June 16, 2017

Five Life Lessons I’ve Learnt in my 30’s

Moving out of my 20’s was a pretty big deal for me.  I was entering a stage where ‘things get real’, increased responsibility, accountability, and dare I say it – having to grow up!

The five things I have learnt so far in my 30’s which I didn’t practice or understand fully in my 20’s are:

1. Learning to say NO. I have always been a people pleaser, determined to bend over backwards for everyone and anyone in order to remain in favour with them.  However, what I have learnt is that you can’t keep everyone happy.  Self-care starts with you personally.  If you are running around trying to please everyone else you slowly but surely start placing your needs and wants lower on the pecking order, until you have no time left for yourself.   Saying no can bring about conflict.  The thought of conflict was frightening to me, it also scares a lot of people, however sometimes conflict internally and externally is required to create change and ditch a habit.

2. Never underestimate anyone.  This can work both ways in my opinion, both positively and negatively.  You never truly know someone, just when you think you have them sussed they go and do something completely unexpected.  This doesn’t mean not to trust people, far from it, but never judge the book by the cover.  Always expect the unexpected when it comes to human beings.  People can do wonderful things , but also we can  turn quickly into something that wasn’t expected.  So in the long short of things, don’t ever underestimate yourself either.

3.  Quality over Quantity.  This can be put over many areas in life, but I refer this to people in my life.  Growing up I always had a very big group of “friends”, but looking back I think I could count on one hand who truly were my real friends.  This really has become even more clear in my 30’s.  My group is small, but I trust them implicitly.  This principle also covers time, in the sense of time you spend with people.  Such a busy life, responsibility, career, kids and so forth really does make time a precious commodity.  That being said I have found that when we all do come together I appreciate it so much more.  Don’t waste your quality time.

4. It’s okay, to not be okay.  Whilst I was in my final year of studying to become a psychotherapist, my tutor said something to me one day that stopped me in my tracks.  I was stressed, worried and tired, I felt as though I had to conceal this.  However, when my tutor said to me “it’s okay, to not be okay” I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders.  My tutor was absolutely correct with what they said, that simple saying made me feel like a human being again and accepted for my vulnerability at that time.  You are human, not a robot, it’s okay to not be okay!

5. Don’t give up on your goals.  So many things happen in life, plus many of us often pop our careers or aspirations in life on hold for one reason or another.  That being said, it’s important to always revisit those goals.  In my very early teens I knew what I wanted to do and study in life. However family changes, adapted the course of my life which took a very different track throughout my 20’s.  I never lost hope that I would return to my one true passion, psychology.  I was determined to fulfill this, amongst other goals.  It’s important to understand that although life may take you on a very different track, don’t ever lose hope or sight on goals.  Big, small, distant, close,  goals are important to have in your journey.  It’s what gives us purpose.