Kalgaard says, “Recent research suggests that we need to modify our understanding of how people mature from adolescence to adulthood. Between the ages of 18 and 25, most people are still living in a volatile post-adolescence. In both ado
lescent and young adult brains, the prefrontal cortex—the processing center of our frontal lobe—is the last part to fully develop, and it is responsible for complex functions such as planning and organizing, problem solving, memory, attention and inhibition.”
The high standards we put on our youth can fill them with self doubt and lead to anxiety and depression.
Psychologists use the term executive function, the ability to anticipate consequences and plan effectively, to refer to neurological maturity. Young adults develop executive function at different ages; the individual who is not successful early on does not necessarily lack potential, talent or intelligence. It may be your expectations are not realistic at that time for them. The pressure to excel at a young age can lead to self-doubt and other problems like anxiety and depression.
How many of us felt dismissed in our early careers? Could it be that some of our gifts and passions were not yet discovered? As wisdom, creativity and talents often develop later in life, stories about late bloomers are very common. Take Laura Ingalls Wilder for example. She was 65 years old when her first book, “Little House in the Big Woods” was published. Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 50. And Rodney Dangerfield did not catch his big break until the age of 46. The list goes on and on.
Rich Karlgaard’s wrote his book, Late Bloomers, because he was a late bloomer himself. In it, he explores “what it means to be a late bloomer in a culture obsessed with SAT scores and early success, and how finding one’s way later in life can be an advantage to long-term achievement and happiness”.
Karlgaard further explains, “Like me, most late bloomers will discover that they have greater opportunities to succeed on alternative paths, far from the madness and pressure of early achievement. Today’s obsessive drive for early achievement—and the taint of failure for those who do not attain it—has squandered our national talent and stunted our creativity.” says Karlgaard.
All of us know someone who seems stuck in life. Do not give up on yourself, or others, even when those around you are not supportive. It’s possible to bloom and rebloom all throughout our lives.