Article was edited and updated on Oct. 12, 2021
In my twenties, I thought I would rule the world. I made so many plans in what I wanted to do, how I would execute my goals, and envisioned having a solid support system, friends and family, that I would rely on whenever I needed advice or guidance. At the time, being in my twenties meant starting life to my accord, and I was going to be unstoppable.
But then reality hit, and it knocked me on my derriere hard. I wasted so much valuable time and energy on unnecessary things that I wish I could take some of them back and do it all over again. For now, I will share six things I did wrong in my twenties, what I learned from the past, and how it has shaped me today to do better.
1. Giving Up on Goals and Dreams
That is one of the worst things you could do to yourself. Giving up on your goals and dreams is like intentionally giving up on your life. By doing this, I had put my passion on the back burner and allowed myself to forget what I truly wanted for my life.
When I did this, I became complacent, dissatisfied, and unhappy with life. At times, I would start a project and had not completed it to the end. There was always an excuse of not having enough money, not having enough experiences, not having a well-grounded support system, or having general doubts in my mind.
Doing that left me with a lot of thoughts in what-ifs and regrets. I realized that I had not bet on myself great enough to unlock my full potential.
Today, I honor myself by being the first best person to show up when executing my goals and dreams. I take the time to think about what I am trying to create, write it down, and work on it little by little. I know now that not everything in life will come easy, but how we react and adapt to the changes counts most to move forward. Finish your plans to the fullest and watch the beauty of it unfold.
2. Giving Haters Power
Most of the hate I received came from people I knew. I was so sensitive to other people’s opinions that they had power over me in how I moved at the time.
I now learned that living for someone else approval is a blow to my self-esteem and confidence. No one knows what is best for you other than yourself.
Today, I choose not to share too many details on my plans, especially with small-minded people. They are usually the ones who are quick to pass judgment, nowhere near where you want to be in life, or miserable with themselves. Just let the haters hate while you try to live your best life.
3. Not Taking Risks
Playing things safe all the time leads to nowhere. Not taking risks meant missed opportunities. The world is much bigger than the box I was living within. To do the same thing and expect different results is living with insanity.
News flash, sometimes investing in yourself is a requirement in getting better results, and I had to learn that with time. My growth could never come from my comfort zone.
Today, if I want better results, I have to get comfortable with the thought of being uncomfortable. To gain real-life results sometimes means not being afraid to fail, experiment with new things, accepting losses, or winning with guts.
4. Seeing Things Only in Black & White
I used to believe I had no options to choose after. Growing up, I felt like I had to choose one thing to do for the rest of my life. My mindset was purely black and white.
Looking back, I now know having more than one option is crucial to evolving in life. Recognizing that helps us expand our opportunities and interests. So, putting all your eggs in one basket is not necessary.
Today, I understand the value of setting your mind to do anything and everything you ever wanted. Our options are limitless, and we have the power to create positivity in the life that we want and deserve. There are so many beautiful colors to explore, and sometimes mixing these colors can make us create the most fantastic pictures.
Back in the day, traveling solo was unheard of, especially as a woman thinking about her safety. If I could not find a travel buddy to come along with me, I would not go. I stopped myself from living my best life because friends around me were unable to afford it at the time.
Again, I realize living my life surrounding others is a huge mistake. I miss out on not seizing the moment.
Today, I know it is okay to take solo trips from time to time. It can be very therapeutic and very much needed. You do not have to travel far to experience new things. You can also travel around your local cities. There are restaurants, trails and hikes, parks, beaches, theatres, and much more. Be adventurous and explore, even if it is by yourself.
6. Learn to Invest on Life
At the time, my college education was the most important thing for me to complete. I still believe it is essential to do, but it should not be the main focus depending on what you are studying.
I now realized I should have invested in my personal development, networking skills, and career-building. It was crucial to understanding the benefits of setting myself for a successful future.
Now I know the importance of goal setting, building connections, understanding wealth and finance, talent development, enhancing or developing skill training, budgeting, therapy, and many more.
In the end, the most important of all is being aware of my past mistakes and consciously doing better, and not repeating the same events. I have the opportunity to correct my wrongs and take everything as a learning lesson. The best advice I can share is what you do today will shape how your future will unfold.