20 Things You Deserve To Leave Behind As You Navigate Your 20s

Your 20s can best be described as a rollercoaster. During some parts of the ride, the rush feels exciting. A few twists and turns later, you’re holding on for dear life and praying for it to be over.

While it might be too late to back out altogether, ditching these 20 things can help you make the most of it.

1. The fixation with what everyone else is doing.

Instead of comparing your life to skewed portrayals on social media, focus on making your past self proud. Real-time growth beats superficial satisfaction every single time.

2. Your safe space.

Your comfort zone is cozy, but it’s not worth sabotaging your success over. Explore the opportunities that you’re “not ready” for, and train yourself to treat mistakes as a natural part of the process.

3. Imposter syndrome.

You can’t always silence that inner “fraud” chant, but you can control your reaction. Start recognizing it as meaningless noise and move on.

4. Your victimized mindset.

Free yourself of the idea that people are “out to get you,” and start welcoming opportunities to self-reflect. The sooner you acknowledge your bad habits, the quicker you can get out of your own way.

5. Relationships that have run their course.

History isn’t an excuse to hang on and hope it gets better. Accept when certain relationships no longer mesh well with the life you’ve created for yourself. Letting go is difficult in the moment, but standing still will have long-term repercussions.

6. The expectation that the right relationship will fix you.

That fuzzy feeling may serve as a pleasant distraction, but it’s not a solution. By taking time to do the inner work, you’ll establish stronger relationships based on newfound awareness and honesty.

7. Your tendency to settle.

You don’t owe any sort of allegiance to toxic work environments or one-sided relationships, so ditch the “better than nothing” mindset and break free. You’ll only be guilt-tripped by people who want to keep taking advantage of you.

8. The need to have your life “all figured out.”

Financial stability will come in waves, and so will your confidence in your career path. Recognize that adulthood is filled with messy moments, and resilience is more important than reaching the finish line.

9. The elusive “perfect moment” to start.

Whether you want to write a book or start a business, there’s never really a “right time” to take the plunge. Instead of putting it off until you feel that you’re fully prepared, do it scared and don’t be afraid to figure things out as you go.

10. The pressure to follow a particular path.

Don’t make decisions based on societal norms or pushy family members. Acknowledge that you always have the freedom to take a detour or change directions at any given moment.

11. Negative self-talk.

Stop letting occasional setbacks dictate your overall self-worth. Start practicing positive affirmations, because a simple mindset reset can be more powerful than you’d expect.

12. The inability to live in the moment.

While there’s nothing wrong with maintaining a forward-thinking attitude, don’t forget to embrace life’s little moments. Make room in your day to be mindful, because your mental health should stay at the top of your to-do list.

13. Your unrealistic expectations.

That “perfect guy” will still have flaws, and motherhood will be more stressful than it looks on Instagram. Ditch the idea of a picture-perfect end game and learn to love the raw imperfections along the way.

14. Limiting beliefs.

Stop pretending that you’re not good enough to take action. Deep down, you know exactly what you’re capable of. Push your fear of rejection aside so that it can properly shine through.

15. A linear timeline.

Your goals and priorities won’t necessary align with the next person’s. So how can you expect to follow one structured timeline? Instead of rushing to beat an imaginary clock, follow a pace that makes sense for you.

16. Fixed beliefs.

Open your mind to new perspectives. Admit when you’ve had a change of heart because you were previously uninformed. You’re progressing as a person, so it’s only natural for your opinions to grow too.

17. Procrastination.

Put off less, and prioritize more. Experiment with different time management tactics until you find a strategy that keeps you on-track.

18. Your obsession with “being busy.”

“Busy” doesn’t always translate to “productive.” Beat burnout by taking breaks throughout the day and unplugging from email after hours. Your job is important, but your self-care game should stay strong.

19. Drama.

Proactively remove yourself from petty situations, and don’t entertain mindless gossip. While there are many things that you’re not “too old for,” this is definitely one of them.

20. Unintentional moves.

If there’s one thing to “figure out” in your 20s, it’s discovering the “why” behind it all. So identify your purpose, and start making more intentional moves that fuel the big picture.

Not clear on your purpose yet? No problem. You’re only in your 20s, after all. 

About the author
Insightful yet Brutally Honest. Follow Sara on Instagram or read more articles from Sara on Thought Catalog.

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