equipped to deal with, hence we have a fear of growing up.  As a nation, many of us are still living at home well into our thirties. Compare that to the 50’s, where the average age was 20, we can see that independence is not always up there on our priorities. We have an ever-growing generation divide between our parents and us when it comes so being self-reliant.


There are several benefits of remaining within the family home for longer, but are you there because you are avoiding growing up and taking on the responsibilities of being independent?

Removing the financial implications of independent living; Is there another reason why you are holding onto the apron strings?

Many find that ‘adulting’ is too difficult. If you feel this way, you are certainly not alone. Up to 10% of the UK’s population aged over 34 are still living at home.

There are psycho-dynamics-conscious and subconscious emotional forces that determine motivation-that underline the tendency to hold onto your childhood perspective. For some, this comes in the form of trauma and defenses formed to relive feelings of distress.

The main barriers to living as an adult exists in the fears associated with becoming responsible.


Fear of Growing Up


There are five main aspects to a fear of growing up:

  1. Separation from parents and care givers.

Removing yourself from the comfort of those who surrounded you daily in your life until the day you moved out can leave you feeling lost and abandoned. When we are frightened or anxious, we desperately try to reconnect with those that offer unconditional support.

  1. Preference to fantasy.

In a nut shell-escapism. One of our defence mechanisms when things become overwhelming is to escape into fantasy. Day dreaming, Disassociation and game play allow us to escape the real world providing much comfort. These habit building patterns become move addictive the more we find ourselves needing to escape reality.

  1. Being alone.

Many of us fear being lonely. We know that independence is positive milestone, but we desperately feel the need to share it with others. This is related to our primitive evolutionary based threat of being separated from our tribe. This is emotionally equivalent to being left to die.

  1. Procreation of life.

Still very apparent in our society is the need or demand to produce off spring. This is yet another added pressure to the situations you are already juggling by the skin of your teeth. It does not allow you to resolve your own dependency needs from your childhood thus increases the likelihood of those being passed down the generations.

  1. Death anxiety.

Anxiety over death comes from both positive and negative events. We are acutely aware of time, the confrontation of our limits and the ultimate demise-death. Those that place a special value on their lives or attain unusual success tend to suffer the most with death anxiety as they fear they have too much to lose.

Fear, especially relating to death, constitutes resilience to fulfill life successfully. It allows us adults to become acutely aware of loneliness, uncertainty and the ambiguity of life. You can aspire to develop mechanisms that allow these emotions to be rationalised. Once you stop being afraid of life outside the door you will realise just how free and inspiring you are.

Contact us today for advice and support on becoming a successful adult.


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