Figuring out who you are and who you want to be can make your twenties a challenging and stressful time. But as you grow older, you’ll realize that you were a lot better at some things then than you are now. Here are the things you should try to hold onto:
Selfishness can be a very good skill. It makes you take care of yourself before anyone else and lets everyone know that you’re not a pushover. When you’re in your twenties, it comes naturally. You’re finding your place in the world and aren’t thinking about taking care of everyone else. But when you grow older and take on more responsibilities, whether it’s kids, your job, or even pets, people lose their selfishness just when they need it most.
Falling in love
There’s nothing like the thrill of falling in love when you’re young. Even if it ends badly, you continue leaping into things with your whole heart because you have faith that you’ll find the perfect match. But by the time you hit your late twenties, you’ve had enough terrible dates to realize that most people aren’t worth your time and it’s easy to get hurt. Because of this, you approach every new relationship with pessimism and extreme caution, completely forgetting that going all-in often leads to the greatest payoff.
Visualizing the future
While you probably experienced a lot of doubt and apprehension about your future in your early twenties, it was still an exciting time. The amount of dreaming and goal setting that people do during that decade shouldn’t end when they start manifesting their plans. It should just be the beginning. The more you think about your future, the more you’ll be able to live with intention and secure the life that you want to lead.
Multi-tasking like crazy
Your twenties are hectic. Not only are you figuring out who you actually are, but you’re juggling new jobs, new relationships, financial independence, and having a good time. But by the time you get to your thirties, most people decide it’s time to focus on stability, becoming less well-rounded and capable as a result.
Making productive mistakes
Learning from your miscalculations is a fundamental part of becoming an adult, but as people grow older, they tend to forget its value. Your twenties are full of growth, and if you analyzed your experience, you’d probably realize that a lot of that growth stemmed from mistakes and missteps. But once you reach your thirties and the stakes are higher in both your professional and private life, most people avoid mistakes and failure like the plague, forgetting that they might be the key to success.
Having a good time
Yes, of course you can overdo it, but why do so many people lose their sense of fun when they realize they are fully-fledged adults? While being responsible is necessary to leading a productive and fulfilling life, learning to get back in touch with your carefree twenty-something self will bring you more peace of mind than you’d imagine. And who wants to be responsible all the time anyway?
Accepting discomfort as a necessary side effect of living life to the fullest
There’s something about being in your twenties that makes you feel invincible. No matter how many hangovers, heartbreaks, or rejections you face, you keep coming back to fight another day. As you grow older, however, you become more pain-averse. You’re tired of the uncertainty and consequences and instead seek stability. While this is a necessary step to becoming an adult, most people take it too far and forget to put themselves out there when it really matters.
No one is the same person at 29 as they were at 20. You may move states or change relationships or find a career path, and interspersed in all of this are a million little changes that even you won’t be able to identify. All of this change takes immense flexibility. But even after you’ve found a steady situation in life, you should make every effort to retain your ability to change. No matter how carefully you plan your future, things will never go just as you imagine, and flexibility will save you.
Making new friends
Because of all the change you experience in your twenties, you have to be open to finding new communities in whatever situation you find yourself. But once they’ve established their home and career, people tend to stick to the friends they have. Re-learning how to put yourself out there and meet new people will bring color to your life when it starts to feel a little dull.
Questioning your path in life
Just because you’ve started on a certain path doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. A lot of people think of their twenties as a “trial period” in which mistakes don’t matter and you can change course whenever you want to. But that mindset shouldn’t be limited to a single decade. Continuing to live your life with the knowledge that you always have the option to start over will insure that you’re not just coasting through life.
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