Throughout this crazy journey that we call life, each & everyday is another opportunity to grow and reach the full potential of becoming the person you were meant to be. Change is the only constant entity of life and learning to adapt to change will ultimately help you succeed in overcoming any obstacles thrown your way.
We often find ourselves feeling stuck, especially in our 20’s as life begins to change drastically during these years. From leaving college, to finding the perfect career, to discovering how to adult, your 20’s are scary and you’re going to feel lost at times. You’re going to question who you are, who you’re meant to be and your interests, priorities and friendships will change over time.
I promise you are not alone in this process and you will soon become who you’re meant to be when you finally learn how to overcome these 10 obstacles every 20 something individual will come across.
1. Learning to let go of things you cannot control
You’re going to come across this obstacle MANY times throughout your 20’s, but here is the good news, life goes on. You might not be able to align every star in the universe, but you can learn to align the path of your future. For the things you can control, focus on controlling them. If you’re unhappy with your job, leave. If you’re unhappy where you’re living, make that move. If you’re unhappy with your current partner, be honest and move on. If you’re no longer interested in the same things as your peers, develop new friendships with people who share similar interests.
You can at any given moment make a change. You might not be able to control the weather, or the actions of those who will inflict hurt upon you, or the fact that your boss is a miserable jerk, but you can control the outcome of the obstacle you are being faced with by taking appropriate actions.
Don’t get so caught up on what you can’t control that you let it consume who you become.
You’re the only one who can control your happiness and that is one thing every twenty something should take advantage of.
2. Getting out of your comfort zone
Let me first start off by saying, NOTHING good comes from a comfort zone. If you stay where you are comfortable, you will not fully grow into whom you’re supposed to be.
You must learn that difficult times and challenges often lead to discovering some of your greatest qualities and strengths. How will you ever reach your full potential if you always take the comfortable route?
Recently I was faced with the question “if you had 2 routes to choose from, one being easy & the outcome being a great amount of money, or two, the route in which you will face many challenges, but once you come to the end, the reward will be much better, which would you take”? Without hesitation, I answered the route in which I will face many challenges.
One day I decided to pack up and move across 3 states, I was broke & sleeping on the hardwood floor and had to start meeting people in a city where I knew no one. Some may say this sounds terrible, but it was this very obstacle that challenged me to get out of my comfort zone.
I now needed to go out and meet new people, and believe it or not as uncomfortable as that hardwood floor was, I have looked back on the experience and am thankful that I overcame the obstacle of learning to get out of my comfort zone. The path surely wasn’t an easy route, but I now am successful and have a better appreciation for the things we often take for granted because I learned to stop taking the “comfortable” route.
3. Learning to be comfortable alone
This is an obstacle extremely difficult to overcome in your 20’s, especially because you’re reaching the age where half of your friends are beginning to get married/engaged or have children and some have settled in a relationship out of comfort and the remainder of those who do not fall into neither of these categories are getting so drunk on Friday nights that they hit up taco bell at 3am still.
The thing is we often do not even realize it, but we spend so much time with others that when faced with spending time alone our minds wander and we feel extreme sadness & loneliness. How will you ever know who you truly are and what you truly enjoy doing, unless you spend the most time with the most important person in your life, yourself.
It wasn’t until I started going out to nice dinners alone, that I learned it’s not so bad after all and my most creative ideas come from those “lonely meals”. TREAT YOURSELF. I have discovered I appreciate treating myself and do not need others to always do that for me.
When I started spending more time alone, I realized I no longer had the same interests /hobbies, I became more aware of those around me and started realizing I was no longer interested in spending time with individuals who I don’t have much in common with. I let go of friendships & relationships that I was outgrowing. I made myself a PRIORITY. I took certain days to dedicate to ME TIME.
Let me tell you, now that I am comfortable alone, I will never settle for anything because I would much rather be comfortable alone than temporarily comfortable in any given situation.
4. Overcoming obligation
So often we find ourselves doing things out of obligation. We say yes, because we think we have to or because we think we owe it to someone. Sometimes you will take on more than you can handle and one day you will find yourself overwhelmed and breaking down because of this obstacle.
In those moments you can continue to cause yourself stress, or you can learn to overcome the obstacle of obligation by taking a stand.
Say no to plans you do not want to take on, tell your boss you have too much on your plate to handle another project, stop doing favors for those who do not do favors for you, and stop taking second dates when the first one sucked in the first place.
You do not owe anyone, ANYTHING.
You do however owe yourself a pat on the back for realizing this. Once you overcome obligation, you will feel one thousand times better saying the words NO.
5. Maintaining a work/life balance
One of the most difficult obstacles in your 20’s is learning to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Fresh out of college you come into the work place at the bottom of the totem pole. If you’re a motivated individual, you will want to do whatever it takes to work your way up the pole as quickly as possible.
Sometimes doing too much at work will negatively affect your life outside of work. If you get too worn down from working so hard, you will not feel like doing much outside of the work place. This is UNHEALTHY. This will lead to unnecessary stress, anxiety or even depression.
You need to have fun, let your hair down and stop taking your work home everyday. What doesn’t get finished today, can be completed tomorrow, unless of course you have a deadline tomorrow at 8am, then that sh*t needs completed before you leave by EOD.
Again, DO NOT TAKE YOUR WORK HOME. Trust me on this one. I promise you will thank me later.
6. Feeling like you need others approval
When it comes to making decisions for your own life, you are the only person whose approval is necessary. Having opinions from those who are important to you is beneficial in certain situations, just be sure to only ask for a few opinions when making life decisions. If you gather up too many, you will find yourself confused, overwhelmed and hesitant as to which decision is best for you, and again you are the only one who knows what is best for you.
You don’t need anyone’s approval on how to live your life. If you continue doing things strictly because of what others suggest is best for you, you will never continue to grow and learn what it is that is truly best for you and you will delay the development of becoming who you are meant to become.
7. Fear of rejection
Being rejected is OK and not a bad thing. Being rejected should be a minor setback that welcomes a major comeback. Whether you were rejected from a job you thought you really wanted, or a significant other no longer wants you to be a part of their live, or perhaps you didn’t get accepted to the grad school you applied to, rejection comes in many forms and never brings a good feeling, but once you realize rejection isn’t something to be afraid of, you will be rewarded with something better.
When you’re feeling rejected, pick up the pieces and MOVE ON.
Come back working harder to get into that grad school, realize there is someone better out there for you, keep applying to jobs out of your league and perfect your interviewing skills.
If you let the fear of rejection overcome you, you will continuously fail and again not grow into who you are meant to be.
Life isn’t meant to be easy, things are not meant to come easy and rejection is just another obstacle you will face throughout not only your 20’s, but throughout your entire life.
Don’t be afraid of rejection; believe in your ability to make a major comeback.
8. Learning to live in the moment
Stop planning out your life in your 20’s. Stop Now.
If you put a time frame on when you want things to happen or when you think they should happen, they will never happen.
If you would have asked me at 21 where I would be today, I would have said married by 23, kids by 25. Let me tell you, that is NOT even close to where I am today. I thought I had to have things happen according to my “time line”. I always felt I needed to strategically plan out my entire life for the next 5-10 years and I was wrong. I got so caught up in planning for the future that I stopped enjoying the present. Life happens and when you’re busy worrying so much about the future, you will forget to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Living in the moment in your 20’s is crucial for your overall development of becoming who you are meant to become.
Some of lifes greatest moments will be the ones you didn’t see coming or that you didn’t plan ahead for. Stop planning and start enjoying the now.
Obstacles are tough, and they are meant to be just that.
If life were easy and every road you traveled down had a reward at the end of it, then traffic would be so backed up because everyone would travel that same path.
Your 20’s are some of your best years, most selfish years and also most rewarding years of life.
The sooner you overcome these obstacles, the sooner you will become who you want to be, who you are meant to be and who you have always wanted to become. Focus on you.
After all, you are the only one in control of your happiness and you are the only one who can hold yourself back from becoming who you are meant to be.