Maturity Requires Specific Competence 

Here are the skills and attitudes that are components of maturity. If I am mature:

  1. I exercise considered judgment before acting on something important. I control my emotions and impulses (anger, revenge, lust, vindictiveness, hopefulness, etc.) in order to make the wisest choice. I use my experience and knowledge to guide me in making prudent decisions.
  2. I act with integrity, and I’m honest, reliable and trustworthy. I keep my promises. I do the things I say I hold in high regard, and I avoid the things I say I don’t respect. My behavior matches my values.
  3. I have made peace with my past, and am far less controlled by it.
  4. I am able to learn from mistakes, so I’m way less likely to repeat the same errors or misjudgments again.
  5. I have the ability to contain my reactions and be in charge of my behaviors. That includes both what I say and what I do.
  6. I am able to keep a solid sense of my self even when I am strongly criticized or praised. I am less swayed by popular opinion or the judgements of others.
  7. I believe and trust in myself.
  8. I accept responsibility for the predicaments I get into, and I accept responsibility for getting myself out of bad situations. I understand that I am not entitled to special treatment or to be pardoned for my unwise actions.
  9. I have stick-to-it-ness. I keep my commitments and I do not give up on important tasks, goals or relationships until all options have been exhausted.
  10. I am responsible for making sure that when I use the statement “I love you,” that my behaviors match those words. If I say “I love you,” I am declaring that your feelings and desires are important to me, and that you have the right to assume that I will behave in loving ways toward you. But if I act as if your purpose in our relationship is to satisfy my needs, then I will feel hurt and resentful anytime you don’t fulfill that role. This is why romantic love only works well for grown-ups.
  11. I am actively pursuing my goals, and I have the ability to delay instant gratification so I can concentrate on keeping my eyes on the ball. I can better distinguish between what’s important and what isn’t.
  12. I give at least as much as I take, especially in my important relationships.
  13. I soothe/nurture myself in healthy life-affirming ways, and I avoid unhealthy habits or dependencies.
  14. I am willing to continuously grow and learn. I am consistently recreating myself and/or evolving. I am not arrogant, because I understand that my life is and always has been a work in progress.
  15. I am grateful for what I have, what I have experienced, what I have accomplished and for being alive.

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