This post was written by Laura from thosepositivethoughts.com.
I’ve been reflecting lately about all of the things which I’ve learned so far in my twenties. Although there are still many more lessons I have to learn, I do believe I’ve picked up on a healthier way of thinking.
I’m sure there are many similar lists out there so I’ve created mine to simply reflect the things which have helped me to better myself and to maximize opportunities. I hope they can do the same for you!
Try new things
I’ve always found stepping out of my comfort zone to be rather daunting but I’m thankful every time I do take the leap. Whether it be meeting new people, trying a new class at the gym or maybe something even more daring like a skydive! There are the odd occasions when I try something new which doesn’t work out for me, like ordering something different on the menu, but if you never try you will never know. Once we have opened our minds to new experiences we will forever be curious to see more, do more and be more. Now ask yourself, when was the last time you tried something new?
Related reading: Dealing With Fear of Failure (or Rejection)
Ask for feedback & appreciate constructive criticism
I always use to take any level of negative feedback way too personally. Yet in the recent years I’ve realized that I was rejecting the idea of self-improvement. I was actually being taught ways to develop myself and my skills. So with my new found discovery, I’ve began to ask for more feedback and I’ve started with my job. I emailed my Managers and asked them two simple but effective questions:
- What do I do that helps you the most?
- What could I do more of?
The answers I received from question (1) gave me positive feedback, because let’s face it, I still crave motivation and reassurance. From question (2) I was provided with what I now understand to be “constructive criticism” or for an even better way of seeing it “ideas on how to be even more amazing!” Asking for feedback can be scary and learning to appreciate constructive criticism can be hard but doing so will allow you to truly grow as a person.
Take care of your body
Our twenties is the best time in life to get healthy and start an exercise regime. Once we form healthy habits it’s very likely that we will continue these habits as we grow. The longer we wait to live a healthy life, the slower our metabolism will become and being fit will require a lot more work. There are some days (sometimes many) when I just don’t feel like going for a run or dragging myself to the gym. But once I do, I feel so much better. I’m sure you would agree. I like to try and eat healthy about 80% of the time, the remaining 20% will typically be spent on my love for chocolate!
Related reading: 13 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
Make time for your family
After losing someone who I loved dearly, I’m now truly aware of the importance of time. Time is the most valuable thing a person can ever own and it must be spent wisely. As we grow older it’s easy to forget that our family are growing older too, therefore we must spend us much time with our loved ones as we feel is right for us. I wish to build as many happy memories with my family as possible so I can look back with no regrets.
Be your biggest fan
We can get so hung up on others people’s opinions and worried that we will embarrass ourselves. Personally this is something I’m still working on, but I’m getting there. Confidence is key and if you don’t believe in yourself then who else will? Sometimes we have to be our biggest fan in order to push ourselves to do bigger and better things, only we know what we are capable of. As long as no one is being hurt by your actions, then the only person’s opinion that matters is your own. The truth is, the people who do judge care much less about your life than you might think. Why? Because they’re busy living their own life.
Related reading: 15 Effective Ways to Feel More Confident
Don’t compare yourself to others
One thing which we are all guilty of doing is comparing ourselves to others. We rate ourselves based on what we see our peers to be doing. When we compare our life and experiences to someone else we steal the joy and pride from our own achievements. Life becomes a lot easier once we realize that not everything is a competition. There will always be someone who is richer, smarter and faster, but so what! There is only going to be one you and you are unique. Stay focused on your own journey and your own goals and be the best version of you.
Speak up for yourself
We are strong and independent individuals. We must find the confidence to stand up for ourselves when something isn’t right or when we deserve more. If you feel you deserve a pay rise at work then make sure you speak up during your appraisal, shout about all the amazing things you’ve done and all the important things you’re planning on doing. If your partner or friend is treating you poorly, tell them how you feel. Don’t settle for less than you deserve and remember that if you don’t say anything then nothing will change. Don’t sacrifice your own wants and desires for someone else’s benefit. Learning how to respectfully stand up for yourself will lead you to the life you desire.
Related reading: 5 Tips to Help You Stop Being a People-Pleaser
Learn to manage your budget
Learning to manage my budget is something which I’ve always been good at. I much prefer to save my money for something worthwhile than wondering where my income goes at the end of the each month. So even though this isn’t something which I’ve learned in my twenties. I do believe it is one of the most important life lessons to learn as we start to take care of our own finances and future.
Related reading: 7 Simple Steps for Setting Up Your Budget (+ Free Worksheets!)
Fill your life with experiences not things
Memories will stay with us forever, but stuff? Not so much. After I’ve purchased something which I really didn’t need, usually more clothes! The thrill will wear of very quickly. I’m then left feeling guilty because I’ve wasted my hard earned money on clutter. After my basic needs are met, I’ve found that I’m much happier spending my income on experiences such as holidays and days out. Especially when it comes to birthdays and Christmas time, I love receiving and giving experience gifts. For my birthday this year my partner took me to see the Lion King at the theater and for his birthday I took him to Brands Hatch for a track day. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.
Stop dreaming and start doing
It’s funny how when we’re young we thought life would be easy. We thought we would just get our dream job and simply buy our dream home and live our oh so glamorous lives. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always live up to our expectations. We actually have to work hard for the life we want. Most of our desires won’t be easy but if they were then they wouldn’t be much of a dream, would they? Stop fantasizing and turn those dreams into a plan and live the life you know is possible. I’ve always found that if you want anything enough then you will find a way to make it happen.