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4 Steps Millennials Can Take to Trust Themselves

In a world where avocado toast is dissected as a symbol of financial irresponsibility, and Instagram influencers hold more sway than traditional celebrities, one might wonder: why do millennials seem to defer to authority figures with such fervor? Beneath the surface of this seemingly paradoxical behavior lies a confluence of factors that paint a complex portrait of generational attitudes.

Firstly, many millennials were reared in an era of helicopter parenting and structured education systems, where obedience to authority figures was not just encouraged, but often enforced with a firm hand. This upbringing, coupled with a desire for stability in the face of economic uncertainty, has instilled in millennials a deep-seated respect for the guidance and direction provided by established institutions and their leaders.

However, it's not all serious nods and polite smiles. The digital age has added its own unique flavor to the mix. With social media platforms serving as the modern-day town square, millennials find themselves inundated with a cacophony of voices clamoring for attention. In this virtual realm, authority figures—whether they're renowned experts or self-proclaimed gurus—vie for prominence, wielding influence with a click and a swipe. Amidst this sea of digital noise, millennials often navigate by the compass of authority, seeking validation and direction from those who command the largest followings or possess the most coveted blue checkmarks. After all, in a world where anyone with a smartphone can claim expertise, why not defer to those who have amassed a legion of followers or a trove of likes?

Deference, driven by societal expectations, often shapes millennials' career choices. The pressure to conform to conventional definitions of success can lead them down paths that align more with external validation than with their true passions. The fear of disappointing others and the desire for societal approval can result in careers that lack personal fulfillment, leaving millennials feeling unfulfilled and disconnected from their authentic aspirations.

The advent of the digital age has ushered in a relentless culture of comparison, further amplifying the impact of deference on millennials. Constant exposure to curated images of seemingly perfect lives on social media fosters a sense of inadequacy and fuels the need for external validation. In this environment, the inclination to defer to societal expectations becomes more pronounced, influencing millennials to make choices that may not resonate with their authentic selves.

Deference extends its reach into the realm of personal relationships. Millennials, seeking external validation in their personal lives, may find themselves in relationships that align with societal expectations rather than their own desires. This can lead to a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction as personal needs take a backseat to external norms, reinforcing the pattern of prioritizing others over oneself.

Yet, lurking beneath the surface of this deference lies a subtle irony, tinged with a hint of skepticism. Millennials, known for their penchant for irony and irreverence, may playfully nod their heads at the decrees of authority figures while secretly harboring doubts. They recognize the absurdity of a world where a tweet can shape public opinion and a viral video can catapult an unknown individual to fame. In this landscape of digital whimsy, deference to authority becomes not just a nod of respect, but a wink of acknowledgment—an acknowledgment that in a world where anyone can be an expert, sometimes it's best to sit back, enjoy the show, and trust your own instincts.

BUT HOW?!?!?! Keep reading. I got you!


Strategies for Millennials to Prioritize Themselves and Trust Their Instincts

1. Self-Reflection and Awareness:

Self-reflection serves as a cornerstone for millennials to cultivate trust in themselves. In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in external expectations and lose sight of one's true desires and values. By dedicating time to introspection, millennials can peel back the layers of societal influence and tap into their authentic selves. This might involve practices like mindfulness meditation, journaling, or engaging in deep conversations with trusted friends or mentors. Through these activities, individuals can gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and core beliefs, fostering a deeper understanding of who they are and what truly matters to them. As they become more attuned to their inner voice, millennials can start making decisions aligned with their values, leading to greater self-trust and confidence in their choices.

2. Set and Achieve Small Goals:

Breaking down lofty aspirations into manageable, bite-sized goals is a powerful strategy for millennials to build trust in their capabilities. Setting small, achievable objectives provides a clear roadmap for progress and instills a sense of accomplishment with each milestone reached. Whether it's learning a new skill, pursuing a passion project, or making lifestyle changes, breaking the journey into smaller steps makes the path forward less daunting. Celebrating these incremental victories, no matter how modest they may seem, reinforces the belief that progress is possible. Moreover, experiencing success in these smaller endeavors boosts self-efficacy—the belief in one's ability to accomplish tasks and overcome challenges—which is fundamental for developing self-trust. Over time, as millennials consistently set and achieve goals, they develop a track record of success that bolsters their confidence in their capacity to navigate life's uncertainties and complexities.

3. Establish Boundaries: 

In the fast-paced world of the millennial generation, establishing boundaries is akin to drawing a line in the sand amidst a swirling tide of demands and expectations. This generation faces an unprecedented barrage of commitments, from work obligations and social engagements to the ever-present digital noise clamoring for attention. Amidst this whirlwind, learning to say no becomes not just a skill, but a survival tactic—a means of reclaiming agency over one's time and energy. Millennials must recognize that setting boundaries is not an act of selfishness, but an act of self-preservation, essential for safeguarding their mental and emotional well-being in an increasingly chaotic world.

For many millennials, the idea of saying no can be daunting, tinged with a fear of disappointing others or being perceived as unreliable. However, it's crucial for this generation to recognize that saying no is not a rejection of others, but a prioritization of oneself. By learning to discern between obligations that align with their authentic goals and values and those that do not, millennials can carve out space for what truly matters to them. Whether it's declining an invitation to yet another networking event or politely declining a project that does not align with their passions, establishing boundaries empowers millennials to reclaim ownership of their time and pursue endeavors that bring fulfillment and joy.

Moreover, setting boundaries serves as a form of self-care—an act of kindness towards oneself that fosters a deeper sense of self-respect and self-worth. By honoring their own needs and limitations, millennials cultivate a greater sense of balance and harmony in their lives, free from the burden of constantly overextending themselves to please others. In this way, boundaries become not just a means of protection, but a tool for personal growth and empowerment, allowing millennials to navigate the complexities of adulthood with greater confidence and resilience.

4. Seek Mentorship and Guidance:

Seeking mentorship and guidance can serve as a guiding light through the murky waters of uncertainty. Millennials often find themselves grappling with the weight of expectations and the pressure to conform to societal norms, making it essential to seek out individuals who have walked similar paths and emerged with wisdom to share. Mentors, whether they're seasoned professionals, trusted advisors, or simply wise confidants, offer a unique perspective born from their own experiences and triumphs. By connecting with these mentors, millennials gain access to a treasure trove of insights, support, and practical advice that can empower them to navigate the complexities of self-trust with greater clarity and confidence.

Plus, mentorship goes beyond mere guidance—it fosters a sense of camaraderie and community that is invaluable on the journey towards self-discovery. In a world where independence is often prized above all else, millennials are discovering the power of collaboration and shared wisdom in their quest for authenticity. By forming meaningful connections with mentors who understand their struggles and champion their growth, millennials find solace in the knowledge that they are not alone in their journey. These mentor-mentee relationships serve as a source of encouragement, accountability, and inspiration, propelling millennials forward on their path towards self-actualization and unwavering trust in their instincts.


Breaking free from deference is the key to trusting yourself. TYhe journey of millennials to prioritize themselves and trust their instincts is a profound odyssey intricately intertwined with the pervasive influence of deference in modern society. Through the deliberate cultivation of self-awareness, the courageous establishment of boundaries, and the wise pursuit of guidance, millennials possess the tools to liberate themselves from the shackles of societal expectations.

This transformative voyage towards self-prioritization and instinctual trust heralds not only personal liberation but also the realization of more fulfilling careers and relationships harmoniously aligned with their authentic selves. As millennials courageously navigate this path of self-discovery and empowerment, they embrace the profound truth that true fulfillment and success stem not from conformity to external standards, but from the unwavering commitment to honor their own truths and instincts.

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