While journaling the other day, I started thinking about things I wish I knew before I turned 30. As I reflected on my life, I wrote a letter to younger me which I want to share with you. I believe that you could draw some insights and inspiration from these lessons that I have learned on my journey to becoming the woman I am today.
As you read these 8 things I wish I knew before I turned 30, I want you to reflect on the your life today and ask yourself, ‘What could I do differently so I can shift from burnout & unfulfillment to a life of balance, productivity and fulfillment’.
I know you are there and you have dreams of how you want your life to be ten years from now. Your dream is to empower people, get married, have children and live a very great and fulfilling life. You are so focused on this dream. You are working on this dream everyday but I want you to know these life lessons that I believe will guide you on your journey to greatness. These life lessons are very important and I am sharing them with you because they will make your journey bearable and more enjoyable.
It's Okay To make Mistakes
Ama, I want to start by saying that, It’s ok to make mistakes. Don’t approach life from a fixed mindset. That makes things complicated. Approach life from a growth mindset. You learn as you grow. Stop being too hard on yourself for the mistakes you are making. Realise that each mistake is an opportunity to learn a lesson and evolve into the woman God wants you to be. Stop wallowing in guilt for past mistakes. Life happens and we all make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and just move on.
Change Your Perfectionist Mindset
Ama, Know that there is nothing like a perfect woman. Every woman on earth has her own unique set of skills and abilities, limitations and assets, flaws and strengths. I know you are a high achiever and you constantly try to be perfect in everything you get involved in. This is good, it shows your sense of delight in showing up and doing your best. But do you realise that in spite of all your achievements you still do not feel fulfilled and happy. This is because, trying to be perfect in everything will only drown you in poor self esteem and life dissatisfaction. Don’t overexert yourself just to be perfect. Don’t be so focused on perfection. Just operate with the idea of putting in your best and enjoy the best you put in. Aim for consistency not perfection.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask For help
Ama, I know you’re a high achiever and you like to over perform just to prove yourself. I know you feel others will see you as weak if you ask for help. I want to reassure you that accepting help and asking for help does not make you a weak woman. You have a very big dream and vision and in order to achieve that dream, you need support and help. Please learn to delegate some of your responsibilities and say yes when help comes your way.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Learn to delegate what is possible and know that delegating some of your responsibility when you have too much on your plate does not make you a lazy person.
You will be able to achieve more if you have helpers working with you. So please, let go of the me, myself and i mentality and embrace a team mentality. That is how you can reach your goals and not feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
Don’t Define Your Self Esteem by External Factors
Ama, the society you live in is training you to value yourself and people by certain external standards. So you look down on yourself when you are not able to reach these external factors. This makes you feel sometimes that you are not good enough.
When your self- esteem is defined by things like money, job position, marital status, health status, weight change, level of education, academics, etc. what will happen if things change for you in these areas of your life? The value you place on yourself must come from within and not outside.
You are worth a lot because you were born into this world for a purpose. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you. It doesn’t matter if you are fat or slim, rich or poor, jobless or working, married or unmarried, a mom or childless, own a home or rent or homeless. You are still worthy and so you must value yourself.
These external things always change and are usually influenced by things beyond your control. You are who you are and worth what you are worth, with or without all these things. Just as these things cannot change your gender as a woman, your self esteem does not change when things change externally. You are a valuable woman no matter what you see around you.
Find your worth in who God says you are and who you are on the inside. Not what is going on outside you
Fear Is Standing in Your Way
Fear is what has held you back all these years Ama. You have held yourself back for fear of rejection, fear of failure and fear of the unknown. Fear is what has led you down places you never imagined yourself to go. Why are you so afraid of what people will say if you put yourself out there. I know going out of your comfort zone makes you feel insecure sometimes. But the only way you can grow and break glass ceilings is to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Ama just take the bold step and just push yourself beyond what you know is your limit now. Each step of the way, just keep depending on God to direct your path.
Just take the bold step. Go for your dreams and do it afraid. Do first then feel.
Don’t Bottle Up Your Emotions
Emotions are not bad Ama. Emotions help us know what is going on inside and around us. Deal with your emotions instead of suppressing them. Deal with your feelings in the right way. Don’t harbor your feelings and numb them with indulgences like food, shopping/spending, to mention but a few.
You need to develop a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. you can deal with your emotions by having an objective sounding board to whom you can express your feelings. This person must be trustworthy, confidential and have the ability to help you talk through your feelings so you can deal with them in a much positive and effective way. Years of bottled emotions will only lead you into unresolved grievances, bitterness and resentfulness.
Don't Be Afraid to Say ‘NO’ and enforce Your Boundaries
Why are you so afraid to say no? Why do you keep saying yes to things that you deeply know are crossing your boundaries? Is it because you think others will perceive you as a bad person? Is it because you fear rejection? Is it because you want to make everyone happy?
Know that you cannot please everyone. You cannot be everything to everybody. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. Say no assertively to anything that crosses your boundaries and anything that you just don’t want.The more you keep saying yes to things you do not want, the more you lose yourself and don’t feel fulfilled.
Please my dear Ama, spare yourself all the stress and burnout and just draw the line internally of how far is too far for you. That way it will be very easy for you to say no when need be.
Self-Care is Your Best Friend
Self Care is a non negotiable practice you must indulge in. Self care is not selfish. Self Care is not luxury. Self care is one of the most important things you can invest in yourself as a woman. I’m not just talking about getting your nails done or getting your hair done. I’m talking about consistently taking time to refuel yourself.
Just as you will charge your phone when the battery is low, you have to recharge from time to time so you don’t totally shut down. Remember also that you cannot pour out of an empty cup. You cannot give out your best if you are empty.
You need to identify activities and people that fill you up. It could be meditation, taking naps, a relaxing hobby, taking a walk, listening to a podcast, etc. Establishing a strategic refueling plan and consistently using it will go a long way to help you avoid burnout, increase your productivity and help you perform at your optimum level.
The Future is Bright
Ama, I want to end this letter by assuring you that the future is bright, You will face some trials and temptations. You will face some setbacks. You will face some rejection and backlash. You will face some troubles. But through all of them, don’t lose your hope in God and in life. All these will shake you but don’t allow them to take away your drive. As you journey in life, always remember that, the future is bright and you will live to see the fulfillment of all the things you dream of. Keep pushing hard. Keep hoping and yearning for great things. Use these lessons I have shared to guide you as you walk this life path. Ten years from today you will realise that it was all worth it.
Reflect on your younger self
These 8 things I wish I knew before I turned 30 are the life lessons I am living by as I strive to be more balanced, fulfilled, purposeful and productive and I hope they inspire you to make a change today.
- It’s ok to make mistakes
- Change your perfectionist mindset
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Don’t define your self esteem by external factors
- Fear, is standing in your way
- Don’t bottle up your emotions
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO’ and enforce your boundaries
- Self-care is your best friend
Want to Know More?
If you can identify with any of these 8 things I wish I knew before I turned 30 and you are looking for support in making a change in your life so you can shift from a life of burnout, unfulfillment & stress to a life of balance, productivity, purposefulness and fulfilment. I want to invite you to book a free strategy session with me. In that session we can discuss what is going on in your life now, what your challenges are and what you need to help you make some positive changes in your life.
Book your free strategy session by going to www.empoweredforbalance.com/freesession