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Self-Acceptance in your Early 20s

By Emily Robinson

Finding Yourself in Your Early 20s:

You graduated from college! Now what? Your early 20s are a destabilizing time where all the cracks in your life start to show. Things that you haven’t processed start to show up, weigh you down, and get in your head. College was a (hopefully) exhilarating time, but you were bombarded by questions of what you want to do with your life. Then, you’re catapulted into the wilderness (job hunting) and have to prove that you have what it takes to survive (pay rent). The struggle is real. 

People in their early 20s embracing self-acceptance

What if I don’t know what I’m doing in my early 20s?

A little-known secret is the following: Nobody knows what they are doing. Even the adults that look like they have it all together. There are always going to be awkward interactions, huge failures, and moments of perceived unworthiness.

As I got older, I started to see that these things happen to everybody. The loudest person you know is scared of being unheard. The calmest person you know is rude when they feel unthought of. The funniest person you know is making some really bad decisions in their marriage.

All of this is to say that you will mess up. You will go down some dead-end trails. And it will still turn out alright. Nobody is entirely sure what they are doing. The only thing I know for sure is this: You’ll never know what you’re doing if you never take the risk to try something new. There are worlds within you that are waiting to be discovered, if only you can sacrifice the fear that comes with not knowing what you are doing.

Do I need therapy in my early 20s?

In your early 20s, therapy sounds like a scary room where you pay someone to be your friend and try not to look crazy. In some ways, it is. Going to therapy is really hard. It is extremely scary. It is not usually fun. But it is so necessary.

Here’s the other secret: Everyone needs therapy. And I could give you all the normal reasons that people say (You need an objective person who is educated with the skills to professionally guide your mental health journey). And that’s very true. But it’s so much more than that.

Therapy chair for those looking to find self-acceptance in their early 20s

Without a therapist, it’s like the blind leading the blind. The level of perspective that a good therapist can give your situation is incredible. I can tell my therapist things that I have been mulling over for years, and she tells me the simplest reframing of the situation that has me surprised every time. I tell her about my life, and she asks me questions that suggest a whole new meaning to my problems. This is a perspective that your friends can never give, even if it helps to sit and relate with your friends about the same problems (in my case, it’s Latina moms).

Let’s get real here. I’m not even totally honest in every therapy session. There are parts of me I still try to hide, or gloss over, or sweep under the rug. It is so hard to show up and confront all the hardest parts of your life, staring into the headlights of things you wish had never happened.

Luckily, you don’t have to go into therapy with arms wide open, ready to tell them every secret thought you have ever had. The only thing you have to do is show up as yourself. Be open to the process. And know that your therapist has your best interest at heart.

Embracing Self-Acceptance in Your Early 20s

Self-acceptance in your early 20s is almost an oxymoron. You are freshly out in the world, scrambling on little baby deer legs and learning to walk. How could you possibly accept looking like that? 

Once again, you are in for a difficult process. Self-acceptance is something you will have to work at every single day. It is something that has to start within you, that you have to get comfortable with in your own time. If you show people the parts of yourself that you are ashamed of, you run the risk of rejection, being laughed at, and abandonment. What if people don’t embrace you?

However, self-acceptance means you are also opening up to the possibility of the greatest reward: Living authentically and finding your people. The people who connect deeply to what you are saying, who would love to learn your life, who would safeguard your heart from everyone else. Life is so much more special when you accept who you are, and show up as that person. You find opportunities that align with your goals, people that align with your values, and a life that is meant for you. You cannot avoid what is meant for you. You are always right on time. 


Self-acceptance in your early 20s is something that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life. Learning how to let go of your shame, your fear, and even your parent’s fears is going to let you blossom in a way that you never have before. Self-acceptance is all about sticking to who you are, no matter the situation, or the person sitting in front of you. The skills to do this every day are easy to understand (harder to implement), such as gratitude, journaling, compassion, and rebuffing the voice in your head that says your authentic self isn’t good enough. If it’s good enough for you, then it’s good enough for everyone else. 

Finally, please remember that therapy is always here for you. This process is not something you have to go through alone, and you can gain so much clarity and compassion through finding the right therapist for you. There’s really no excuse. You can try it one day, or today can be Day One. Either way, I hope you find the voice inside you that lets you be you.

Message from the team of licensed therapists at Remain Connected Counseling:

As faith-based counselors serving the Atlanta area, it brings us immense joy to walk alongside individuals who are committed to finishing the race of life well. Regardless of where you find yourself on this journey, know that you are not alone. Your desire for healing is both valid and achievable. It is never too late to heal. It is NEVER too late for you. And God would never give up on you, so don't give up on yourself!

In conclusion, remember this: Your journey toward healing is a testament to your resilience and the unwavering love of a higher power. Embrace it, embrace yourself, and know that the best is yet to come.

Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA

Please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling

Our team knows you may experience other issues in your life. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapyanxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog post is not a licensed therapist.


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