10 Life Lessons I learned in my Twenties

10-Life-Lessons-I learned-in-my-Twenties1. Learn from it all and grow through it all

From write-ups and suspensions to being placed on academic probation. I constantly beat myself up when I received any disciplinary action at work or if I didn’t score the grades I wanted. At only 20 years old, I was trying to master adulthood and getting frustrated with every setback. As I got older, I gradually learned how to identify my shortcomings and improve on my mistakes. In retrospect, I was learning to come to terms with my imperfections to become a better me. Then my mistakes were disguised as failures but I later realized they were never failures but necessary lessons. I now see what I’ve learned from these experiences and how much I’ve grown because of them. Your greatest gains can come in the middle of your struggle.

“On the other side of every setback is an opportunity. On the other side of offense is growth. The difficulties you face are not there to defeat you. They are there to increase you.” -Joel Olsteen

2. Focus on one thing at a time

During my collegiate years, I spent 50% percent of my time at work, 40% percent at school, and 10% percent at home. I was invested in a committed relationship at the time, and trying to be engaged in countless extracurricular activities and programs. Between volunteering, working overtime, and attending social events I barely had time to rest. With all that I had going on, I was spreading myself very thin. I thought to be busy was a good thing, but I learned the hard way that it was detrimental to my health. Needless to say, the burn out was all too real, which forced me to focus on one thing at a time. Trying to be a part of everything will drain you. Solely focusing on one thing can help you develop expertise in that skill. Avoid becoming a Jack of all trades and master of none!!

3. Positive Thinking

I never realized how much changing my thoughts from negative to positive could impact my life. Your thoughts dictate what will manifest in your life. I learned this in “The Secret”It really does take many negative thoughts and persistent negative thinking to bring something negative into your life. However, if you persist in thinking negative thoughts over a period of time, they will appear in your life.” These are very true words. When I stopped feeding my negative thoughts and started creating power thoughts, an abundance of good things started happening in my life. To be clear, I do encounter bad experiences and situations, but I try to not let them interrupt my joy by controlling my reactions. When I’m in a happy state I attract happy vibes from others. When you focus on the good in your life you limit the power of the negative.

4. Take time to reflect

Sometimes we get so caught up in fulfilling our goals in accordance with our biological clock that we never take the time to just sit, reflect, and appreciate the moments. Take the time to be present. By not pausing after an experience we don’t allow growth to catch up with us. This can lead us to miss the lesson at the end of the experience. In my early 20’s because I felt I was behind with my studies and unconsciously understood taking this time for myself as a further delay. I wanted to obtain a bachelor’s degree before I turned 25 and didn’t realize that I needed to pause to discover if I was on the right path or if I needed to change course. We are so consumed with society’s standards and checking off the boxes by a certain point in our life that we fast forward our lives and miss the valuable lessons in the delay. Luckily, I had a great academic advisor who helped me implement the changes and course corrections I needed as a result of my impatience. It’s important for millennials who are always so focused on the next move to stop and enjoy our unique journey, life isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon.

'Learn to stop obsessing over the next victory, and appreciate the simple parts of today.'- Rachel Hollis Click To Tweet

5. Ask for help

Have you heard the song “She Got Her Own” by Jamie Foxx? It describes me. For the last 10 years, I’ve adopted the title Miss Independent and Self-Made. I didn’t need help from anyone I could do everything on my own. I think I refused to ask for help because I didn’t enjoy feeling like I owed anyone anything, or want others to think they could later throw a favor in my face. I hated depending on others because I assumed they probably wouldn’t come through for me. This lesson is applicable both professionally and personally. I was always willing to complete work projects all by myself. I didn’t want my co-workers to ruin the project or try to take all the credit. In time I realized I can’t do everything alone. Well, I can, but why should I? Learning to outsource and lean onto others for assistance can help avoid burn-out. Sometimes our peers possess talents that are beneficial to us. If you’re running a business hire an intern or an assistant. I have a tribe of friends who help me in a multitude of ways, I’ve finally come to terms with I can’t do everything by myself.

10-Life-Lessons-I-Learned-In-My-Twenties

6. Progress over Perfection

With the recent launch of Millennial J., I’ve noticed that I have perfectionist tendencies.Before sending emails I re-read them at least three times. Before I submit blog posts I make sure one of my friends reads it and 99% of the time it just needs two minor edits. I’m not sure why, but I don’t trust myself. I want things to be perfect but the problem with perfectionism is I will always fall short. Tiffany Brown tackles this very topic on her podcast Episode “Progress over Perfection”. Getting caught up with the little things will stall everything else you need to do. This blog is a prime example, I refused to launch it until the WordPress plugins were functioning perfectly. I kept on pushing the launch date further back which held up the progress on my other tasks. I’m slowly coming to terms that everything doesn’t have to be perfect while reminding myself “How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything”.

7. Give Yourself Credit

Often times we haven’t fulfilled our definition of success and we fail to give ourselves credit for what we have already achieved. We keep expecting to be further along in life than where we currently are which only makes personal fulfillment an ever fleeting aspiration. We expend all our energy in reaching a goal that once reached it evolves. This was my epiphany a few weeks before my 30th birthday. Although I achieved over 90% percent of my 5-year goals, I focused only on what I hadn’t. Luckily, I have amazing friends and mentors who remind me to give myself credit for how far I’ve come and to not beat myself up over my mistakes or goals that I haven’t attained. As long as I stay focused I will accomplish my goals in due time.

8. Embrace Discomfort

Discomfort is a part of learning and growth. I’ve taken on three different roles and obtained three college degrees in my 20’s. In each position, I’ve experienced growing pains. Like anything new, you have to learn the ropes. There were many times I was placed in uncomfortable positions with no direction. I would make consecutive mistakes and in turn, be scolded. I’ve even done the things my superiors or professors asked of me only to be reprimanded for doing so. I’ve since learned discomfort signals personal and professional growth. Instead of internalizing my emotions, I now rise to the occasion and focus on progress remembering the discomfort will not last forever.

If you are healing and breaking all at once do not fear this is growth - Q. Gibson Click To Tweet

9. Find Your Tribe

The journey to success is not solitary. As much as I enjoy being in solitude, during my most challenging times I needed support from my tribe to continue to excel in life. In the last 5 years, I’ve had to release some relationships that no longer aligned with my values. As a millennial, I find it extremely challenging to navigate this maze of life. This is why I chose my tribe wisely. My older peers share their years of wisdom with me and my younger peers learn from me. Reciprocity matters in any and all healthy relationships. Every relationship should help you become the best version of yourself and uplift  one another. We must surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and “release the toxic relationships and friendships.” Not everyone can grow with you. My closest friends are from school and work since we can relate to one another. If you’re struggling with finding new friends, I encourage you to attend networking/social events that interest you. Remember, not everyone deserves to be your friend. Some people are just cool to hang out with, they are your associates. It’s important to discern the difference between the two.

10. Establish Boundaries

One thing I regret not doing in my 20’s is establishing clear boundaries. There were times I would let people take advantage of my kindness just to appease them. Not this time around, I’m changing that here and now. Instead of internalizing my feelings, I’m vocalizing them. My friends and family now know to include a greeting when texting me. I will respond to them with a “Hey, How are you? Or Good Morning”. I also don’t allow people to call or text me after 10:30 pm. You really have to draw a line at what you will and will not allow in your life. I think it’s very important that we communicate our boundaries with others. If people are not aware they will continue to invade our personal limits. “Whether physical, emotional, or psychological by setting your own boundaries you’re illustrating how you want and expect to be treated by others. In other words, you enforce the limitations for who can enter your space and what they can do once there.”

 

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1 Comment

  1. Sara
    March 19, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    This post was do gokd and informative!

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