22 Epiphanies You Must Have In Your 20s In Order To Live Your Best Life

Neill Kumar
Neill Kumar

1. Not everyone will love you.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there will still be someone who hates peaches.” I couldn’t tell you who said it, but I can tell you that it’s true. As a people pleaser, I hate when someone doesn’t like me and I do everything in my power to try to get them to. And I’ve wasted far too much of my life doing so.

2. And that’s okay.

It’s actually impossible to be loved by everyone. There will always be people with whom you will not get along, and who just don’t like you, maybe even for no reason. It’s not up to you to make someone like you. Your only responsibility is to be kind to people, regardless of whether they like you or not.

3. You’re being treated like shit because you allow yourself to be treated like shit.

That guy or girl or friend that you abhor because you think they treated you terribly? Yeah, it’s not entirely their fault. We may not have control over how someone treats us, but we do have control over what we accept. Stop allowing them to treat you like anything less than you are.

4. We accept the love we think we deserve.

The real power in these words comes once you overlook the “cliche” phrase and really look into what it’s saying. If we’re allowing ourselves to be treated like crap by someone we care about, it’s because we believe that that is the only kind of love we deserve. Do yourself a favor and realize how much you’re worth, and push aside whoever doesn’t measure up to your standards.

5. Making friends is a LOT easier than you think it is.

I learned this while in college in the dorms. More than likely, your situation was similar to mine, in which you found that you ended up being pretty good friends with most of the people on your floor. That wasn’t a fluke or touch of fate. Your college dorm floor could have been made up of ANYONE, and you still would have made friends. It’s not always who you’re with, it’s the effort you put into it.

6. You can’t do everything.

I’ve identified as being a “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none” for most of my life. I played softball, did theater, played guitar, sang, danced, wrote, pretty much anything you could think of. And then I realized, I couldn’t do it all. At least not well. At some point, some things have to take priority, and others have to become a hobby.

7. But you can damn well try.

Just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for things that make you happy. Sure I will never play softball professionally (mostly because that’s not really a thing), but it makes me happy when I play. There was a point in my life that softball was a huge passion of mine, and that passion doesn’t just fade away, it just gets overshadowed sometimes. Make time for the things that you love, even if they can’t be your whole world.

8. You are the only thing standing in your way.

At some point, you realize that the only person telling you “no” is yourself. Whether it’s your own fears, insecurities, doubts, judgments, you need to let all of that go in order to fully pursue what it is you want to do.

9. Empower yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

There are times when you’ll feel powerless in a situation, but the one way to make it so you aren’t powerless, is to take power for yourself. Sometimes you just have to grow a pair and take life by the reins. Ask for that raise, quit your dead-end miserable job, don’t wait for permission, because you’ll never get it.

10. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

I first heard this in The Princess Diaries, and honestly, I didn’t think much of it. Until I looked deeper at it. Bullies (and yes, bullies exist well into adulthood also) will try to tear you down and make you feel like less than you are. But the only way that they can do that is if you accept their abuse and internalize it. You can choose to ignore it, and choose to continue loving yourself for everything that you are.

11. Embrace your inner child.

If only to hold on to what life was like before we all became so jaded. Our dreams were within reach, and fairytales were anything but make-believe. Don’t forget to have fun, because life is short, but it’s also the longest thing you’ll ever experience, and no one gets out alive anyway.

12. Dream bigger.

For my entire life, my dream was to be an actor. Recently I’ve realized that’s too small to be a dream. My desire to be an actor is a goal, both achievable and attainable. My dream now is to win an Academy Award. It’s true what they say, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

13. You’re better than you think you are.

We are always our own biggest critics.

14. Have your own measurement of success.

Define what success looks like for you.

15. Don’t let being good keep you from being great.

The ones who make it are the ones who believe in themselves and devote themselves fully to whatever it is they are trying to pursue. Hard work and confidence in yourself will go a lot further than natural talent. If you are not constantly trying to improve because you think you’re good enough, the others who are working their asses off will surpass you in a second.

16. You have to be your own biggest fan.

If you aren’t proud of your own work, how can you expect anyone else to be? This is true especially for creatives. Create things that you can be proud of and that you love wholeheartedly. Make yourself happy, because there is no way in hell you can please everyone else.

17. There is more than one answer to everything.

Be open to other angles, there’s always more than one way to solve a problem. By closing yourself to those other options, you’re limiting yourself. And life is already hard enough without you standing in your own way.

18. You will never regret going to the gym.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Have you ever left the gym or finished a run and said “Man, I really wish I didn’t do that”? Yeah. Enough said.

19. Expect inspiration from the unlikeliest of places.

Look at the world with childlike wonder, and know that you can find inspiration anywhere. It could be from binge-watching some bad TV, listening to how the rain hits the ground, seeing how a child interacts with his dog. We are not limited to one single source of inspiration, and we must be prepared for it to hit at any time.

20. But don’t rely solely on inspiration.

Sometimes, you’ll be completely uninspired, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sit down and work anyway. Discipline is a thing, and should be part of your daily life.

21. Choosing yourself is powerful.

At some point in your life, you will be faced with a decision. Whether that’s a career change, or a decision to stay in a relationship that isn’t everything you dreamed it would be. In those moments, choose yourself. Even if it doesn’t seem ideal to you, making a decision solely for yourself and sticking up for yourself is empowering.

22. It’s your life.

At the end of the day, this is your life and you have to live it. All the failures and successes, the joys and consequences are yours alone to experience. Your life becomes yours the moment you decide to start owning it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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