24 Life Lessons In 24 Years
Last weekend, I turned 24! Soooo crazy how fast time flies by, right?
Birthdays and new years always seem to be the two times when people reflect on their life the most, and I absolutely love reading other people's life lessons blog posts, so I'd thought I'd write my own and share my nuggets of wisdom with you too!
I would love to hear which ones resonated with you and some of your own life nuggets as well - please share your life lessons with me in the comments below.
** Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission if you buy anything. Thanks for your support!
24 life lessons in 24 years
1. You cannot let your emotions dictate what you do (or don't do) that day.
As someone who's easily swayed by her emotions, this was one of the hardest to learn, but most important by far. But if you want results, you have to be prepared to show up and take consistent action every day - whether you’re feeling on top on of the world or like you’re ready to hide under your bedcovers all day.
Life is going to go on - with or without you, so you might as well show up and do the work so you can reap the rewards.
2. Change is always possible - any time at any moment.
It’s never “too late” to change. We love to make excuses about why we can’t, but the truth is you can and you have the power to do it, but you have to choose between comfort and change.
Also, important to keep in mind that no one is ever going to change for you. We have to take personal responsibility for our own lives and how it ends up is up to us.
3. Self-love and compassion are essential.
When things aren’t going well, I have a tendency to mentally beat myself up. But you can’t hate yourself into loving yourself. Trust me, I’ve tried … more than once. Let me tell you right now that it doesn’t work.
Know that it’s okay to be imperfect, to have flaws, to show up as you are, and to make mistakes along the way. That’s also what people relate to and appreciate - authentic vulnerability.
4. Finding that balance between tough love and compassion is really difficult, but necessary.
I have a past history of not fully committing to things and jumping off the ship at the first sight of struggle, so now I place unrealistic and probably unreachable expectations on myself and I’ve managed to convince myself that it’s discipline.
But what happens when you set unattainable goals for yourself? You don’t reach them, so give yourself full permission without conditions to make mistakes along the way. Learn to be kind to yourself, even if that means writing love letters to yourself every day.
5. Mindset is also really important.
There are so many things I could say about this, but I’m still in the beginner learning process stage. I will say this though: Allow yourself to be a beginner. Give it time - lots of time. Definitely more than a week (that’s how much time I initially gave myself and I thought I was being generous. I wish I were kidding.)
It’s crazy what our subconscious believes and how easily we soaked up the information given around us during childhood. Remember that you have the ability and power to change your thoughts. Your past does not have to equal your future.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others. Seriously.
You’re probably going to read this and I’m the one writing this, but chances are, we’re both going to go somewhere later whether it’s Instagram or the coffee shop and compare ourselves to someone.
But the next time you find yourself doing this, stop yourself and make a note of it. How did it make you feel in that moment? What emotions came up for you? What did you take away from it?
7. Having an attitude of gratitude is a total game changer.
This one has not come easily for me either. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Personal growth junkie right here. Well, if we’re being completely honest here and y’know transparency is totally my jam, I spent most of my life being a nay sayer, Negative Nancy, non-believer, etc. - whatever you’d like to call me.
Once I started writing down daily gratitude lists, it was a total game changer. Just because you’ve had one outlook on life your entire life doesn’t mean that’s the one you have to stick it. Gratitude is the best attitude.
8. We attract what we believe and we have to believe in ourselves.
If you believe you’re not going to be successful, how likely are you going to succeed? Not likely, right? Because you didn’t set yourself up for success. Why would you when you don’t believe in yourself?
The energy and emotion we put out into the world is what comes back to us. Be mindful of the thoughts, emotions, energy, etc. you let into your life.
9. Set boundaries for yourself and keep them.
As a recovering people pleaser, my biggest fear is people not liking me. I just hate that feeling like I’m disappointing people - though sometimes it feels like that happens either way so why not set boundaries so at least I’m happy and more stable.
Saying no to something or someone when it’s not in alignment with you and who you are isn’t being rude or something to be ashamed of, it’s you taking care of yourself and that’s something to be proud of.
10. You cannot control how other people feel about you or their reactions toward you.
Their reactions are not a reflection of you, but them. We often feel like it’s our responsibility to make sure other people like us, but why? Not to mention, it’s pretty exhausting and energy draining.
Everyone is different and has a different personality, so not everyone is going to be your new best friend and that’s okay. Do not let other people’s emotions and opinions define how you see yourself. You are the CEO of your own life - you call the shots here.
11. Share your story with others, even if it's scary to.
You don’t have to share your entire life story, but it’s totally cool if you do. I love when other women share their stories with me - it’s like they’re sharing a piece of their heart with me and I really appreciate that.
I believe that storytelling can open so many doors for you and the other person. You create room for healing, forgiveness, trust, and love to enter into your life, while also giving the other person permission and space to share their stories with you. Create a safe space for each other and take the time to really listen. After all, we all want to be seen, heard, and feel validated.
(Related: 6 Reasons Why We Need To Share Our Stories)
12. You cannot change other people and they cannot change you.
I first learned this lesson back in high school when I was struggling with body image and trying to lose weight at the time (another story for another day). Somewhere along the way, I had the realization that we cannot change others regardless of how much we want them to. All that to say you can give someone all the resources in the world, but it’s still up to them to change or stay the same.
It’s also not anyone’s place to judge other people’s choices or lives. But there are times when you have to let go so your own ship doesn’t drown. Again, not selfish but it’s about you taking care of you.
13. Be mindful of who you take advice from.
It’s so easy nowadays to give advice. There is so much information out there and everyone wants to tell you their opinion / side / advice on something.
Always ask yourself: Is their advice relevant to me? Is this person someone who holds the same values as me? Are they someone I want to be like? How successful are they in what they’re giving advice on?
For example, if a dentist with no marketing experience gave you advice on marketing, would you take their marketing advice? Maybe advice on how to take better care of your teeth, but not your Instagram account.
14. Learn to love and embrace the rejections, because they’re coming for you.
Whether you like it or not, here they come. In an ideal life, everything would work out all the time perfectly just as we hope they would, right? But success does not come with a few (or more than a few) stumbles and stepping stones along the way.
Whenever I’m getting a lot of no’s and starting to feel shame sink in that things aren’t moving “fast enough”, I remind myself that successful people did not get to where they are overnight - but with a lot of rejections, so now the rejections actually feel kind of rewarding because I’m putting myself out there. Perspective changin’ - it’s awesome.
15. Giving yourself time to grow is one of the kindest things you can do.
Have I mentioned I’m really impatient? When I implement things, I’m a bit ‘why hasn’t this worked out yet’ when realistically I’ve only implemented the changes 2 days ago. Patience is the name of the game.
It’s so important to give yourself that especially in this social media driven world where our attention span is apparently equivalent of a goldfish. I wonder if anyone is even still reading this or if I’m just here talking to myself - I guess that’s cool tool. *Asian girl shrug emoji* (my favorite emoji, just fyi).
16. Empowered women empower other women.
This should be higher up on the list, but better late than never, right? Seriously though, work together and help each other rise up. Find your tribe and love them hard. Support one another.
Encourage, inspiration, and uplift, because their success doesn’t take away from yours - it adds to it. We’re a community and a team, and we’re here to help each other out. There’s also room for you at the table.
(Related: 12 Ways We Can Support Other Women)
17. Sometimes, you’ll fall off course and it happens.
It’s okay if it happens. What I learned this year was that it happens to a lot of people and it’s okay to ask for emotional help when you need it. And that it’s okay to need it.
We all understand that this journey isn’t easy and sometimes it’s incredibly messy, but we’re here for you when you need us but let us know. People aren’t mindreader and they won’t know unless you tell them. Trust that people will catch you when you fall, but give them a heads up.
18. Your intuition knows the way and what you should do next.
It doesn’t mean you’ll always like the answer or want to do it, but I always have an inner gut feeling of what I should be doing. Nothing will help you get off track and feeling misaligned quickly than ignored and neglecting it.
Speaking from personal experience? Yes, a million times yes.
Have I learned my lesson? We’ll see.
But please don’t ignore your intuition - it’s trying to tell you something.
Sometimes, you don’t need anyone else’s advice because you already know what you should do. You already know what you want to do. Remember, not everyone’s advice is relevant (and that goes for me too - my advice may not be relevant at all and that’s fine).
19. Apply what you learn.
It’s not enough to just read, watch, or listen to something and let that be the end of it. The next step is applying what you’ve learned. Every time I read a book now, I journal on it - what lessons I’ve learned and how I can apply those to my life. I don’t have to incorporate everything, just the things that I think will be beneficial to me and that are in alignment with my goals and values.
(Related: 10 Skillshare Classes For Bloggers)
20. There is no one size fits all.
One person’s solution is not everyone’s solution. It’s okay if someone else’s way doesn’t work for you, you make your own way. We are all different and we should be embracing that. After all, what makes you, you?
It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with having made the choice of not going to a 4 year and getting a Bachelor’s degree, but it was my choice and a decision that I made at the time that felt like it was the best for me.
21. It doesn’t matter if it’s already been done before, because it hasn’t been done by you.
Imagine if every writer thought to themselves, “Oh, I can’t write about that because it’s already been done.” Imagine all the books, blog, knowledge, and wonderful words we would miss out on! Is my bookworm side showing?
Besides, do you know how many people have started Instagram accounts for their pets? I don’t, but it’s a lot. And a lot of them have tons of followers which goes to show there’s room for everyone. And if there isn’t? Then make room.
22. Money mindset is real and it runs deep like the ocean.
When I first heard about money mindsets, I thought it was all a bunch of woo woo in the air fairy dust kind of thing and it just wasn’t something I wanted to work on. (Most things I should work on are the things that don’t sound appealing at all. Hello personal development and change. Meet my fear and resistance.)
It wasn’t until I watched one of Denise Duffield-Thomas’s video where she talked about how women sell vs. how men sell, and everything just clicked for me right then and there. After that video, I watched to share it with everyone. It was just so relevant and on point.
(Related: Book Review: Prince Charming Isn't Coming By Barbara Stanny - LOVE this money mindset book.)
23. Remember to enjoy your life and have fun!
I wouldn’t say this is a life lesson I’ve fully learned and incorporated into my life yet. But if you aren’t having fun, then what’s the point, right? So moral of the story: Eat pizza and churros because both of those are enjoyable and fun. Oh, and California rolls - can’t forget about those.
24. Love the people that support you like they’re magical unicorns. Because they are.
Honestly, I would not still be here if it weren’t for these people. I know they say (and even I said this in #8) that you have to believe in yourself first before anyone else believes in you - but girl, there were days when I was just ready to call it quits and throw in the towel. Permanently. Forever. Done-zo. Okay, a bit dramatic, but you get the point.
They helped me stay on course a bit longer each time until I found my footing again, and I’m so grateful for that. Find people who will hold space for you to cry, express your emotions, and then give you the talk you need to hear. So when you find them, hold onto them and don’t let them go. And learn to be that person for them too. Be the unicorn in their lives - support them but also give them the talk they need to hear so they can grow too.
So those are the 24 life lessons I’ve learned over and over again during the past year.
What a crazy year it’s been. Adventurous at times. Scary at other times.
But here’s to being 24.
Here’s to another year of adventure and scary growth. Because you know what they say - feel the fear and do it anyway.