I believe that our 20’s are by far the most pivotal years of life. From college degrees and career choices to serious relationships and choosing an instagram filter (ha!) With all this pressure, it’s no wonder the quarter-life crisis hits. But despite temptations and distractions abound, the decisions we make in our 20’s can shape our entire future.
If you refuse to let limiting beliefs hold you back or excuses keep you small, these years can be the very best of your life. Simply by shifting your focus to areas you can improve and grow to empower into your best self.How do you feel about your life at this moment? Do you love what you are doing? Are you looking forward to the future? Or are you still caught up on the past? Are you living your best life? I have decided to make a conscious effort to take back control and put my best self out into the world. Care to join me?
Excuses we need to quit making
1. I’m too busy.
Let’s face it: there will never be enough hours in the day. But lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. Everyone has certain times of the day when they’re more or less productive. Follow that energy.
Everyone I know seems to be ‘crazy busy.’ We fill our free time with commitments and end up feeling guilty for not relishing every waking hour. But did you ever consider how our jam-packed days are really just to avoid feeling empty and unfulfilled at the end of the day?
I often find myself with 20 browser tabs open at once in my brain. While multitasking may feel like I am accomplishing more, I lose all focus as my mind moves in a million different directions. It is important to slow down and avoid spreading myself thin. It is vital to take time to recharge ourselves and rejuvenate our souls. Or else, burnout becomes inevitable.
Despite full schedules, responsibilities, and unexpected obstacles, we all have the potential to make our dreams, passions, and important relationships our top priorities.2. I’m afraid to fail.
What if everything goes terribly wrong? But then again, what if everything goes terribly right? Failure is both the best and worst thing that can happen to you. When you don’t fail, you succeed. When you do fail, it is experience and a lesson learned.
Fear holds us back. It destroys dreams. I know this all too well as I battled perfectionism throughout my adolescence. My anxiety of being mediocre caused me to procrastinate to the point of not taking action at all. It was pure self-sabotage.
Some are content staying forever within their comfort zone; but this places bounds on experiencing all life has to offer. Discomfort is a sign you are pushing yourself towards growth and will come out a stronger person in the end. We can either cling to what feels safe, avoiding potential regret, or realize the worst disappointment is in not chasing after our dreams.
I urge you to continuously stretch yourself and risk looking foolish. For me, this means traveling the globe and opening my mind to a whole new world of ideas, opportunities, people, places, and cultures. I won’t get that in my hometown.
3. It’s too expensive.
Whether you struggle with earning, saving, budgeting, or overspending, know you are not alone.
I constantly get asked: “How do you afford to travel at this age?” I find ways to make traveling accessible. With my first full time job in Australia, I was able to see a whole new side of the world, making the most of 4 weeks of leave. To save for trips, we need to get creative in cutting our expenses. You too could make travel a reality if you taught English, au paired, or couchsurfed your way through!
It all boils down to what is important to you. For some it’s material items such as a wardrobe full of clothes, fancy cars or houses. For others its holding onto money for a sense of security. Are you willing to make sacrifices?
In my opinion, experiences make life far richer than any amount of money ever will. I vow to forget about the costs and travel while I’m young and able. I have my entire life to save for the future.4. I’m not ready.
When afraid to take that leap into the unknown, I think to myself: What’s the worst that can happen? Can I live with that outcome?
It’s so easy to think: “Everyone has got there sh*t together except for me!” You are surely not the only one who feels lost, stuck and overwhelmed at the direction their life is heading.
There will never be a “perfect” time. Life is fleeting and if you keep waiting for someday, that day may never come. This moment will pass whether you spend it pushing, rushing or worrying. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.
5. I’m not good enough.
Resist the temptation of comparison. There will always be someone who is thinner, prettier, wealthier, more talented or more successful than you are. You’re likely judging yourself by a small peak of their life and don’t know the struggles they may face. Each one of us has our own unique essence We each can offer the world a unique blend of skills, talent, and potential.
The most important relationship you will ever cultivate is the one you have with yourself. It is not selfish to work on yourself, treat yourself, and take time for yourself. Doing so enables you to be better in all other areas that require you to give of yourself.
So many of us hold an unconscious belief that we don’t deserve love and that if someone truly knew our imperfections we would be alone for the rest of our life. Don’t lower your standards and keep not settling. You are worth more than your weight in gold.6. I’m a woman.
As one of few without a Y chromosome in the field of finance analytics, I at times feel I am not taking seriously. But while some will use being a woman as an excuse as to why they’re not getting as many opportunities, I will be out there actually chasing that new position or higher pay.
Luckily my mother was the ultimate role model, juggling a high-stakes career with family in flawless fashion. Believe in yourself and your value. Speak up for what you want and don’t be afraid to flaunt your achievements.
I’ve never been one to sit back and let my fate decided for me, I’m going to decide it for myself. Confidence is key. Being a female is empowering. Embrace it.7. I’m afraid of rejection.
Vulnerability is beautiful. It is key to cultivate intimacy in any and every relationship. Emotional, physical, spiritual. Vulnerability is the core of connection and keeping that spark alive.
But vulnerability is scary. It requires us to be seen for who we truly are – the good, the bad, the ugly. Don’t ever put your happiness in someone else’s hands.
Be thankful you have watched people walk out of your life, for you learn to understand the importance of making the most of what is in front of you, while you have the chance. Be thankful for suffering and heartbreak because it reminds you that you are strong enough to face the worst and still come back stronger than ever.
Learn to be kind to love yourself before you fall for another person. It will lead to more secure, passionate, joyful and loving relationships with others.
8. I will look weak if I ask for help.
Quite the opposite. You don’t have to figure it out all by yourself. If you’re struggling to find balance in life, reach out and ask those around you to lend a hand. Share your experience with a mentor, coach or friend.
Having people we can trust with our deepest fears, insecurities, and questions is essential to finding our own answers.
Battling your own weaknesses, chasing after your goals, or living by your convictions are difficult things to do on your own. Accept the love and support of family and friends. We are not alone if we choose not to be.9. This is just the way I am.
Don’t ever become a victim of your own life. You may have been born or raised under poor circumstances. Think domestic violence, poverty, addiction, and other mental and physical illnesses. But look at all the people who have overcome and risen from the depths.
It’s too late to switch careers. It’s too late to get healthy. It’s too late to find true love. It’s too late to travel the world. It’s too late to make any meaningful changes in my life. It’s too late to be happy.
No, no, no! Be thankful that life is a challenge and you are not on a straight and narrow path to success,
because the journey will build your strength and character. Be thankful when you don’t have all of the answers, for your limitations and weaknesses give you the opportunity to learn and grow.
Don’t sit back idly and let life happen to you. You are in the drivers seat and have every ability to change if you are not happy. It’s never too late to follow your dreams. There’s no time like the present to start.
Above all else, live your life on your own terms. You’ve got this, you brave beautiful one.