Words by Rebecca Brown
March 20th, 2019
So no one told you life was gonna be this way! You spent your twenties having fun and enjoying life and before you know it, the big thirty is coming your way and you don’t know how to feel, look, or act the part. We thought life was somehow magically going to sort itself out when we turn thirty and we would just effortlessly transform into mature and confident grown-ups. Yet, there you are, about to reach that huge milestone, feeling clueless and more insecure than ever.
It’s fine. We all go through some sort of quarter-life crisis when anxiety kicks in just by thinking about life, career, relationships and identity. It has more to do with the norms of society than our own, yet it’s not always so easy to navigate the pressure put upon us. As the majority of studies on happiness suggest, self-acceptance is one of the most important parameters for living a life of clarity, mindfulness and general wellbeing. Here’s how to achieve it as you turn thirty.
First of all, accept that you are turning thirty. It’s a fact. Yet, it doesn’t have to carry any negative connotations whatsoever. It’s just a number, no matter how corny it may sound. Instead of focusing on all the stress it brings in terms of others’ expectations of your life achievements, think of it as the most beautiful age in life. The pain you may experience can create opportunities for learning new lessons and building your character. Failures will become learning experiences. Your confidence will grow as you overcome challenges and obstacles. It is a new opportunity for growth and expansion. Enjoy it.
Who is to say where you are supposed to be at 30, 40 or whenever? Don’t conform to the rules of society, your parents, friends or social media. Accept the place you are at, appreciate the journey and love yourself. You are where you need to be at this moment. Enjoy the now in order to create a better future, because your future is still going to be now one day. It’s always now. Set your own standards and follow your own rhythm, no one else can do that for you. Accept the fact that you are not a perfect version of yourself at 30, nor do you need to be. You’ve got your whole life to become who you want to be.
No matter how much you try, there are some things about your looks and physique that you find annoying, disproportional or unattractive. Find a way to accept the things you can’t change. You can’t change your bone structure or your constitution, or your frizzy hair. Accept your frizzy hair instead of ruining it with flat irons and straighteners. Embrace your bigger shoulders, thighs or feet. Change what you can. If that acne or those scars are bothering you, find a trusted clinic, and get rid of them in your time. As you fix the small imperfections and accept the other less perfect sides of yourself that can’t be changed, your confidence will get a boost, and your mind will get some rest knowing you are working on improving yourself inside and out.
It’s OK to be sad, confused, lost, angry, as long as you learn something. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling negative emotions. Treat them in a constructive way. Be aware of your emotions and analyse them. Try to figure out the pattern or the issue behind the emotion and work on it instead of sweeping the uncomfortable feeling under the rug.
It’s an illusion to believe you can control people, emotions or situations. Everyone has their own divine compass, and you can’t and shouldn’t try to mess with it. The only things you can control are your thoughts, and feelings that come out of those thoughts. Let others come to you in their own way, or not at all. Control will only cause more problems and misunderstanding. No matter how much you force, beg or demand, things and people come when the time is right, not when you think it is.
If you want something to change, you have to be the catalyst. Start small. Change small things and watch the effect spread. If you don’t enjoy certain aspects of your life, you are the only one who can do something about it.
The funny thing about the opinion of others is that it is not what bugs us. It is our thoughts about others’ opinions about us that is keeping us from doing things. Sounds confusing, but it’s not actually. It is our mind that thinks others are judging us or think we are not good enough. In reality, we don’t even know what other people really think of us, nor should it matter at all. Most of the time, we are afraid to follow our dreams and do something out of character fearing others will judge us, when actually they are experiencing the same thing, and don’t have time to think about us at all. Accept that no matter what others think of you, your opinion is the only one that matters. Take responsibility for your own life and happiness and cherish your authenticity.
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.
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