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20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your 20s

20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your 20s

Your 20s are a time when everything seems possible, but it also seems like everything is passing you by. It’s no secret that these days, adolescence is being stretched past our teen years, and many of us are suffering for it. Here are some of the habits and hang-ups we typically face during our 20s and what we need to do let them go.

1. Stop caring more about approval than earning it.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel validated for your hard work. The problem is when you spend more time searching for a pat on the back than going out and giving people a reason to recognize you.

2. Stop being thankless.

Being ungrateful, unappreciative, or however else you want to say it, is the same as being selfish. Sure, you’d never admit that you’re an overall selfish person, but you may be oblivious to all of the goodwill thrown your way. Take moments to recognize the people in your life that are responsible for your happiness.

3. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.

There are two sides to this. On the one hand, it’s essential for you to let yourself be motivated by the success of others. That is what will push and inspire you to accomplish more for your own life. The dark side to this is envy. Your 20’s are a time when you must learn how to be content with your limitations and accomplishments, putting aside the pettiness of envy.

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4. Stop being lazy.

If you really want to stop being lazy and start being more productive, remove the things from your life that are keeping you lazy. Our generation is unique. We have a wealth of technology and endless distractions at our fingertips, but we’re lazier than ever with gifts that should be making us happy, not inactive. It’s time to prioritize.

5. Stop being busy.

Sometimes, being lazy doesn’t look like laziness. It can look like you’re busy. Instead of working, creating, and contributing, you’re settling for an infinite array of tasks that will keep you distracted until you get from point A to point B. Start making time for the things that matter.

6. Stop being narcissistic.

Get over yourself. Let people get to know the real you, not a fake image you’ve put up for yourself through selfies and clever Tweets.

7. Stop blaming others.

The buck stops with you now. You’re not a kid anymore, so it’s time to own up to your own failings. Your lot in life may not be 100% your doing, but your attitude is.

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8. Stop putting things off.

Don’t let the prime of your life slip you by. Start taking advantage of the adventures life won’t give you a second chance on before settling down. Go for the dream job. Move somewhere you’ve never heard of. It won’t be long before you lose your chance.

9. Stop thinking you’re invincible.

I love taking stupid risks too, but it’s time to take care of yourself. Go to the doctor, avoid dangerous stunts and stop forcing everyone around you to worry constantly about you.

10. Stop relying on your parents so much.

This is easier said than done, but it’s time. You’ll make mistakes, feel trapped, and it won’t always be fun. But you’ll be amazed at how strong you really are.

11. Stop being disagreeable.

When someone offers a viewpoint different from yours, don’t do everything in your power to prove you’re perfect. Start understanding that there are people in this world who are smarter than you and will disagree with you. Embrace them as opportunities for growth, not ways for you to win an empty argument.

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12. Stop treating your job as a daycare.

I’ve come across a lot of 20 somethings who believe the point of their job is to collect a paycheck and move on. They’re then shocked when they get overlooked for promotions, raises, or keeping that job. Don’t let your work be average or “good enough.” Provide value for the people who employ you.

13. Stop letting fear and uncertainty stop you.

Fear isn’t really a choice. It’s a door that we can choose to either walk through or walk away from. In most cases, it’s never going to be easier to walk through later on, so let it go. Don’t let yourself become full of regret.

14. Stop being cheap.

There’s value to a minimal lifestyle, and frugality isn’t something to trend away from. But you should also let yourself spend money on the things you truly want, within reason. Buy the nicer clothes once in a while. Buy food that is good for you. Saving money is vital, but so is investing in the things that make you happy.

15. Stop daydreaming.

You should never stop having dreams and goals, but the time is up for you to spend all of your time planning ahead. Live in the moment more and focus on accomplishing what’s already before you. Save the dreaming for moments of meditation and reflection.

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16. Stop expecting life to be fair.

Bad things happen. People will wrong you. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t change, consider that you can’t expect the world or anything to be perfect when no one is more imperfect than you.

17. Stop resisting change.

Your 20’s are a volatile time. Let go of the past and adapt to the inevitable changes of life. Start appreciating the new and memorable things that come your way.

18. Stop allowing yourself to be too comfortable.

Your best is ahead of you.

19. Stop living your life for others.

You should take care of your responsibilities and those who rely on you, but you also need to start making your own decisions. If your career, lifestyle, and location have all been decided for you, then there’s less for you take ownership of.

20. Stop being a follower.

There’s nothing with having mentors and people to look up to, but it’s time for you to start leading. Do what it takes to formulate strong and respectable opinions on what you value. As you navigate through the many challenges of young adulthood, get used to exhibiting the leadership that is expected of you once your 20s are over.

You may also want to read: 7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life.

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Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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