25 Things I've Learned at 25 (Part 2!)
As promised, here is part 2 of the 25 things I've learned at 25 (a nifty bonus is at the end!). 🤩
14.) Face your fears! 😱
You've heard it said that the only way to conquer your fear is to face it. I’ve repeatedly stayed away from facing my fears, but that only ever comforted me momentarily. Ultimately, letting my fear dictate my life prevented my growth. One example of this was my fear of driving. I would feel a panic attack coming on just thinking about it! It was only once I got behind the wheel many times that my feelings eased. The fear is still there, but now I have courage. If I managed to not wreck the car last time, then maybe I CAN do this!
If we stay sheltered, then we can never fly from the nest. This leads to as "failure to launch" or failure to achieve self-fulfillment. When we don't face obstacles in the real world, we won’t have a necessary tools or experience to see us through the next.
You can never forge your own path by being comfortable. We must fight our instinct for self-preservation in leu of self-fulfillment.
15.) Grow where you're planted 🌱
Something that probably took me an embarrassingly long to realize was that even when my circumstances don’t change, I can still work on myself. Believing that I have to wait for some magical moment is very destructive. What if that day never comes or gets delayed? Each day becomes agony waiting for sign-I didn’t feel like I could do anything else! I ended up wasting all that time and that was a disservice to myself. Even though I could not control my environment, I did have control over my thoughts and my actions. Recognizing this then encouraged me to grow in whatever situation I found myself in! We need need to be resilient like the blades of grass that cut through the pavement. Trust me, once you find your footing, growth is inevitable.
16.) The importance of good habits ✔️
We need structure in our life. Without it, we regress to our worst habits which, unfortunately, come too naturally. Having structure is actually freeing because you get to balance what you need to do WITH what you want to do. Creating new habits may be difficult at first, but once they set it, they become automatic. Good habits also compound and create more good habits. Even a small step towards your goal is closer to your goal than none.
Ask yourself, What do I need to implement, change, or stop doing in my life? Then you can plan out a way to achieve that goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, it can seem daunting to focus on numbers as your action plan. Instead, you can start the journey slowly by focusing on minor changes such as creating a reminder to drink water throughout the day.
Like I have to tell myself when driving these chaotic Texas roads, you'll get there when you get there! For now, focus on the road directly ahead.
17.) Forgiving myself 💖
Something I am still working on is learning how to forgiveness myself. If I mentally beat myself up over my past, I could never focus on my doing better in the present. Not forgiving myself is like listening to destructive criticism. I only focus on the wrong so I tear myself down. Constructive criticism acknowledges the bad while also giving helpful advice to do better. If we wouldn't put up with other people tearing us down, why do we allow ourselves?
For me, I feel ashamed and even if I apologize I feel like I deserve punishment. I ask myself, Why do I keep messing up? Is there any good left in me? This leaves no room for love, truth, or growth. If we are God's children, He has forgiven our wrongdoings and erased them from the record (Psalm 103:12). Going against our forgiven state is like trying to write on the sand shores. The water will inevitably wash it over. One of the most difficult pain to let go of is the pain we create ourselves.
18.) Challenge and hold captive every thought 💭
We win or lose battles in our minds by either believing truth or lies. It is easy to combat blatant lies...when we are functioning at 100%. But when we are tired, overwhelmed, or distracted, it is easier to believe in lies. The most difficult to combat are twisted truths. These are lies that appear true but lack depth or true understanding. For example, after Jesus suffered from hunger in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him using bible verses! (Matthew 4:1-11) Of course, Satan twisted the truth, but Jesus saw right through it. This shows that we must throughly know God's word to combat lies. 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to "... demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Since we aren't always able to discern "half truths" all the time, we have to hold every thought up to God's light.
19.) Attitude of gratitude 😇
An attitude of gratitude requires retraining our focus. When we feel pushed down, it is hard to stare at anything other than the ground. We have to look above at the situation. Gratitude isn't, "At least I have this or that." This appears insincere and devalues what we have! Gratitude is being able to recognize God's blessings.
For example, I was blessed that I could sleep last night! I can recall a time when I had a bout of insomnia. I probably slept only five hours...FOR THE WHOLE WEEK. Absolutely nothing helped. What could knock out my father, a grown man, didn't do a lick of good for me, a small teenager at the time. I was pitifully miserable. Now years later, I take sleep for granted, falsely believing that it would always be there. How many nights do I delay sleep because I was my phone? (I know I'm not the only one who does!)
When we recognize what we have, we appreciate these gifts and have peace.
Sometimes we are too quick to fill in the gaps. Instead of asking for clarity, we believe we were understandable or that we falsely interpreted what someone said in our own way. Communication involves humility to help you see where someone is at, not just where you are trying to push them into your point. If humility is the catalyst of growing together, then singlemindedness is the catalyst of growing apart.
21.) Keep in touch with friends (they are struggling too!) 👍
Sometimes we ask more than we give. It could be because we don't realize that our friend's lives are just as complex and messy as our own! Not only do you feel better helping another person, but you may bring insight or aid that. This is not to encourage a savior complex but if we don't ask how our friends are doing, they might not recognize how urgently they need help until they have spoken it out loud. Giving attention is giving validation and most of us just want to be heard. People know what they need to do but need the encouragement to do it.
22.) BUDGET or LOSE IT 💸
Growing up, I was taught to work hard to get paid, but I was never taught how to regulate my income. I struggled at first because I honestly didn't know how much necessities cost, which meant I didn't know how much spending money I had. Budgeting is knowing your limits and working within them. I am not rich, but I have what I need. Furthermore, I can save and pay off my remaining college debt by budgeting. To budget you list and add up all your costs (food, gas, insurance, subscriptions/memberships, savings, payments) and subtract by your monthly income (or whatever frequency you get paid). I realized that when I don't budget my money; it ended up costing me more.
23.) Negotiate with yourself 🤝
We can't always to be motivated to act. A task may seem time-consuming, labor intensive, or just flat out boring! But if we wait until we feel like it, we might be wait forever! Sometimes, we have to convince ourselves to do a task. You can tell yourself, "I'll just work for ten minutes" or "I'll just do this section for now." This will hopefully trick yourself into doing more, and if not, you STILL got something done! We have to move first to gain momentum. Like a car, you can't go from zero to 100 in a moment. You have to press the gas first. It is a slow start but once you are moving, it gets easier to maintain it!
24.) When you feel down, don't decide! 😔
When I am depressed, I am not rational. For example, I would cancel plans the night before, not giving myself the opportunity to feel better the next day. I recognize that for me, being alone was worse since it's easier to fall deeper into negativity. This is because people could encourage me to keep my head up instead of letting me sink. There are times to follow our feelings and times when we should do the opposite. Sometimes that opposite is doing nothing at all.
25.) No other true Joy and peace than with Jesus ✝️
Anything created on earth will fade away. If I have joy in food, that is only momentary. If I have joy in success, that will never be stable. If I have my being in anything other than God, it is not stable. His love and power supersedes it all. Nothing else compares or even comes close! He is not bound by situations, He molds them for His perfect good! Amen!
As promised, I wanted to share an additional word of wisdom that is slowly changing my life. Each of us has a story we tell ourselves and others. The great part of that is that at any point we can change the way we tell the story. We can flip the script! Our tale isn't finished yet. We can end our tale with, "things won't get better," or "God isn't done with me yet!" The choice is ours.
Did my words of wisdom helped? What wisdom has helped you and how? I would LOVE to hear them! Feel free to also email me any question or concern at firstname.lastname@example.org I check my emails daily!