3 Ways to Give Yourself More Grace as a Twenty-Something Woman
Often, twenty-somethings are subjected to some pretty intense scrutiny.
"Why did you choose that for your major in college?"
"Why did you take a year off from school? You probably won't go back now."
"Why did you choose an internship? You should have found a job instead."
"When are you going to settle down and get married?"
"Why did you move back home after school?"
Here's the deal: you have no one else's ideals to measure up to.
Only your own.
Go ahead, shake off that pressure. Feels good, right? Like your favorite sweater that looks great with everything.
Sure, it's nice when your parents give you a figurative pat on the back. They like to feel that you've earned them bragging rights with their co-workers. There's really nothing wrong with that. We all like to impress our parents and make them proud.
But think about what you're doing right now to further your education, career, or just your personal journey of growth and development. Are you the one forging your own path...or is someone else pulling the strings?
It's okay to be uncertain.
It's okay to not have everything figured out.
It's okay to experiment with different career avenues and explore new interests.
But do something.
I feel as though a lot of people's disappointment with millennials comes from the idea that we seem entitled. I know we've all heard that one before, and frankly, it's a little tired. Entitled? Please, pick up a thesaurus and at least mix it up a little.
Maybe it's because when we choose to go a different route than previous generations, a lot of us fall into a state of ennui—we become unmotivated and, as a result, unproductive.
That's not okay. (Maybe that's why there are actual books on "how to adult.")
You've been blessed with a brain, unique gifts, and unique passions. You've more than likely achieved some form of education beyond high school. That's more than what 93% of the world's population can say. And if you're reading this blog post, then chances are, you have wi-fi too, which is a miracle in and of itself.
I started this blog because I wanted to help others and create a space to cultivate a supportive community of women through consistent encouragement and mutual understanding. Whatever you’re searching for, I want you to come away from this space feeling safe, included, empowered, and most of all, understood.
Don’t worry about what others are thinking about your life choices (I’m also talking to myself here). Let them worry about themselves, and you just do you.
Find your passions and make yourself proud.
It's fun, I promise.
I know a lot of people let their expectations for themselves and what they think they should be doing become more of a discouragement rather than a motivator, especially in relation to age. If you’ve found yourself in this position, there’s a way out. And it involves extending a little extra compassion and grace to yourself.
But how do you do that?
1 | Don't let your age define or limit you.
Some people are millionaires by the time they're 30. Some people aren't. That's just not life's trajectory for some. Accept it. Move on.
The fact that you aren't a millionaire or don't have a set career in place by the time your twenties are up doesn't always have to do with how hard you worked or which opportunities you took advantage of. It just doesn't.
But we compare ourselves with where other people are in their lives, and then we beat ourselves up over and over again for not...
...hustling hard enough.
...being brave enough.
..or just being good enough.
When we really should be...
..comparing ourselves to only ourselves and no one else.
..and taking chances and accepting opportunities based on the love for our own unique interests and passions, not based on what we think society expects from us.
You are your only competition.
Don't let where you think you should be in life at this point in time—at this age—bog you down and distract you from the goals and opportunities you're chasing.
Don't let where you think you should be in life at this point in time—at this age—distract you from the goals and opportunities you're chasing.
2 | Allow yourself to be stretched and grow at your own pace.
My best friends and I just happen to be going through some areas of growth and transition together. You know the ones.
The seasons of life where you're being pushed and pulled and prodded—and it's a good thing because it's all for your growth. These seasons help you move past insecurities, doubts, and your own comfort zones to break through and reach your full potential.
But let's be real: it really hurts sometimes. And it's uncomfortable. And sometimes you just want to ignore it all, crawl into your bed under the covers, and binge away on Netflix until the transitional period is over.
But that doesn't really work, does it? You have to "grow through what you go through" as the saying goes. And you can't grow if you're not all up in it.
So move at your own pace through these uncomfortable + painful growing periods, but by all means, don't try to wiggle out of them. They're necessary.
They really are. But you can do them at your own pace in your own way. And it's okay if you ugly cry while you're doing it.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you don't belong. — Mandy Hale
3 | Recognize negative mindsets...and then discard them.
Often, it's not who we are that keeps us from accomplishing the things we want out of life. Rather, it's who we think we're not.
So you make a mistake. You fumble here and there.
You fail a class.
You get fired.
You accidentally forget your mom's birthday.
These things happen to everyone, not just you. The mistakes you make don't make YOU a mistake. They just make you a human being with flaws.
A flawed woman can still kick ass on the regular if she practices self-compassion. But without that self-compassion, we will crumble under the weight of the pressure and disappointments we place on ourselves.
Compliment yourself. Magnify your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Where is the grace that we so readily extend to others? Why are we so reluctant to extend that same courtesy to ourselves?
As women, we feel this intense need to be "on" all the time. Society makes us feel that way. We make ourselves feel that way. Our mothers (bless them in their good intentions) may make us feel that way at times. When we make mistakes, it's because we think we were too much of something or not enough of something else.
Why can't we ever just be in the middle and just right? We can be, and we are.
And it starts with realizing that, accepting that as fact, and shaking off mindsets that keep you a slave to perfectionism.
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Are you struggling with learning to give yourself grace? What have you learned about practicing self-compassion in the past?