1. By not taking chances. You are in the prime of your life. You’re finally old enough to do everything you’ve always waited for, but still young enough to not have the full commitment of being an adult (kids, mortgage, marriage, etc.) – unless you choose to. It’s the time in your life where you should take chances and risks to become the person you want to be.
2. By not doing anything to help your future. Sure, it’s fun to blow all your money. It’s fun to travel around and keep your bartending job. But do you want to bartend your whole life? If you don’t you should really consider looking into a career in the profession you want to be in. It’s hard to find a job at a place where you don’t need 3 years minimum experience. Your future self will kick you if you just start looking at 30 and have no pervious experience.
3. By surrounding yourself with the same people. Your friends from high school are great, but it’s also great to branch out, to surround yourself with people who are different from you. Don’t isolate yourself by always hanging out with the same people, you also never know where those connections could lead.
4. By never leaving your comfort zone. Just like surrounding yourself with the same people your whole life, leaving your comfort zone is vastly important to your individual growth as a person. Dreams can be thought of in the comfort zone, but it’s the same place they die. It’s important to push yourself to a new level that make you uncomfortable to see how much you can handle and see yourself grow from the challenge.
5. By deciding your worth based on social media. You. Are. So. Much. More. Than. Likes. Seriously. Likes are dumb, getting double or triple digits on your posts do not determine your worth. Neither does your number of followers. No one is checking anyway, tbh. You are worth more.
6. By feeling the need to justify your choices. If you want to quit your 9-5 because it’s making you miserable, you don’t need to justify that. If you want to stay in when all your friends are going out, you don’t need to justify that. You just need to do what makes you the happiest and other people don’t need an explanation as to why.
7. By following the crowd. Peer pressure was one of the biggest influences in my life as a teenager, but in my 20s? Nope. If I don’t want to do something I’m not going to do it. I know what makes me happy and what I feel comfortable with enough to say no. I don’t need to take a bong rip to feel ‘cool’ I can just say “no thanks” and be done with it. No is a complete sentence. Use it.
8. By trying to live up to your parents expectations instead of going after what you want. My parents dream is for me to get a job with benefits and a 401k. Duh. But does that mean those are my dreams? I don’t know. You don’t have to do what your parents want because if I was what my dad wanted I’d be a cop. Not that there’s anything wrong with that profession, but that lifestyle is not for me.
9. By comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to other’s is a killer. I can think I look strong and great in the mirror at the gym until someone else comes next to me who is smaller than me, more fit than me, whatever it is and I instantly feel shitty about myself again. Comparing yourself to others is awful, don’t do it. Not with body image, with relationships, with careers, none of it. Just stop – you are enough the way you are.
10. By looking for outside validation. Looking for outside validation can be damaging, just like comparing yourself to others, but it’s something we do. We can be enough to ourselves until someone comes along and makes a comment, then we are constantly seeking their validation, their approval, their opinion of us instead of just being happy with our own validation. For some reason we always feel it’s better to have approval from others than to just do something based on your own gut instinct.
11. By wasting all your money at shots at the bar. Getting wasted in your 20s is fine, it’s fun, it is what it is. But don’t waste all your money buying everyone rounds of shots on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It’s great, people will love you, but your future self and your bank account will hate you for it. Instead don’t open a tab, take out X amount of dollars and once that runs out then you’re done. Don’t spend a hundred dollars at the bar every time you go out, you could easily save that money and be in a much better financial place.
12. By refusing to admit when you’re wrong. Being wrong S U C K S. No one likes admitting they’re wrong, but get used to it. You will earn a lot more people’s respect and appreciation if you can just own up when you’re wrong. It will make you a much more enjoyable person to be around because guess what? Everyone is wrong at times because no one is perfect.
13. By staying in a relationship because you’re scared to be alone. Modern dating makes me want to rip my hair out and that’s probably a good reason I’m single. If you are not happy in your relationship – L E A V E. Seriously, leave. Don’t stay with someone who used to be good to you in the beginning and it’s been months or years now since they’ve been that way. That’s not good for you and it’s not a healthy relationship. Being alone isn’t as scary as we make it appear. Staying with someone who no longer makes you a better person is ruining your life.
14. By not questioning your life. Questioning your life and your choices is great because it means you aren’t settling and you’re not okay with just being content. Be secure enough to want to push yourself further and become better.
15. By listening to people tell you that you’re not capable because you’re young. Just because you’re young doesn’t make you incapable. You can amount to so much. You can become a CEO, a millionaire, find the cure to cancer. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t because you’re young.
16. By not reading. Read. Read lots. Educate yourself and fill your brain with outside thoughts. It will help expand your mind outside the world you’re living in and it can be essential to your personal growth because reading a book can change your entire outlook on life.
17. By not traveling. Immerse yourself in other cultures, see how they live. Struggle with language barriers, push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new food, learn a new language. Travel and see that the life you know isn’t the only life out there and experience it first hand to get the full effect.
18. By spreading yourself too thin. Don’t over commit yourself to a five things when you’ve only got time for two. As much as you might want to do everything, you can’t and it will ruin you if you try. You need to put your needs first and take care of yourself. After all, you can’t pour out of an empty cup so don’t spread yourself to thin.
19. By letting other people’s fear dictate your choices. Other people love to press their fears on you. Quitting your job is scary to pursue your own business, but if that’s what you want to do then do it! Don’t listen to Sally tell you everything that could go wrong because you already know everything that could go wrong. Just follow your gut and do it. Don’t let her fears dictate your decisions to move forward.
20. By doing things out of obligation. Don’t do things out of obligation. Don’t say yes when you really want to say no. Don’t do it because everyone else is. Do what makes you happy, help when you can and be a good person, but don’t do things out of obligation. You don’t have time to waste doing things that make you miserable.