“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
― Roy T. Bennett
I recently finished a book called The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest, and the author shared some personal growth insight that made me reflect on a few life lessons learned in my 20s that shifted my entire perspective.
I saw the book a few times on social media, but I never purchased it because I thought it was mostly hype, and I rarely hear some of my mentors like Tony Robbins or Les Brown mention it. However, after finishing this book, I only wished I had read it sooner!
The following blog post is inspired by the author's work and offers a few lessons I would share with my younger self now that 30 is staring at me from around the corner.
By the way, The Mountain Is You is a book I think everyone should read whether you are a twenty or fifty-year-old.
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What Are The Important Life Lessons Learned In Your 20s?
1. Suppressing your emotions so you don't "offend anyone" is causing most of your anxiety.
Learning emotional intelligence is one of the most crucial skills we can develop in life. Too often, we are not coached on understanding or processing our emotions, so we end up suppressing them.
Our bodies do not respond positively to this suppression, and we could start to realize that something feels off. There are plenty of reasons why we could have anxiety in life, but maybe we could explore the idea that we feel so much stress and anxiety because we are ignoring the way we feel on the inside.
Once you begin to speak up for yourself, you will be surprised by what bodily changes your experience. You do not have to do this offensively. Just stay true to who you are and acknowledge when something doesn't feel right.
2. Your story of overcoming adversity will help others discover their inner strength.
If you are in your twenties, I am sure that you have gone through some difficult life situation that could help someone else discover a way out. I wish I had learned not to be so ashamed of my story earlier in life. Being raised in poverty and dealing with anxiety and panic attacks was extremely embarrassing to me.
I portrayed an image of a happy, well-put-together person most of my life (especially as a teenager) that revealing my deepest struggles seemed so scary to me. I wasn't sure how it would be received.
However, after publishing my first book that detailed my journey from public housing apartments in rural Alabama to where I am now at Yale University, I quickly saw how far authenticity takes you. Crystal Clear: A Journey of Self-Discovery (From Public Housing to Ivy League) has touched the lives of over 500 people worldwide.
Each time I receive a DM or email discussing how my book helped someone overcome difficulties in life, I see just how important it was for me to show up and share my story.
3. They aren't fighting for you because they aren't the one for you. Let go.
Whether you are dealing with friends or a romantic partner, people only stay where they actually want to be. If there is someone that you care deeply about that doesn't show you that they want to stay in your life, then LET THEM GO!
Please do not let someone have to tell you twice how they feel about you. When you sense that a friend or loved one is trying to create distance, then it is usually for a reason that you will not always fully understand.
I believe that we have to get better at allowing people to be who they are while we are young. It probably doesn't get easier to let go when we get older.
If we dive deeper into why we are holding on so tightly to someone who wants to leave, maybe we will discover that something else is there. Maybe we will discover that we are just afraid of being alone.
It's okay to not want to be alone. However, we have to acknowledge any dependency and seek to reconcile that part of us.
4. Trying to be perfect is suppressing your creativity.
As a child, I can remember being so excited about creating. I would spend hours drawing my favorite cartoon characters or pictures of my dream bedroom with a pink and green color scheme.
However, I believe that as we get older, we start to care more about what other people think of us, so we pay more attention to appearing perfect than creative. Nothing perfect exists in this world. But that doesn't mean that there isn't beauty all around us.
Many people think that being perfect brings the most satisfaction in life, but it is the ability to create freely that is most fulfilling.
5. When you have a bad gut feeling about someone trust it.
We are communal beings, and we typically thrive in relationships. Shared experiences with friends and family members bring us the most satisfaction.
However, there are moments in life when we realize that someone in our circle may not have our best interest in life. In the present moment, we instinctively know when something doesn't feel right about someone, but too often we ignore that feeling for whatever reason.
I wish I had discovered when I was young that ignoring my gut feeling would lead to situations that could have been avoided if I trusted myself more.
6. Your spiritual alignment will deliver the most success in life.
In this world, we define success in so many different ways. For some it is related to how much money we accumulate. for others it has more to do with the quality of relationships a person has.
However, you define success, please understand that gaining all the riches of this world doesn't mean anything if we have no idea who we are or whom we are becoming.
When you are spiritually aligned, meaning you feel in your soul that you are headed toward your ideal life and that peace exists in the Now, you begin to notice things in your immediate environment that is more aligned with your goals.
The right people will show up. You get the call for that job you always wanted, or even better, you start to discover that you can create your dream job.
7. Do not compete. Just create.
I believe that a lot of our competition stems from the belief in limited resources. We believe that only a few of us can have access to all the money in the world.
When we are young, we are ranked against our peers in mundane class settings. Too often, we do not feel free to be ourselves and just create because we are more concerned with how much better we are than the next person.
However, when we shift our attention from comparing ourselves with others to just feeling free to create, we start to excel in our endeavors.
No one can compete with the true you because YOU are the only you there is!
8. You are heartbroken because you allowed yourself to fall in love with potential instead of what was actually in front of you.
This could be potential about a person or event that you wanted to take place. We have so many ideas about how life should be that we get disappointed when things do not happen the way we imagined, or if someone doesn't live up to the idea we created about them in our heads.
The reality is, we must acknowledge who or what something is in the Now. No more projecting our own beliefs about who they should be. Just accept what is and act accordingly.
9. Not everyone will like you, and that is OKAY.
I think in our 20s we spend so much time concerned with the idea of being liked by everyone. I do not think that this is necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes we can become so obsessed with being liked that we lose our true identities.
In life, some people just will not like you, but there are plenty of people in this world who love you. We have relationships with friends or family members who would do anything to see us happy.
We have the power to focus on those who love us and allow those who do not to move along.
10. Your parents also have childhood trauma that they are trying to heal from.
When I was 21 years old, I came across a quote that helped me understand this truth. I cannot remember exactly how it was worded, but it helped me realize that my parents also had a childhood experience that they don't speak about that may have traumatized them.
We expect our caretakers to be perfect human beings, but they have lived complex lives just like you and me. Allow them the space to heal. They need it just like you do.
11. You are not a victim. You are a creator.
Often in my journal, I always write down profound ideas about life that helped me gain a more positive personal opinion about how things work in this world.
One truth that has helped me live more freely is recognizing my power to create the life of my dreams.
When I was in victim mode, I was waiting on someone to save me until I figured that the most successful people in life became the heroes of their own lives.
12. Some people may see your vulnerability & sensitivity as a weakness but they are only projecting.
One of the biggest life lessons I have learned in my twenties is that not everyone is willing or capable of being vulnerable.
Unfortunately, when we have this capability, some people may see it as a weakness but truly, it is your greatest source of strength when you can learn to harness this power within yourself.
13. They won't be able to trigger you when you stand in your truth.
This life lesson is kind of similar to the previous one in that we have to be willing to stand in our truth when others are attacking our authenticity.
This won't always be easy when we are young, but we will surely develop this ability as we grow out of our twenties.
14. Beginning the journey of self-discovery will bring the most satisfaction in life.
Practice the process of self-awareness as early as you can. Begin with honest self-observation and discover who it is that you are becoming.
This is the most satisfying journey you can embark upon.
15. No one is focused on what you are doing in your life because they are too consumed with their own lives.
People are more concerned with what they have going on than what you are doing with your life.
Use this truth to focus more on what creates the most positive energy in your life and pursue that. People will talk about you anyway once they see a post or hear about it, but they will quickly turn back to the drama of their own lives.
Just do you and have fun. Let people talk.
16. Everything will work out better than you expect it to.
You are not behind in life. You are exactly where you need to be, and all is well. Some of us peak very early in life and that is okay.
Understand that everything will always work out better than you expect if you are staying true to yourself.
You will make the money you want to make when you start investing early. You won't always be in debt. You will be healthy and have that dream body when you put in the work.
Everything will be just fine. Remember this the next time you feel behind.
17. Practice being present more often.
Life moves so quickly. The more present we are, the more of it we get to fully experience in real-time.
I recommend reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle to fully grasp the importance of being present.
Being present is one of the greatest life lessons I learned.
18. Let them doubt you. Keep moving toward the vision for your life.
A lot of the time, people will tell you that something is impossible because they are limited by their own beliefs. They won't be able to see the vision because it wasn't given to them. It was placed in your heart. Do not be discouraged when someone tells you that your dreams are "unrealistic." Use this as fuel on the journey toward your dreams.
19. People do EXACTLY what they want to do.
No matter what city we live in, we are surrounded by people with their own beliefs and ambitions.
We are all entitled to free will and have the power to do exactly what we want to do.
Remember this life lesson when you are trying to change someone or get them to fulfill the expectations you have for them in your head.
20. When someone wants to leave your life, let them.
Often, we get so wrapped up in someone being in our lives that we try to force a situation that we have outgrown. Please understand that some people are in your life for only a season.
And in your 20s, you are growing and evolving so much that old social connections may not always serve you. That is okay.
Keep moving forward and making room for the people who want to be in your life and who are an energetic match for your life.
21. Don't let people give you their crap.
Stop accepting just anything someone hands to you and demand what you deserve.
People will give you exactly what you allow them to give to you.
22. Write down your goals often.
Writing down your goals has numerous benefits. By writing down our goals we develop more clarity on what it is we want most.
Investing time in visualizing your goals, especially right before bed at night, creates the most clarity.
Do not be afraid to visualize the life you want to create. What city do you see yourself living in? What are some things or experiences you want to have?
There are no wrong answers here. Use your imagination and begin writing down your goals. Do this early and do it as often as possible.
23. Go to therapy ASAP!
The internet fuels us with the wrong ideas about what a thriving and healthy life looks like. Understand that it is more important to be happy than pretending to be happy in some social media post.
We may feel the pressure to suppress how we feel in life but going to therapy might offer more clarity than you expect.
As Einstein famously quotes, "You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it."
It is okay to ask for help.
24. Always follow your heart. It knows the way.
No matter what career we want to create for ourselves, I am positive that if we are truly listening to our hearts and not the opinions of other people, we can have the potential to live most freely.
Often people give us advice on what we should do because they are only looking through the lens of their own beliefs.
If we get truly still, especially right before bed at night, we may discover a quiet voice that is slightly different than the advice your friend gave us earlier that day.
Understand that loved ones truly want the best for you but you are the only one who knows what you are truly capable of achieving.
25. Your mental health determines your level of performance.
Our mental health is so important! And although I was constantly bombarded with information about healthy living, I never fully lived it.
As a college student, I figured I had to spend more energy focused on getting the perfect grades so that I got the perfect job, but when the anxiety and panic attacks started to increase, I found myself not performing at my highest.
t wasn't until I paid more attention to my health and overall well-being that I had one of the best semesters ever. When you operate out of mental clarity, everything in your life improves.
26. Pay attention to the activities & people who give you the most energy.
No matter what business or career we hope to achieve for ourselves, we have to realize when our energy is being spent.
By writing down when something makes us feel most alive, we start to develop awareness around what and who puts us in the highest energetic state.
This awareness will serve us later on when we look back and figure out what it is that we are meant to do in this decade or later decades of our existence.
Follow what makes you feel most alive. That is the key to your life's purpose.
27. You are doing just fine.
It took me a while to learn that everything in life would be just fine. The right friends will show up. I will have enough money to live. I won't always feel so alone.
We are all on a journey of self-discovery. Many people don't have it all together, but we are all getting closer to figuring it out if we are willing to do the work and show up as our authentic selves.
28. Your biggest failures will lead you to your greatest victories if you can learn from them.
Think of failures as a system of course correction. Every failure is an opportunity to learn something new.
We have to learn to take a more positive outlook toward failing if we truly want to create a successful life.
In school and our jobs, there will always be mistakes made. We cannot avoid them, but we also may not truly value our successes if mistakes were never made.
29. You never know who is watching. Keep showing up.
Create that business. Share your good news on social media. We have to learn to show up fully because we never know who may need exactly what it is that we possess.
30. YOU are the only one standing in your way!
The biggest lesson I learned was that I was the only one capable of holding me back from anything in this world that I wanted to accomplish.
It was always me telling myself that I couldn't do something. Often, I had internalized someone else's beliefs about who I was that I never tried.
I spent so much time focusing on others' beliefs about what was possible for me that I never attempted to do a lot of the things that I wanted to do.
We can realize this folly and continue to move forward.
31. Offer your insecurities rest by acknowledging them.
No one on earth is free from insecurities. Even the most successful people in business believe they are lacking somewhere in their lives.
We have to learn to acknowledge the parts of ourselves that make us feel most insecure. Write them down and look at them on paper. Nobody is free from feeling insecure, but we may discover that a lot of our insecurities are rooted in someone else's ideas about who we are.
Why are your 20s so important?
It is no doubt that our twenties are a pivotal time in our lives. However, this is a time when we should be doing the MOST exploring. Figuring out what we like by trying out different things. Asking questions and taking the time to discover whom we are becoming vs. what we want to be.
After all, we don't really hit our stride until after our 20s anyway! Around 80% of the most significant events occur at the age of 30 years, and interestingly enough, our brains aren't fully developed until well into our late twenties.
Life has so much to offer if we can continue to keep showing up as our authentic selves. Remember, you are doing so much better than you think.
Just keep going and take the time to discover who you are and what you want most out of life.
You got this!
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