My year of 30 brought me so much more than a number. I can’t quite tell you the moment it all clicked for me, but somewhere in that year my perspective on life changed. I started putting my self first by focusing more on my needs and wants rather than others’. Thus began my journey to self awareness. (Side note: I know this sounds very cliche, it may be just as cliche as a mid-life crisis but honestly being in tune with yourself can definitely help you live a happier life) I started paying attention to myself and my habits. I asked myself, what can I improve on? What are my weaknesses? What goals have I set in the past and haven’t reached and why didn’t I reach them? What is making me unhappy in life, and how can I change that?
I had all these questions about myself, some were easy to answer while others were difficult because I forced myself to face some ugly truths and fix things I wasn’t happy about. I read books, articles, watched interviews of successful women, watched Oprah’s Life class (which I would highly recommend; The woman knows what she’s talking about), listened to motivational speakers, and stepped out of my comfort zone a few times to face some fears. Through all of that I started changing the way I live.
It’s amazing what you can learn once you start paying attention to yourself. I’ve only just hit the surface but I want to share with you 8 things I learned in my year of 30.
#1 Appreciate your problems
When I started looking at my problems as an opportunity to grow and learn rather than an annoyance coming to disrupt my happy life; my perspective on life changed. Instead of complaining and wishing the problem away I now ask myself “What can I learn from this?” It really does shed a new light on your problems because whether you like it or not there will always be a new one waiting around the corner and sometimes they come in pairs or threes, so you might as well embrace them.
#2 Remove any negativity from your life
Get rid of people who bring you down. I didn’t have any negative people in my life, because I have always been very choosy as to who I let in, but I did have individuals who always needed something from me and never added to my life in a positive way. I learned to distance myself from them rather than cut them off completely. Lets face it, some relationships are better from afar.
#3 It is what it is
This has been a very hard one for me. I always envision a situation to go a certain way and when it doesn’t I tend to get upset or feel disappointed. I learned that you can’t control the situation or people, only the way you react to it.
#4 Be selfish, but not really be selfish
Put your needs before others unless it’s to serve the greater good. I believe in giving back to those less fortunate or being there for someone when they need you for moral support, but when saying no to yourself is going to hurt you more than saying no to someone else; be selfish!
#5 Stop wondering “what if”
I found myself constantly looking back at life and thinking that if I would have done things differently the outcome would have been better. You will drive yourself crazy because the past is full of “what ifs” instead do better now that you know better. This leads me to my next lesson…
#6 Learn to forgive yourself
We are our own worst critiques. We judge ourselves too harshly, and dwell on our mistakes for far too long. I’m learning to forgive myself for mistakes I’ve made and letting go of any grudges I hold towards me. It’s not as easy as saying “I forgive myself,” it will take time and patience but just as you learn to forgive others you have to give yourself a break every once in a while, after all you have to live with yourself.
#7 You know more than you think you know
Many times in the past I’ve shied away from an opportunity because I thought that I wasn’t qualified enough to deserve the opportunity or I didn’t give input on an idea at work because I felt like I wasn’t experienced enough to have my input matter in a room full of seasoned vets. I’ve also had creative ideas and felt insecure about them so I wouldn’t voice them afraid that they wouldn’t work, and then I see someone else bring up the same idea and it be welcomed. So I’ve learned to trust my instincts and I realize that I should give my self more credit on what I know.
#8 Stand up for yourself
If you feel you are not being valued as a person or you are being taken advantage of, say something. Even if you are scared the outcome won’t be in your favor, it is better to lose something because you stood up for yourself rather than keep staying somewhere you aren’t being valued. You never know, the outcome might surprise you and sometimes you make people aware of something they were oblivious to. I could definitely attest to this one, and the outcome was in my favor but I was willing to lose my livelihood in exchange for not losing my dignity but luckily I kept both.