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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

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 November 26, 2020

        How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

        How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

        As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

        “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

        The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

        5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

        Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

        Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

        1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

        Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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        2. Show Compassion

        If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

        3. Communicate Regularly

        Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

        Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

        4. Ask for Feedback

        Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

        If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

        5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

        Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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        How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

        Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

        Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

        According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

        You Can Find Good Help

        It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

        Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

        Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

        Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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        You Pull Together as a Team

        Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

        Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

        Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

        Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

        Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

        Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

        Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

        Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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        Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

        Your Career Shines Bright

        Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

        Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

        When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

        Final Thoughts

        At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

        At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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        Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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