Advertising
Advertising

10 Habits Everyone Should Start Practicing Before Turning 30

10 Habits Everyone Should Start Practicing Before Turning 30

I’ve officially entered the second half of my 30’s. In my 20’s and early 30’s, there were some life lessons I learned the hard way, and something I didn’t figure out until my 30’s that I wish I would’ve understood much sooner.

Here are some habits to master before turning 30. If you get these figured out in your 20’s, you’ll enter your 30’s with a great start.

1. Self-acceptance

Becoming a self-expert is the key to beginning to accept – and love – yourself. I recommend devoting time in your 20’s to self-discovery. I didn’t have a strong understanding of who I am until I reached my 30’s. If I would’ve really known myself in my 20’s, I believe I would’ve avoided many bad decisions. Once you truly know yourself, you can learn to accept yourself and all your unique traits. When you understand who you are including your natural strengths, quirks, and potential shortcomings, you can make decisions that better suit your personality. This will affect all areas of your life – your career, your relationships, and your lifestyle.

Advertising

2. The ability to drown out your inner critic

Start paying attention to the messages you tell yourself. If you’re inner dialogue is self-defeating and negative, it’s time to make a change. Feed your mind with positive thoughts. Compliment yourself. It’s time to treat yourself like you are your own best friend. 

3. Healthy stress relief habits

When you’re in your 30’s, you’re officially an adult, which comes with its own set of stressors. How you deal with life’s stressors will make a huge difference in your happiness. Work on getting rid of self-destructive coping mechanisms. Experiment with healthy stress management techniques, such as exercising, meditating, or socializing, and adopt the techniques that suit you best.

4. How to give without expecting anything in return

Giving to others altruistically helps them and also changes your life. When you help others – either by giving your encouragement and emotional support, lending a helping hand, or donating your time and money, great things happen. It will help many lives significantly when you get out of your head and think about others.

Advertising

5. How to forgive

Oprah Winfrey describes her favorite definition of forgiveness as “giving up the hope that the past could be any different.” Oprah writes, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone the behavior or, in any way, make a wrong right. It just means you give yourself permission to release from your past – and step forward with the mud of resentment cleared from your wings. Fly!”

Harboring anger toward yourself or others you feel have wronged you can significantly hold you back in life. You absolutely must learn to forgive those who have hurt you to be truly free. Amazing things can happen in your life when you let go of your anger, resentment, and bitterness.

6. How to have healthy relationships

Being able to build healthy relationships will affect almost every area of your life. One of my favorite quotes is by Jim Rohn, who said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” When you surround yourself with people who build you up, inspire you, and encourage you to be your best, you will do amazing things. The sooner you develop a strong network of friends and learn how to have healthy relationships in your love life, the better.

Advertising

7. How to tolerate your own company

You don’t have to love time alone; many people would prefer to be in the company of others than spend a day alone (myself included). However, it’s important to tolerate being alone on occasion to reflect. Try doing little things on your own without scheduling your day around others — even something as simple as a manicure for yourself teaches you that time alone is valuable.

8. Spend your life doing what actually matters to you

Millions of people spend their lives doing work that isn’t meaningful to them. I believe you can find and do work you love, and your life will be so much more fulfilling if you do work that lights you up. If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, this free workbook is a great start.

9. How to stand your ground

Learning to say no is an essential part of living the life you deserve. Decide what behavior you refuse you tolerate from others, draw your line in the sand, and stand your ground to people who are toxic. Learn to say no to being treated with disrespect. Learn to say no to time-sucking activities you dread but feel obligated to do. This is your one life. Learn to hold true to your values and focus your life on your purpose, priorities, and passions.

Advertising

10. How to gain control of your finances

Become financially literate and work on improving your financial situation. Learn about investing. Taking time to invest at a young age can make a huge difference to your financial future.

Do you have additional suggestions for people in their 20’s? I’d love to hear them.

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

5 Ways to Accomplish Your Biggest Goals to The Fullest 5 Keys to Discovering Your Life’s True Mission Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

Trending in Communication

1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

Advertising

Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

Advertising

Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

Advertising

Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

Advertising

This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

Advertising

Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next