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Relax Maverick! 10 Things Everyone Needs To Chill Out About In Their 20s

Relax Maverick! 10 Things Everyone Needs To Chill Out About In Their 20s

Being stressed and in your 20s are two things that most certainly do not belong together. Personally having just exited the terrific twenties and now entering into the thrilling thirties, my battle wounds are still fresh enough to be able to throw some warning signs and wisdom toward my fellow denizens who are still battling through their twenties. Most people looking back on their twenties will describe the decade as very much the formative years of finding your feet, figuring your niche, your purpose, your passion and beginning to anchor down.

In light of the abstract nature of finding your groove, there are many things that you are probably taking more seriously than you need to. Here are 10 things you need to chill out about.

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1. Getting That Ring By Spring (any Spring in your twenties that is)

The average age for marriage has shifted in the 1950s from the very early twenties to now very close to the age of thirty. Factors such as the increase in the standard of living in most countries means more years added to life, and more career opportunities means more time to figure things out. While there are certainly benefits to getting married young, you can relax, because the days of getting married in your early twenties have faded and nobody is going to raise an eyebrow if you do not have that ring on your finger yet.

2. Chasing That College Degree

People used to freak out if you did not have a college degree. Now with the developments in technology and the vast availability of knowledge and education online, the face of education is changing from traditional and conventional forms. Not only are the possibilities of succeeding without going to college even greater, but you are able to learn pretty much anything and everything online without having to jump through the hoops at an institution.

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3. Setting Up That 10-year Plan

Remember that dreadful style that you used to do your hair in thinking it was the hippest coolest look ever, only to now hang your head in shame? Things change. Your desires in your twenties will almost certainly be different as you get older. By all means, go ahead and write out a plan for your life—just be ready to throw it in the trash and write out a new one in a couple of years, or a couple of weeks! Better yet, forget the plan and just take it a day at a time!

4. “Keeping up with the Joneses”

Do not start playing the comparison game with people around you that you feel may be more “successful” than you are. Run your own race. It would be tragic to let envy force you into making a foolish decision for the sake of trying to mimic someone else’s lifestyle.

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5. Getting “Established”

You really do not want to get caught up in the rat-race during your twenties. Avoid getting caught into the 9–5 because you desire some sort of structure to your life. Your twenties is the perfect time not to have any structure! Steer away from making significant investments such as buying a brand new car or a house. These things will certainly shackle you down and cause a ton of stress if you cannot break free.

6. Letting Down Momma & Poppa

Some parents will voice their opinions louder than others. It is always a tricky balance trying to avoid a war with the parents as you deal with their pressures and expectations. Just remember not to be ashamed of failing to meet their expectations for your life during your twenties. Hey, you have another decade, and more after that to make them happy.

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7. Rollin’ Like a Millionaire

Stress less about having that financial stability. There will always be those few lucky souls who hit the jackpot early on. As long as you have enough cash to live off of, there is no need to start thinking about that retirement fund yet.

8. Living With Your Oldies

You are not the only one. As the saying goes, “there is strength in numbers.” The statistics of people in their twenties who are still living with their parents is overwhelming. You are just another drop in the ocean of many others doing the same thing. No need for the embarrassment. Enjoy being rent-free while it lasts!

9. Everyone’s 2 Cents

Advice can be helpful, but it can also be harmful. Take everything with a grain of salt and do not let anyone’s opinion confine you into doing something just because it seems like a “wise” thing to do, or what you are meant to be doing.

10. Making Mistakes

Not only stress less about making mistakes; go ahead and embrace them. Mistakes are a crucial part of the learning process. There’s no doubt  that your desire is to learn and grow as much as possible throughout your twenties, so your success is going to go hand-in-hand with your failures. Michael Jordan is famous for his statement, “I failed twice as much as I have succeeded.”

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Thai Nguyen

Thai's a Mindfulness-Meditation Coach, a 5-Star Chef and an International Kickboxer.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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