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What You Need To Let Go Of In Your 30s

What You Need To Let Go Of In Your 30s

If you were to believe every Friends-like sitcom on television, you’d think that the day you hit 30 you’d automatically want to trade in your wild and crazy life to settle down and start taking life a little more seriously. While this might end up happening by the end of your 30th year on Earth, it’s more due to your biological clock than any conscious decision you’ve made on your own. Fight it as you might, time hurries on, and it takes you with it. I hope you enjoyed the ridiculousness of your 20s, because by the time you reach 31, you should have at least cut down on, or completely let go of, the following.

Let go of binging anything

Drinking. Eating. Netflix-ing. Gambling. Napping. The list goes on. In your 20s, moderation takes a backseat to excess. You only live once, right? (I refuse to refer to the acronym for that saying). By the time you’re 30, though, the novelty of binging on your favorite vice should start to wear off. You should be too busy actually doing something with your life to even have time for any of this stuff. Of course, if you get an hour here or there, you shouldn’t feel guilty indulging in one of life’s pleasures – but you should definitely stop allowing them to consume your life.

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Let go of toxic friendships

You might still have some friends from high school or college who linger in your life, and who you refuse to believe have not actually been your friends for quite some time. These are the ones who convince you to come out drinking all night, or the ones who only come around when they need something, or the ones who make excuses when you’re in need of some help and need someone to talk to. The older you get, the smaller your circle of friends will be. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The people you keep around should be the ones always pushing you to do better in life, and who truly care about you as a person. You don’t have to completely turn your back on the ones who are more pals than friends, but you’re under no obligation to make time for them either.

Let go of crappy jobs

In your early years of adulthood, you may have settled for any job you could get that would pay the bills. However, if you’re not happy with your current state of employment, you absolutely need to do everything in your power to change that before it’s too late. You might have been content enough working long hours for lame pay as long as you could afford a couple beers at the bar on Friday night, but you don’t want to continue that trend into your 30s. Soon enough, your 40s will come creeping around, and you definitely don’t want to be living for the weekends by then. There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be spending 30-40 hours a week working;  so now’s the time to find a job you actually enjoy doing.

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Let go of excuses

Maybe you didn’t end up where you thought you’d be by now. Maybe things happened in your past that held you back from reaching your full potential. Maybe you wish things had turned out differently for you. I hate to be blunt, but everyone faces obstacles at different times in their life. Some make excuses and pass up opportunities when they come along, and others power through adversity and take advantage of every situation they face. Don’t be a “coulda-been.” Even if you haven’t done much with your life up until this point, you still have a long way to go. Don’t let it slip away.

Let go of caring what others think

Throughout our teenage years, we’re led to believe that people will stop being so judgmental as we get older. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People are just as cruel as adults as they were as teenagers. While teens make fun of their peers’ clothing and haircuts, adults can actually be more cutting with their insults, pointing out a person’s true flaws and insecurities. While you can’t change the idiots who seem to exist only to put others down, you can control how you let their words affect you. As long as you’re living your life the way you want to live it, you don’t have to answer to anyone else’s comments. Who gives a #%$@ what they think, anyway?

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Let go of trying to control every little thing

When you graduated from high school and college, you were left with an empowering notion that your actions could change the world. While this notion isn’t completely wrong, it certainly is misguided. Unless you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg, you probably won’t end up accomplishing something which truly changes the entire world – no matter how great you believe your ideas are. However, your very existence changes the world ever so slightly, each and every day. By the time you hit 30, you should understand that there are things you have no control over which you’ll never be able to change, but you should also know that you do have the power within you to affect the world in some way. You should dedicate your time and effort each and every day to making this change, no matter how small it is.

Featured photo credit: GREG, MARISSA & SEAN – ALLIE WARD’S BDAY / Jared eberhardt via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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