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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 April 11, 2019

        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

        I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

        I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

        Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

        How Communication Skills Help Your Success

        Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

        Create a Positive Experience

        Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

        When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

        What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

        Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

        As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

        Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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        Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

        Help Leadership Skills

        It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

        Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

        As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

        Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

        If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

        Build Better Teams

        Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

        In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

        If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

        When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

        Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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        How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

        There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

        Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

        1. Listen

        Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

        Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

        People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

        Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

        Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

        2. Know Your Audience

        Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

        Here is a good way to think about it:

        Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

        You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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        3. Minimize

        I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

        He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

        Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

        State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

        The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

        4. Over Communicate

        So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

        What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

        Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

        Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

        Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

        There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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        5. Body Language

        The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

        When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

        In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

        When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

        Conclusion

        Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

        Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

        There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

        Now go communicate your way to success.

        More Resources About Effective Communication

        Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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