I turned 30 this year. Yep, that really happened.
Given everything that’s been going on, I was tempted to stay 29 for just a little bit longer, but I’m a big believer in celebrating life’s momentous occasions as best you can. So, rather than living it up in Vegas like I had originally planned, I made afternoon tea and drank too much fruit punch instead 🥳 (I know what you’re thinking: this girl knows how to P-A-R-T-Y).
It may not have been a magical evening on the streets of Sin City, but it was fabulous all the same.
As birthdays often do, it got me reflecting on some of the many things I’ve learned in my 20s – a whole decade of making mistakes and using them to become the best possible version of myself. If I could hop in a time machine and give some advice to my younger self, this would be it:
Let go of fear & ignore the haters
Like many things in life, this is easier said than done, but you’ll never be happy if you constantly worry about what others think of you. For so much of my teens and early 20’s I cared waaaay too much about what other people thought of me, and it certainly held me back from living fully. I know that the biggest thing that’s ever held me back in business is MYSELF (due to my irrational, and maybe sometimes rational fears).
Even though I’d love to tell you it’s something else, I know that at the heart of the problem is me, myself and I. And that is totally fine. Fear is a human instinct, it’s normal and to some degree healthy. But the problems arise when we let them control our actions and hold us back. I say feel the fear and do it anyway!! 😎 #LetYourHatersBeYourMotivators
Learn to Listen to your intuition
Do you ever get that ‘knowing’ feeling? Some people find it easy to listen to their gut instincts, and others don’t. Learn to hear what your soul shares with you and try not to dismiss it. I have spent many years suppressing it, to eventually find myself on a path of hopelessness and depression. Your intuition is your soul’s compass that tells you when things are off and it always navigates via your feelings of comfort and joy – and it is always correct!
It’s okay to make mistakes as long as your learned from it
Learning is something that we continue to do throughout our whole life. It never stops, and making mistakes is an essential part of that process. When we screw up, it’s easy to start labelling ourselves as failures, but the funny thing is that we don’t usually think about the trillions of other people who made the exact same blunder before we did. Embrace your mistakes and use them to become stronger and wiser. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group worth over $4.8 billion has had many failures during his entrepreneurial journey, and it never once stopped him. Everyone fails. The people who fail most succeed.
Less is more
This saying can be applied to many things (except Nutella and toast), but I’m referring to friendship circles. The idea that the more friends we have, the cooler we are has been fed to us since school. I look back on fond memories of having a lot of friends to hang out with, but ultimately when you reach this age you realise quality is better than quantity. Because, you realise the ones that have stuck by you through the good, the bad and the ugly are the ones worth fostering deep and meaningful relationships with. I can count on one hand my top besties and I love them dearly.
you do you boo
I’ve struggled most of my life with trying to be who I wanted and I’ve always tried to please others or not do anything to be judged harshly. And most of the time I would end up giving in. All of us have looked at others and wished we could be like them. We wished we could have what they have. But you can’t be someone else. You are you. You are unique and have your own talents and experiences. You can use those talents and experiences to get what you want, but you shouldn’t sacrifice yourself to do so.
When I first started working as a brand designer, I found myself caught up in a faceless corporation. They gave me the bottom of the pile projects where I never got to meet the client, besides making a shit ton of tea for everyone, and I knew something had to change. One day I stuck it to the man and left to start my own entrepreneurial journey and started to feel like I had a purpose again. Only after learning to embrace myself – quirks and all – could I finally build something I was truly proud of.
Self-care is everything
Everyone’s heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup” Well, it’s true and if you don’t look after yourself, how can you expect to transmit good vibes and look after those around you? When you take a step back and focus on your own well-being, you’re not just considering your needs alone – you’re working to become the best version of yourself for everyone else. Self-care can be a simple as saying “no” or taking time to pick up a hobby you love or a 10-minute break for meditation.
Never stop learning
Like self-care, self-growth is just as important for living a fulfilled life. Not only does it help us excel in our work, setting goals for ourselves makes us feel happier. When we decide and work towards our own goals, our happiness isn’t dependent on others. To me knowledge is power and to be the very best version of ourselves, I believe we should always be trying to nourish our soul by filling our brain with new knowledge to help us live a fulfilling life. Learning does not stop after school, and the most successful business owners know this too.
Adventures (big or small) are the spice of life
The COVID lockdown has made the importance of going on adventures even more apparent. Whether it’s as small as trying out that new coffee shop down the road or something as big as jet-setting across the globe, adventures are essential for both our mental and physical health. I am dreaming of myself sunbathing by the sea, reading a good book, eating an ice-lolly 😍🍭 .. ahhhh blissful!
I’ve certainly learned a lot during my last ten trips around the sun. Your twenties can be stressful at times. You may feel overwhelmed, dislike your first job, and you might even find yourself switching careers, but it’s important to remember that all of this is okay. You don’t have to have everything figured out by the time you’re 30 – life is one long, exciting, and rewarding adventure.