20 Life Lessons Learned In My 20’s

Well, just as they’ve said it before I’ll say it again, “time flies!” That is a fact and before you know it another birthday rolls around. Since I’m big on reflections this birthday inspired me to write 20 things I’ve learned in my twenties. There’s been a ton of learnings and I’m happy to share in hopes that you either A.) resonate with one or five of these OR B). you can learn something here. My bigger hope is that these 20 life lessons I am sharing will provide the next generation of 20-somethings some guidance and truth and that these truths will remain at the forefront of your minds as you grow.

1. Choose your company wisely.

Surround yourself with people who share your values and continually challenge you to be a better version of yourself. It is easy to fall into a fun but incredibly wrong crowd (or relationship). You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with so take inventory on who those people are and how their effect on your life.

NOTE: People don’t change. Wasting your time trying to change anyone (your boyfriend, mom, brother, boss) will just waste your precious time in life. You need to make the choice to either accept this person as is or move on and let them be who they are.

2. You can’t run away from aging.

Aging is normal and not something to be masked with cosmetic surgeries etc. I’ve always embraced my age and as a woman it can be challenging to know your youth will fade, but I always like to think you’re as young as you feel. I’m sure you know there are some people who never grow up. Note: Don’t be one of them.

3. The older you get the less candles on your cake. 🎂

Maybe not a life lesson, but a realization I had. No one wants to be 30, 50, 60 candles on a cake?? Do we need to re-think this one? Every birthday past 13 I have felt like I was turning one years old. What do you think?

4. Stop caring what others think.

Immediately stop this. Caring what anyone thinks about you is the biggest waste of time I have learned this over and over again. Of course it’s still challenging as we are all human and judgement is real, but heck if I’m going to live my life this way. You will rob yourself of the life you want and are capable of living so just stop and do your thing unapologetically.

Note: Not everyone is going to like you, your ideas or what you’re all about — and that is A-okay! Accept it and know there are people who will absolutely love you, support you and many times your biggest “fans” may be people outside of your family/friends, #HarshTruth.

5. Do the things you love.

More than likely chasing your dreams will not work out exactly as you plan or even close to how you envisioned. However, don’t let that stop you because YOU have been given a unique passion and drive that encourages you to make moves that lead you down the divine path that has been laid out for you. So do all the things you love and one day you’ll look back and it will all make sense.

6. Embrace your time being single.

Focus on yourself and really enjoy this stage of life. Once you’re married, you can never be single and selfish again. Don’t be afraid to be single or feel less loved if you’re not in a relationship because there is nothing more worse than being with the wrong person.

Always, always choose yourself and learn to be happy on your own.

7. Be confident.

Live a lifestyle of personal growth. “No one is you, and that is your biggest power.” —Dave Grohl

Confidence comes from within and it happens when you feel most alive and you’re fully living a life you have chosen. Don’t rely on someone to boost your confidence. Do things for yourself, work hard & be the boss of your life.

8. If you have an idea, start NOW!

Absolutely start now and don’t waste one more minute. You never know until you try and some of your entrepreneurial ideas may not work out like you want, but it will get you to the next point regardless of where that is. Everything you do will lead you to the next best place if you keep pushing forward.

9. Work to stay in the present.

Life is a gift, that is why we call it the present. Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future will only rob you of your current life. Work toward attainable goals and do not hold expectations for situations beyond your control.

10. If it doesn’t feel good, leave it!

Leave the shitty relationship, the job you absolutely hate, the mindset that is holding you back, the limiting beliefs you place on yourself! Throw it all away and know that you deserve to feel good about yourself and your life.

11. It’s just social media. 📱

This is a favorite right here. Have you ever met someone who took social media wayyyyy to seriously? I’m talking ending relationships, friendships, holding grudges, making judgements and assumptions based off what you do, what you see or what you like etc. You can secretly agree with me here because I can bet 50% of you have allowed social media to affect you in this way. Let me just confirm something —  IT IS JUST SOCIAL MEDIA!! If you’re not using your platforms to drive business or build a brand it should not be taken this serious. Don’t let it ruin your relationships & don’t forget that there’s so much life happening outside of social media that is much more important than anything inside Instagram. 

12. Take risks & don’t fear failure.

If you’re unhappy in any area of your life what do you have to lose if you take a leap into a different direction or travel down a different path? Nothing! You will gain more knowledge and learn more about what you like and dislike. Even if you feel it wasn’t the best decision it will still always move you forward into a greater direction.

13. Pet more dogs. 🐶🐕🐩

I mean, need I say more? I am the type who will be across the street and ask if I can pet your dog. I’m serious! There is something about dogs that bring so much joy and happiness into ones life. I can promise it’ll brighten your day.

14. Always find time to travel & explore. 🗼✈️🚖🗽

Travel is the best teacher. It will give you answers you can never get from sitting in the same place. It will show you how much opportunity and adventure is out there for you to have anytime you want. I always feel my best when I am seeing new things and meeting new people so I will forever be a lover of travel and the memories it brings you can’t get staying in one place.

15. Don’t be afraid to shine, super bright!! ☀️☀️☀️

Live your best life is my mantra, every day. You should absolutely live your best life and that looks different to every one, but never be afraid to be your bright, creative, kind, loving, outrageous self. The world has too many followers, don’t be one of them. Be your unique self because you really do only live once. Remember that.

16. Stop comparing yourself to people online.

Ever scroll on Instagram and just think, “Wow, that place looks amazing,” “Wow, that girl has it all together” … if you’re human you’ve thought these things because it’s smack dab in your face anytime you sign on. Don’t get me wrong I love Instagram and where we are at digitally is absolutely amazing, but don’t get caught up in hating yourself or your life because others are sharing their greatest times and moments. I’m going to be honest with you I’ve never been the type to compare my life much to anyone because I don’t find it necessary … I love my life and who I am so why would I want to be anyone different?? I enjoy seeing other people shine and be happy, but I do feel there is a lot of this happening and remember comparison really is the thief of joy.

17. Stay active. 💙💜🖤

Make it a priority to stay active any way you can. Take the stairs, go for a short 20-minute walk daily, get a quick work out when you have the time, run, play outside, do some yoga, hike a mountain … it all adds up! Also, please don’t stress yourself out to get active … it’s okay if you miss a day.

18. You can google everything. 🔎

Always looking to google or your parents for life advice won’t get you very far. Only YOU know the true answers. If you’re going to Siri we have some major things to chat about, lol. Let’s be honest, you really can google everything today, but be sure you take everything with a grain of salt when it comes to the internet. It’s there to help, but it can’t solve all your problems or answers to questions. Capeesh? 😊👌

19. Eat things you love, do things you love.

Because life is really too short not too. Eat the 🍔🧀🥨🍪🍩🍕 , depression = deprivation. Don’t deprive yourself of foods you love or activities you enjoy because again, #YOLO. Be sure to find a balance with all of this; that is the key! Eating a doughnut for breakfast every single day may not be the best idea, but that doesn’t mean you need to take it out completely. Listen to your body. It’s easy to get caught up online seeing what others are promoting but just know what works best for them may not always be the best for you.

20. Listen to yourself, forever & always.

Lastly, you know the answers for what you want and desire in your life. It’s your job to take action on things you believe, take responsibility for being an adult and make decisions based off how you feel and not what someone or something else says to do. Find happiness in every day and enjoy the time you’re given.

If you like this post save it, bookmark it for a reminder and help a friend out by sharing this post. As always, stay socially connected with me @sociallysteph on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. ❤️