Advertising

20 Things Nobody Told You While Growing Up

Advertising
20 Things Nobody Told You While Growing Up

There are so many things I wish I had known while growing up. No one ever tells you the hard truths of life. Maybe it’s because they can’t stomach it, or maybe it’s because they think it’s just something you have to experience firsthand to understand. Here are twenty things nobody told you while growing up that would’ve been nice to know beforehand:

1. You’re Going to Spend A Lot of Time Figuring Stuff Out

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who already knows what their passion is and what you really enjoy, you will be spending a lot of time trying new things and figuring out what you’re good at and what you like. Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail at them; failing builds character. You have a lot of growing up to do in your 20s, a lot of self-examination and exploration. Use this time wisely to get to know yourself as best as you can–not that you won’t change as you continue to get older, but it’s definitely a time of discovery, getting to know oneself and what you want in this world and what you have to contribute to the world.

2. Don’t Expect Smooth Seas

There will be many challenges, obstacles and curve balls swung your way. Just try to take life as it comes. Don’t fight against the current because you’ll just wear yourself out. If there’s a door that is standing wide open for you and another that you’re trying to get through by knocking it down, sometimes it’s best to take the door that’s already open for you. In other words don’t try to be someone/something you’re not.

3. Learn About Personal Finance Now

Learn how to budget and manage your money, how to open a checking/savings account, and how to use credit wisely and live within your means. Your future self will thank you for it. Buy quality items you can keep around for a long time to come, not cheap crap that breaks that you’ll have to buy again in a year. Invest in yourself, your education, your personal improvement, your health and your relationships to others.

4. Assume Change Will Come

Life is about change; don’t fight it and just go with it. Learn from your mistakes and grow. Let go of things you can’t change. Sometimes change will be so painful you will want to rip your heart out, but you’ll be okay if you just hang on and know that no matter what happens, you will be alright. Win, lose or draw, life will go on and you’ll get another chance to start your life over if things haven’t gone according to plan.

Advertising

5. Keep Your Plans Loose

Speaking of plans, keep them loose and flexible. It’s good to have an idea of things you want to accomplish and where you want to be a couple years down the road, but honestly no one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone 5 years from now. It’s fine to make some plans but be flexible and willing to change them. Remember that people change and things happen that will push you in one direction or another. Don’t waste time beating yourself up because your plans didn’t go the way you wanted. Don’t worry about things you can’t change; focus on making new plans/goals and where you will go from here.

6. Time Is a Limited Resource

Nothing lasts forever. Enjoy every moment that you have. Enjoy life and practice being present in the moment because it goes by extremely fast. There will be both good and bad times. The bad thing about up is there’s always a down. It’s important to really enjoy and savor the good moments in life because you’ll need those memories to reflect back on when the bad times come. The first 10 years after high school go by at a breakneck speed and before you know it you’re 28 and wondering how the time has escaped you.

7. Life is Hard

When you’re a teenager, you’re just at the beginning of your life’s lessons. Life is the toughest teacher you will ever have. “Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first, then the lesson.” Life will throw everything that it can at you; it will try to break you and choke you until you can’t breathe, but you can’t let it.

8. You’re Only Young Once

growing up

    Enjoy being young while you are still young! Enjoy being young as much as possible. Enjoy the metabolism and the fun times. Cross stuff off your bucket list while you’re young because no one knows how much time you truly have. Don’t wait until you’re old and can’t or may not be able to do the things you really want to experience. Seriously, you may be broke while you’re young, but that doesn’t matter. You’ve got time to make money and settle down. Travel, explore and do what your heart desires now. You can still get married, have children and a household and career starting in your 20s if you want, but you should try to balance your life with equal amounts of responsibility and fun. The last thing you want to do is look back on missed chances.

    Advertising

    9. Make Your Health a Priority, Not an Option

    Once you get into your late 20s and early 30s your body is going to start losing metabolism and energy. You’re going to start hurting and going to bed earlier. Start eating better and exercising. Don’t think of it as a choice. Start developing a healthier lifestyle and soon it will become habit. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.

    10. Attitude Determines Your Altitude

    Attitude is everything and that’s not something they teach you in school. Having a good attitude can make all the difference in your life. It makes life easier and happier when you have a positive outlook and are able to keep your attitude light and flexible when dealing with other people and with life’s challenges.

    11. How You Treat People Matters

    Treating people with respect and decency can get you a long way in the world. Remember that “honey attracts more flies than vinegar.” Being nice to people really does actually matter to people. You won’t get anywhere tearing other people down or blaming others for anything. Take responsibility for yourself, your actions and your feelings.

    12. Relationships Don’t Come Easy

    Choosing a life partner/spouse is hard. Relationships in general are hard, not just romantic ones but friendships and family relations as well. Stay in touch with people who you really care about and who really care about you. Make an effort to stay an active person in their life if you really care. You will not have as many close friends as you get older and you will probably lose some friends as well. Remember that it is okay, not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay forever; let them go and cherish the people who are still in your life.

    13. Be Prepared To Deal With Changes in Relationships

    Look at your time with exes and be thankful; even though it didn’t work out, at least you got to experience it and learn from it. You rolled the dice and lost, but at least you took a chance! Don’t think that just because something wasn’t meant to be for your entire life doesn’t mean it didn’t add value and was right where you needed to be at the time.

    Advertising

    In your 20s, especially if you have a family, it gets harder and harder to spend time with friends because of so many different time demands. You will be pulled in every direction and it’s up to you to decide what your priorities are. Having a couple of close friends you can rely on can make a difference in your life. As they say “shared joy is doubled, shared sorrow is halved.”

    14. Take Every Chance You Get

    Life is about taking chances, grabbing opportunities and taking risks. Don’t be afraid to try something new, move somewhere new, work somewhere new, meet new people and learn something new.

    15. Let Go of Expectations

    Expectations ruin everything and most of the time our expectations are too high for those around us and for ourselves. No one is perfect and nothing is ever going to be perfect. The faster you can learn this and let go of too high or false expectations, the easier life will come to you. Expectations bring heartache and only cause harm. Expect nothing and appreciate everything.

    16. Life Is Complex. Try Not to Worry

    Don’t worry because everyone has ups and downs. It’s just how life is. Life is extremely messy and complicated, but don’t despair because things will work out in the end. Keep living and keep on doing what you enjoy. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

    17. You Get What You Put In

    Happiness, love and confidence come from within. Life is what you make of it and what you put into it. You can create whatever life you want, and if you create that life and it doesn’t work for you anymore, guess what? You can create a whole new life that does work. You may not have a choice in things that happen to you but you have a choice in how you react to them. Try to stay positive no matter what life throws at you and get through the tough times by talking to friends, family and a counselor if you need to.

    Advertising

    18. You Will Face Rejection

    You will be rejected at some point in your life. Rejection hurts at the very core of your being, but try not to take it too personally. Oftentimes, when you’re rejected it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person rejecting you. Take it in stride, let it slide off your back and move on. I know this is easier said than done, but it will go a long way in making you feel better and happier.

    19. You Will Not Have Everything Figured Out Anytime Soon

    If you don’t have everything figured out by the time you’re 30, you’re not alone. If you’re not where you want to be in your life or career, don’t sweat it, you still have time. Some people never figure out what they really want to do with their lives, but they get a lot of great experience, learn new things and can transfer their skills to many types of jobs. If you know what you want to do in life, start doing it immediately, practice it as much as possible and you will get better at it.

    20. Love More and Keep Your Heart Open

    Love is all that really matters in the end. Give of yourself more than anything. Try to be patient, empathetic, understanding, caring and gentle with other people. Get to know people better by asking questions and listening attentively. People usually like to talk about themselves and questions are a great way to get conversations going. Love people for who they are, just as they are, and realize that everyone is a work in progress! Life is a continual work in progress. We’re all just trying to find our way, and we’re all confused and looking for contentment. Life is a journey, and happiness is not a destination to arrive at, but a way of living.

    More by this author

    Amanda Bradbury

    Amanda is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

    32 Cheap and Uniquely Fun Date Ideas for Couples in 2020 20 Items You Should Buy at Whole Foods (Because They’re the Cheapest There) 10 Simple Things You Can Do To Earn More Money 20 Things Nobody Told You While Growing Up 8 Benefits of Donating Blood That You May Not Know About

    Trending in Communication

    1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    Advertising
    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

    Warming up

    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

    Advertising

    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

    Stay hydrated

    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

    Meditate

    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

    2. Focus on your goal

    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

    Advertising

    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

    3. Convert negativity to positivity

    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

    4. Understand your content

    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

    Advertising

    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

    5. Practice makes perfect

    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

    6. Be authentic

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

    Advertising

    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

    7. Post speech evaluation

    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

    Improve your next speech

    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

    Advertising

    • How did I do?
    • Are there any areas for improvement?
    • Did I sound or look stressed?
    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
    • Was I saying “um” too often?
    • How was the flow of the speech?

    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

    Reference

    Read Next