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20 Brutally Honest Things Women Turning 40 Want All Women In Their 30s To Know

20 Brutally Honest Things Women Turning 40 Want All Women In Their 30s To Know
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I will be 40 in less than a year. I would be lying if I said that turning the big 40 didn’t bother me. It seems that 40 is a number where I believe I should have finally ‘arrived’ in life, or my life should be the perfect picture of a successful wife, mother, business woman or whatever other demanding expectation I put upon myself when I was younger. My life right now is pretty good, but if I could have planned it all out or done things differently – it definitely would not look like how it actually turned out. I am a blessed mother of two children and I do have a few accomplishments under my belt but I sometimes compare my life to others and it just gets me down.

As I reflect being on this earth for almost 40 years and I rewind to when I was in my 30s, I would have definitely done a few things differently. Luckily, because of some of my past challenges in my life, I was forced to learn new tools.  Some of my past experiences forced me to do things differently which turned into a good thing eventually. Here are 20 brutally honest things women turning 40 want all women in their 30s to know.

1. Love and accept yourself – fully

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    I truly believe if I had accepted the good and bad parts of myself at a younger age, I would have avoided many of the wrong decisions that I made in my life. Once you know who you really are inside, you begin to accept and love yourself fully.  Once you truly love yourself from the inside, you are able to love and accept others which provides a much higher probability of maintaining healthy relationships.

    2. Feed your soul

    Whatever your passion, or whatever you enjoy in life, make sure you feed your soul with what inspires you. If you are not sure what your passion is, try new things and find different activities until you find a few that give you that feeling of warmth, freedom and acceptance inside.

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    3. Find a strong support network

    For a long while, I tried to do everything in my life in my own power and with little help from others. I later realized having a strong support network of friends and safe people to share my life with is so rewarding. Finding and cultivating new relationships with others that will love and support you no matter what is so important to have in life.

    4. Be authentic

    During some of my harder times in life, I wore a pretty and smiling mask on my face no matter what I was going through. Only a few close people in my life knew what was really going on during my hardest trials. Once you begin to show others you have ups, downs and struggles in life just like everyone else, you become more trustworthy and sincere to others.

    5. Live for you

    A huge part of my life was taken up by taking care of everyone else which resulted in having no time for myself. My motives and reasons for doing things were wrong which in turn made my life much harder than it had to be. You cannot make everyone in your life happy – ever. Once you begin to make the best decisions for yourself instead of others, life gets easier.

    6. Don’t compromise too much

    I could have avoided a few bad relationships if I would have figured this out when I was younger. Compromise is required in any close relationship because we are all different and have different wants. Compromise is a good thing most of the time if the compromising is equal on both sides. Once you give up your wants and needs the majority of the time in any one relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate that relationship and decide if it really is healthy for you to be a part of it.

    7. Travel more

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      This might be my biggest regret. I did travel some when I was younger before I had children and it was wonderful. Money can buy you material things or memories. If I had thought about it this way before, I would have stopped making the meaningless purchases on material things and made sure I spent my money on at least one new destination each year. Traveling creates a sense of freedom and opens your eyes to the way others live in different parts of the world.

      8. Worry less

      I struggled with anxiety and lots of worry in my past. Worrying triggered my anxiety and it became an ugly part of who I was for a long while. Once you realise that worrying will not change your outcome, you begin to accept whatever is going to happen to you. You realise you will be okay no matter what. Once I stopped worrying so much about everything, my stress levels decreased immensely.

      9. Stop Comparing

      Sometimes I feel like I should be done with Facebook altogether. Comparing your life to your best friend whom you know really well is one thing, but comparing your life to someone’s life on Facebook is detrimental. Once you realize that comparing your life to others does nothing but bring your own self worth down, you eventually stop. There will always be someone who is smarter, prettier or better off than me and I have accepted that. The moment I start comparing, I immediately change my thought pattern to what I am thankful for in my life and keep moving forward.

      10. Forget expectations

      I had the Disney syndrome growing up, you know the one that you will meet Prince Charming, get married and live happily ever after? Well Disney can suck it because that is not real life. After I was on failing marriage number 2, I just threw all of my expectations I placed upon others in the garbage. Once you realise you can still have dreams about your life but with dropping the expectations regarding other people, you really start to live your life in the moment. An expectation placed on someone else is actually just a premeditated resentment.

      11. Live to work, not work to live

      If I could do it all over again, I would have tried a myriad of different jobs when I was younger or researched a lot of different careers and chosen one that fit me best. Once you decide on a career path that you could really see yourself doing for the rest of your life, you then become someone in the workforce that truly lives to work because they love their career of choice. Many people are stuck in jobs they dislike just to garner a paycheck and that is not an ideal existence.

      12. Save for the unexpected

      This should be a no brainer but I did not do this when I was younger. I am now watching my parents live out their retirement and it has me thinking about all the things I need to do so that I am financially secure when I am older. Life will constantly be changing and probably continue to throw you unexpected curveballs so saving for upcoming hardships is a smart and sound decision.

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      13. Give back more

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        I found out later in my life that I enjoy helping others. For some this could entail volunteering time with a charity, or taking special care of a close friend that is going through a hard time. Giving a part of your time to do something that benefits you in no way, shape or form keeps you grounded and thankful for what you do have. It is so rewarding to forget about your problems in life by taking time to invest in someone else.  When you do something just out of the goodness of your heart and expect nothing at all in return, you surprisingly feel better about life no matter what is going on.

        14. Forgive yourself and others

        I lived a good part of my life bitter and angry about a few events that happened to me and for a while I truly believed it was 100% the other person’s fault. Once I realised that holding unforgiveness towards others and myself for past mistakes was holding me back from happiness, I made a change. It took me a while to be willing to forgive but I was able to work through it and experience freedom. Once you are able to truly let go of past hurts made by yourself or others, you see life and love in a positive light.

        15. Don’t waste too much time on negative people

        Sometimes it is hard to get away from negative people if they are your co-workers or your family. In some situations you do not have a choice but with actual friendships you can choose what type of friends you want to spend most of your time with. If you are on the end of a relationship where that person is a taker vs. a giver it’s time to set boundaries or slowly end the relationship. Once you begin to learn proper boundaries to set with people you would rather not have to deal with everyday, life becomes easier because you choose not to let that negative person affect you any longer.

        16. No is a complete sentence

        I have a hard time saying no. I want to say yes all the time and make everyone happy but that is impossible. If I do say no, many times I want to justify my no or explain the situation so the other person will feel better about my no. The older I get the more I realise that no really is a complete sentence and I do not have to justify every reason why I am not able to commit to an event or able do something for someone else. Once you are confident in your ‘no’, it’s easier to make decisions for yourself instead of others.

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        17. Think long and hard before you say ‘I do’

        I am part of the divorce rate in America which is hard to admit but I now know what I want, desire and deserve in a mate. It is so easy to get caught up in the feelings and emotions of relationships. I considered the time invested with that person and I wanted more than what I currently had so I got married and hoped that things would change for the better. For myself in the end, they only got worse. If you don’t see longevity in your current relationship or you have too many “if onlys” with that person, then you might not be with your ideal mate. It’s much easier to end things with someone before they get too serious. If you have reservations about certain things in your relationship or you want to change core aspects of the personality of your partner, it is probably best to move on.

        18. Stop and admire the little things

        This is so simplistic but we currently live in a world where everyone is connected to an electronic device or the internet and it is becoming harder and harder to unplug and just enjoy everything that makes life worth living. Stop to enjoy a sunrise or sunset every once in a while, sit under the stars on a night with few clouds. Stop and smell the flowers. Go visit the ocean or the mountains and admire nature. We live in a world where Ferris Bueller is so right – “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

        19. Stop caring what others think of you

        I so wish I would have figured this one out much sooner. I was so concerned with what others thought of me that I often times responded or did things for others because I thought that is what they wanted to hear or what they wanted me to do. Once I realised that what others think of me is really none of my business I was able to live life with right motives instead of wrong ones. Once you are able to be yourself and forget caring what other people think about you, life gets better because the worry and the expectation of pleasing others is removed. The truth is it is impossible to please everyone, so you need to focus on yourself and just wear the bikini anyway.

        20. Embrace Change

        When I was younger I wanted things to be predictable, to be stable and for the most part to stay the same. It felt safer to think that my life will be pretty much the same through the years. When I was then confronted with numerous changes all at one time, I did not handle it well. I have since realised that the only thing I can count on in life is change. Once you are able to embrace change and know that life can take a variety of different turns, you are up for the challenge and better suited to accept whatever comes your way.

        Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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        Wendy Redden

        Digital Advertising Account Manager, Music Blogger, Freelance Writer

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        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

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