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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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