Why we need to be encouraging self-discovery for our teens and young adultsJul 03, 2023
My BIG WHY and what I'm here for.
Why is the question here today.
Why am I so passionate about this summer of self discovery that we're launching, this program with ShineOn™.
Why do I keep talking about parenting and the education system and putting up posts about, what the future's going to look like for our kids?
I want to get into why I do what I do, where it comes from, why has this stuck with me for so long and why I feel like it's the most important thing that as a parent we focus on as we head into the teen years.
It's all around me. I'm surrounded by parents and young people saying things that just break my heart and I want to connect with the parents that may have children that are saying these types of things. They might be saying things like,
I hate myself.
I don't like myself.
There's nothing special about me.
I wish I had more going for me.
I don't know what I want to do with my life.
I don't know who I am.
I need help.
Kids are saying these things. And as a parent, it's heartbreaking when you hear these things. And I feel like what we have in play in the world Right now, the things that are going on, there's so many things that contribute to this kind of despair and this feeling of being lost.
And I feel like so much has changed in the world, but there's some things that take me right back to being a teenager and I remember what it was like. And I remember feeling lost and I remember feeling like it was such a big thing to try to wrap your head around who you are and what your life could become and what you could be all about.
And I remember being, I remember it being very few people in my life, very few adults that showed up with a strong voice of encouragement and support saying. You know who you are. The clues are all inside you.
And... I remember what that encouragement felt like, and I remember how there's specific moments in my life, it all started, I would say, around 12, 13 years old, teachers and different, you know, parents of friends and things being so encouraging and saying,
Oh, you've got this, you're, you're on the right track, you're figuring it out, all you can do is pay attention to the clues and be figuring it out.
And. Here I am, I have teenagers now and they're trying to figure it out and it's really important to be having these conversations of not knowing, but that it is important to be trying to figure things out. So, you know, as I go through and listen and hear from parents, they're, they're asking all the time, what can I do to support my young person?
Like my teenager, my young adult, there's parents that come and talk to me about, the teenagers are, the predominant thing, but then there's also the adults, the kids that have finished college and university, and they still feel lost. They don't feel enlivened and inspired by the path that they're on, and how to engage in the world and how to get into pursuing their careers and occupations.
And so I feel like it's not, it's not their fault. It's not their parents fault. It's kind of just the environment that we're in. I feel like something needs to shift here. We have this pressure to not screw it up with our kids. You know, we have this pressure, this race to nowhere is what Bréne Brown calls it.
I have a video in my blog if you look that up talking about the race to nowhere and that this isn't how it works and that this is an internal kind of processing thing that we need to be supporting and encouraging. And I don't see enough conversation around this and I see, that we're all looking for support externally, you know, and the education system's wonderful and it develops us.
It develops our minds, our ideas, our creativity, inspiration, like the imagination, how to solve problems, how to take things to the next level in the world in so many ways.but I believe that we can't rely on the education system to do this, to teach us how to do this internal work for ourselves. You know, knowing ourselves is the origin of all of this, getting on this right path and on this track where you don't screw it up and you end up in something meaningful and you feel fulfilled and you find success and satisfaction in your career in your twenties and thirties.
And you, you know, you enter into the workforce, feeling empowered and aligned. With, you know, this, you could say, this is where I'm meant to be and I'm not seeing that I'm not seeing the conversation happening strongly, confidently, the leadership isn't there to say, hey, you've got this inside you, you know, these things, the clues are there, let's help you uncover them.
Let's. Nurture and cultivate and support you while you explore. Feel like we lean so hard on the education system, but are we encouraging experiences? Are we balancing, you know, get that knowledge in there, but also go experience the world, go see what it's like to be,the idea that's coming to mind is a veterinary doctor.
You know, you might, you might have a child that. believes they want to take care of animals, but do they on a day to day basics understand what their life would be like if they were actually a veterinary doctor and needed to take care of animals? There's a story in my, in my world of that where a young person found themselves lost again because they were pursuing that education and then they just didn't realize some of the The harder side of that job and that that wasn't for them, so they had to pivot and regroup and for whatever reason that felt like such a failure and the parents felt like that, like they had failed and it doesn't need to be this way is why I'm showing up and why I'm lending my voice to this conversation in this space because this is the journey we need to embrace that and I feel like when we do that.
We'll feel better about our contribution to that, how things unfold and how we get there feeling whole and complete as we go in the process, not like something's missing, but like we're discovering something and that it's special and unique and this is fun and this doesn't have to be Something that feels so heavy and hard and like, you know, if you make a mistake, that's it.
No, this is part of that, right? So we're figuring it out and we're finding our way. And I just want to say like in our society today, it feels like think of the example of we have report cards for our kids. You know, this is how we find our way and we understand if they're doing well. I feel like that's incomplete.
And teaching them to develop themselves has to be another complementary component of the journey into adulthood. And the teen years are so special for that. And I wish we could take more time.And put the focus there that the not knowing is the gift, you know, in the exploring and processing and experiencing is all part of how the puzzle pieces come together and you navigate and come into alignment and find your way.
There's also just the feeling that the world is changing so quickly. You know, none of us can hit the brakes on how fast technology is advancing the human race and how we do things. And in the future, we don't know what industries and jobs are going to be impacted and we're meant to guide our children towards something.
And what, what can we do? All we can do is give them the stuff. skills of adaptability and resilience. And that's going to require that they understand figuring things out and keeping an open mind. And so, you know, It's not your fault if you feel like, okay, this is, we're heading towards something and it feels like there's a lot of pressure and that you can't screw it up.
You can't make mistakes. And okay, you've got this report card and it's guiding you and telling you how they're doing. And that's that tool you use to gauge things. And Oh, the world keeps changing and where are they going to, how are they going to find their place and it just can feel so overwhelming.
And if, if you feel like this, I just want to share. I hear from parents all the time. This is These are the conversations I'm surrounded by, and I know I'm meant to show up for because I want to shift that perspective, take your power back, understand this is not your fault. This is just the environment that we're in and we can create a better, more nurturing, more supportive and encouraging environment for our kids.
And we can say, we got this. We know things change. I mean, if you're a grownup and you're a parent to a child, you've been around the block a few times, you've done a few things, right? So you know how important it is. To have an open mind, take in information, assess things, figure things out, and nothing's wasted like Brene says in that blog that I shared.
And I want to share that it's possible for us. To get our children out into the workforce, successful, bring them up into adulthood in alignment with themselves, empowered, feeling strong, capable, whole in that whole journey. That's, that's something I truly believe in. I've had the pleasure of experiencing.
So I'm experiencing that with the kids that I work with,from the very first clarity mapping experience that I had with a young girl years ago, she was 14, and now she's off to university and I hear just little updates from parents saying how You know, it's like, there's no stopping her. There's no holding her back.
She's come into alignment. She's, you know, understood these things and use these tools to her advantage at the highest level. I mean, it's so inspirational to me. We can do this for our kids. We can give them the tools, help them develop the skills, give them the knowledge that, you know, this is what it is to be figuring it out and processing and finding our way.
And that's why I've created ShineOn™, that's why I created Clarity Mapping. I believe we don't have a tool for this, and we need a tool for this. Well, first of all, I'd like to back up a step.I believe we need to drop out of this race to nowhere. I love that expression that Brene coined.I remember the first time I heard it a few years ago, and I thought, oh wow, that just sent chills down my spine, because I would never want to make my children feel...
Like they don't measure up, don't measure up to what, you know, right now I'm heading into, the teen years, my kids are now both going to be in high school and we're navigating things and we're helping them figure things out and I find myself constantly reinforcing to them that their only job is to know themselves.
The teen years are about discovery, self discovery, personal inquiry, being curious about who you are, what you're here to do, where does your attention go? Let's develop that. Let's do more. Let's use the internet to explore what's coming up for you and have that be a structured experience that's simple.
In ShineOn™, it's just three things. We work on mindset, we work on personal clarity, and we work on getting into action. We actually work on, like, time management and all these types of things.Because distraction and devices and all these things are a huge, huge hindrance to this process of figuring out who you are and finding your way.
So, I believe that it's possible for us to be finding our way through those teen years, helping our children get into adulthood. I believe we can do that in an enlivened, inspirational, fun way. And the only way to do that is to create a tool that supports us. Because life's going to keep happening day, day in, day out.
Life keeps coming at you and maintaining that focus, we need support. So I hope that this helps explain what I probably come on and do, you know, I have the Activate Now podcast and I've been recording some episodes and I, I've been trying to hit the nail on the head and trying to summarize why I'm so passionate about this work.
And I realized that. I haven't been able to do a good job of it because there's some things that I've, I think I used to feel we all see this and as I talk to more and more parents and they come to me and they tell me what their children are saying and especially when it's heartbreaking when they're saying they don't like themselves to any level or that they don't like life and things like that, I mean, my heart breaks and I know I'm here to show up for that so we can shift things.
So if you're a parent that feels like that, I hope that What I've sparked here today with sharing how I understand things, how I see things.There's hope, there's a way to do things in a new framework, in a positive framework. And the Summer of Self Discovery is where I'm launching it. Every week there's going to be new activities.
Everything's going to be available on demand through a course portal. So that... You can have your summer, I'm not going to tell you when to show up on what day, but you can show up, get them going with a playbook, get them going into clarity mapping, get them into that personal inquiry, nurture and support and encourage that development, so that you can be in a new conversation with your, with your kids and be looking forward to the future and looking forward to exploring their place in it.
Thank you. And where they see that they fit in and where they feel like they could make a difference and navigate towards that come into alignment with yourself first and then come into alignment with the education system and all the opportunities around you. So I hope this has been, something that you can connect with.
And I feel like I'm asking you to imagine it. Imagine. The experience of being in your teen years and being empowered and encouraged and supported to find your way, to find out who you are. And that that's the number one job of being a teenager. And that your autonomy and just how you relate to the world is important.
It's important to process and work on and that you're supported. You're here to shine on. So if any of this resonates, please, wherever this video is, there are links you can follow. Find out about the summer of self discovery and the ShineOn™ Experience. And message me if you have any questions, I can talk you through what the experience would be like.
You'd log in, you'd have access and every week new activities drop. And there's lots of little bonuses and things that I'm going to be including. But for now, I just want to invite you to think about... What this race to nowhere might be feeling like, what the education systems role in supporting the upbringing of your child has to do with it, and what the future looks like, and what change looks like, and how adaptable and resilient, your child is being developed to become.
And so, that's what ShineOn™'s here for. ShineOn™'s here to offer tools to support you. So we can strengthen those skills and find our way to a bright future and have fun while we're doing it. All right, for now, I'll leave you with that.