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Almost every leader under 40 feels it – the constant stress, anxiety and uncertainty we’re all plagued by. Dr. Tim Elmore is a world-renowned expert on the issues facing today’s students and young adults. We dive into why so many young adults feel constant anxiety and uncertainty and how to deal with it, offering strategies for young adults themselves and every leader who leads them.
1. Leaders can help the next generation battle anxiety with empathy and understanding.
Anxiety is such a huge problem in today’s culture. A recent study found that the average teenager in North America experiences the same level of anxiety as a psychiatric patient did in the 1950’s.
The next generation isn’t thriving and it’s our duty as leaders to help them navigate through the stumbling blocks that often paralyze them. Finding empathy and understanding the why behind the anxiety is key to serving and solving this epidemic.
2. Parents should allow children to fall in order to develop life skills.
Often parents do a better job protecting children rather than preparing them, but over-protecting children has implications later in life when they lack necessary life skills.
Let children try out the monkey bars, skin their knees and elbows. Children need to fall down, make mistakes, and even fail. We can’t always keep bad things from happening to them. Instead, we are called to walk through the pain with them and help them learn from the experiences. God does the same thing for us.
3. A healthy balance of autonomy and responsibility are necessary to prepare for adulthood.
Autonomy and responsibility go hand-in-hand for a young person and both are necessary during all developing stages. An imbalance of the two can cause a young person to struggle greatly later in life. Autonomy with no responsibility creates entitlement. Responsibility with no autonomy creates a failure-to-launch mentality.
Keeping these factors in mind will enable older leaders to empathize with their younger counterparts while at the same time allowing them to fail rather than jumping in to rescue them from the very experiences that will prepare them for their future.