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5 Mistakes You Can Afford To Make When You’re Young

5 Mistakes You Can Afford To Make When You’re Young

Being young is great. Most of the parts of your body still work great, you have a full head of hair, you’re energetic, and you have a world of opportunity in front of you. However, there’s going to come a time when you start to get older. And as you get older, you’ll have new responsibilities, complete independence, and perhaps most importantly, less time to recover from mistakes.

You see, we all make mistakes in life. Maybe you spent more money than you should have on a car, you passed up on a great job opportunity, or you didn’t try as hard as you could have in school. It’s a part of life and we learn from it. But there are certain mistakes that are much better made while you’re still young and have plenty of time to recover.

I’m definitely not telling you that you should purposely go out and make these mistakes (because they’re a pain to recover from). But these are all mistakes that are much better made when you’re younger so that you can learn from them and not have them ruin your entire life.

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Starting The Wrong Career

Wouldn’t you hate to be 45 years old and discover that you absolutely hate what you do for a living? It’s a reality that a lot of people face and it can be difficult to fix. You see, when you’re 23 and find out you don’t like the career path you’ve chosen, you can easily explore new career options.

We no longer live in an age when people are expected to stay with one company until they retire. You can bounce around a little bit and find out what you want to do. When you get older, just switching careers whenever you want isn’t as simple.

You have to consider your family, retirement, the difficulties you might run into with starting from the bottom in a new industry, and plenty of other issues that someone in their early 20’s just doesn’t have to deal with.

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Dating the wrong person

The divorce rate in the U.S is extremely high. Other parts of the world aren’t doing too much better either. While everyone gets divorced for their own reasons, I think we can all agree that it’s better to find out that the person you’re with is wrong for you sooner rather than later.

Hopefully you find out whether or not the person you’re with is right for you before you tie the knot, because around 50% of first marriages end in divorce.

Messing up your credit

Ruining your credit is never a good idea. Even if you ruin it while you’re young, it could affect you in the future. The upside of having bad credit while you’re young instead of older is that you have time to build it back up.

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It can take 7-10 years to rebuild your credit if you have a history of late payments, loan defaults, foreclosures, or bankruptcy. During those 7-10 years, you’ll have a hard time financing anything unless you have a cosigner or put down a substantial down payment.

Most people tend to make most of the bigger purchases in life when they get older such as a house or their dream car. If you have bad credit, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

Making bad investments

If you’re investing money for your retirement, making bad decisions can mean you’ll be working your entire life. Whether you choose to pay someone to do the investing for you or handle it all yourself, it’s a lot better to take risks when you’re younger.

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If you invest in stock or even real estate while you’re young and the market takes a hit, you’re not ruined. Investing is a long-term venture, so the younger you start, the more fluctuation you can withstand and still come out with a positive return.

Blowing your money

What would you do if you went broke at 60 years old? You would be working your behind off when you really should be relaxing and getting ready to retire soon.

But if you’re 25 and broke, you still have plenty of time to earn more money. Also, nobody will judge you because it’s not unusual for people in their 20’s to not have money these days. You might have blown your money on a nice car or have an obsession with all the newest gadgets.

When you get older, you’ll be able to look back and realize how dumb you were for spending $20,000 on a brand new car when you were only 20 years old. But when you’re older and waste your money, you’ll REALLY have nothing to show for it.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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