5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They “Grow up”

5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don't Know What They Want To Be When They "Grow up"

My hands gently open a folder. The aging paper bulges with drawings, letters, report cards, and stories.

Pieces of my childhood, faded and delicate. All those clues; testifying that a little girl dreamed of creating.

Always creating with words or pictures— building and envisioning.



5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don't Know What They Want To Be When They "Grow up" www.christasterken.com



Then, tragically, I found out I wasn’t good enough.

I bet you can relate.

Not the best artist, writer nor athlete.  The things a child places worth on. Not the best at anything, really.

So those things that bring joy to a child get tucked away, forgotten.

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 Maybe it feels safer to be on the fringe than criticized.

What a shame, a crying shame.



5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don't Know What They Want To Be When They "Grow up"



Later, as a young mother, an old story I wrote in high school surfaced in my Grandma’s hands. She asked me to start writing again.

The next day I opened a magazine to the full page ad for Christian Writer’s Guild.

That day I started writing again. Timidly. And on and on it has come. 15 years later and here I am.

I say, HERE I AM!

I grew up. Became who I really am.

I want you to join me. Please…



Knowing who we are? It’s an amazing way to live

The best and only way. Otherwise, we live someone else’s dream of who we should be.

That comes with someone else’s’ limited vision of our potential. We are amazing!

I know who I am, and I like me. Finally.

Deuteronomy 31:6   Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies (the lies we believe for example ) , because the LORD your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you.



5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don't Know What They Want To Be When They "Grow up"



5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They “Grow up”

  1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. That is emotional and creative quicksand. 
  2. Recognize that what you considered flaws could be strengths unrecognized. My report cards indicated I talked too much. Hey, writers need practice being communicators! List out ways your “flaw” could be an asset.
  3. It’s more than okay to be sensitive. After being teased, I tried to learn to bury that, for years, but guess what? That processing is essential for the kind of writing “I” do. It is a strength that allows me to share with you vulnerably with empathy. Your feelings may need to be directed. Look for avenues for those emotional sensibilities are needed! Are you great at bookkeeping? Photos? Cooking? Listening? Being practical? Someone needs THAT from YOU. Share it without fear.
  4. List out your childhood joys and revisit them. Healing comes from doing the things our heart delights in. Let it go and explore with freedom. You don’t have to be the best, or even that great technically. So what? If it is fun, that God might have wired you to use that for a release. Or even a future business. You just need to start.
  5. If people don’t support your new explorations, find people who will. I am not saying ditch your friends and family, but allow new friendships and support systems to come into your world just for those outlets.


Where are you on this journey? I won’t lie and say it was easy.

Far from it, every victory was hard earned and the battles ferocious. As each smothering layer of fear ripped away, the light within shone brighter.



5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don't Know What They Want To Be When They "Grow up"


Are you ready to grow up and become who YOU are?

Let’s get ready to make this your best year yet. The discovery of YOU! If you already have done this work? Let’s take it to the next level. Enjoying the journey encouraging each other along the way.

Will you please share this post today? Doing the hard work together makes it more enjoyable, yes?



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21 thoughts on “5 Essential Tips For Adults Who Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They “Grow up”

  1. Love, love, love this post. The little pictures were the perfect touch. This post draws me and takes me by the hand whispering to me, “You can do it. Come on. Just take the next step.”

    Succinct, encouraging, and with a touch of revitalizing the creative kid inside of us. Thanks for this post, Christa. Really great.

  2. Christa – I admit that I still struggle at times with thinking I’m not good enough. Those old voices of self doubt tend to surface. But, with help and encouragement from friends (and from fellow Tribe Writers), I’m learning to cast those voices aside.

    I love the little keepsakes that you found. The note to your parents was especially touching. Keep writing. You are a good writer and also an encourager.


    1. Joan I still struggle too! The difference is being able to recognize it and refuse it. Keep up the battle, you are worth it!

  3. I had a fairly miserable childhood that stripped me of any dreams or higher vision for my life. By the time I was a young adult, I had lost any sense of purpose or direction, if I ever had one. So what you wrote is very real for me, I have deep regrets for not understanding sooner who God created me to be, but better late than never. And it does take a lot of courage to pick that up late in life. I appreciate your encouragement very much this morning.

    1. I am so sorry for you being cheated of a good childhood. Parts of mine were difficult, but the vast majority was full of love. I don’t take that for granted-now. Each of your experiences developed the wonderful Kathleen you are today. I agree, better late than not at all. You are precious to me

  4. Just last night I was praying – well complaining to God that I’ve ended up being ‘well able’ to do plenty of things but not AMAZING at anything and how I didn’t want that to happen with my writing cos I believe it’s what i’m meant to be doing.
    Thanks so much for the timely encouragement 🙂 xx

  5. Ha ha, I’m not quite sure I’m ready to grow up yet, seeing as I’m only 13. 😉 This post was beautifully written! Something I’ve learned about growing up is not to rush it. I’m just glad I learned this early on!

  6. Yes! Don’t rush it, you are a wise one. I waited too long to learn that lesson. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  7. Your grandma is a great lady from what you said. She saw something in your writing and encouraged you to begin again. It’s nice to have people in our lives like that. You are doing the same thing as she did with others.

  8. It’s been a while since I last dropped by your blog, sorry to say, but I wanted to say that it looks great! I can see you’ve put a lot of work into the design and it’s so fun and whimsical! I also enjoyed this post a lot- I’m still at the stage of wondering what I’m going to wind up doing with my life and your post has given me some food for thought.

  9. Welcome back Diana! So glad you took the time to say hello too, and I REALLY appreciate the shout out on the work done. It has been a labor of love. Pop back and update me sometime and how your thoughts play out~!

    1. Hey Samuel, thanks for opening up. 30 is a age a LOT of people seem to grieve over. I can tell you one great thing about it though… Being a bit ahead of you, I found that in our 20’s no on e really seemed to “know” who they really were. In our 30’s we let go of a lot of things holding us down, things that others defined us with. It was such a growing time. Way better in so many ways. And surprisingly, I can honestly tell you my 40’s are even better! I wouldn’t go back and I pray you find your way with a fresh anticipation

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