Growth is one of the most beautiful parts of getting older. You have the opportunity to change, explore your identity, and try new things. However, along the way, you’ve likely picked up a few habits — some of which are better than others.
Holding on to these habits can hold you back from growing into the person you want to be. As you leave your 20s and enter your 30s, it’s time to let go and allow yourself to blossom. Here are a few things you should stop doing once you enter your 30s:
- Not Asking for Help
There is nothing shameful about needing help. After all, no one can go through life without some assistance from others. Trying to figure out or do things on your own is admirable, but you also have to learn how to recognize when something is beyond your capabilities.
Not asking for help when you need it simply prevents you from accomplishing what you need or want to — which doesn’t do you any good. It’s healthy to be able to let go of your ego and ask others who have more expertise to help. Embrace what you don’t know or can’t do as an opportunity to connect with others and learn something new.
2. Giving In to Peer Pressure
When you’re a teenager or young adult, peer pressure can be an incredibly powerful force. It can put you into situations that range from a waste of time to uncomfortable or even dangerous. As you get older, it can take other forms but still be just as influential.
By the time you have reached 30, though, it’s important to learn how to say no to people. You are an adult who is capable of making your own decisions. You don’t have to do something simply because another person wants you to. In fact, you don’t even need to justify your choice; all that matters is that you stand by it.
3. Playing It Safe
At 30, many people have settled down and established their routines. They have a steady job and have met or will soon meet major milestones, such as home ownership, marriage, or having children. In other words, you may feel like the course of your life is set and the only thing left for you to do is stick to it.
It may sound counterintuitive, but your 30s are the perfect time to take risks. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t let fear hold you back from trying to accomplish your goals. You still have so much of your life to live, and you should avoid carrying regrets around with you.
4. Decorating for Others
Throughout the course of your life, you’ve likely had restrictions about the way you can decorate your space — such as parents not letting you paint your room the color you want or being unable to hang pictures up on the walls of your college dorm room.
Now, though, you are an adult and you can decorate your space the way you want to. Create the perfect bedroom, even if it breaks all the rules of design. Paint the inside of your entire home bright pink. Fill your lawn with garden gnomes. Install that cozy fireplace in your living room. It doesn’t matter what others think. You are the person who has to live in your home, so make it look the way you want it to.
5. Comparing Yourself to Others
In the age of social media, it’s hard not to constantly compare yourself to others. When you constantly see what your friends and peers are doing, it’s easy to try and measure how you stack up. But it will only leave you feeling bad about yourself and potentially sour some of your relationships.
Trying to compare yourself to another person truly is like comparing apples to oranges. You are a unique individual. Life is not a competition, and you cannot control anyone else — just yourself. Instead of worrying about what other people are doing, focus on yourself and living the life you want to lead.
6. Avoiding the Doctor
When you are in your teens and 20s, it’s all too easy to ignore your body and what it tries to tell you. Even if you listen, going to the doctor may not be a feasible option — medical care can be expensive and time-consuming. These barriers make it significantly easier to put off going to the doctor unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
But as you get older, it becomes easier to listen to what your body is trying to tell you and more difficult to ignore its needs. Not only that, there are now several more accessible alternatives to a traditional visit to your doctor’s office. Various telehealth options, such as video calls with a nurse practitioner or doctor, make it easier and more affordable to address your medical concerns. There are no more excuses to not take care of yourself. Remember that it isn’t selfish to prioritize yourself and your health; it’s necessary.
7. Trying to Be Someone Else
Though it can be difficult, stop trying to be someone you aren’t. You may always think there is someone prettier, smarter, more talented, or better than you, but they won’t ever be you. Don’t change yourself to fit in or impress others; just be yourself. The people who matter will only love you more for it.
Embrace your identity, prioritize your needs, and love yourself. Life in your 30s and beyond will be all the more enjoyable if you do.
Madison Ann Baker is a writer, Netflix-binger, and pop culture enthusiast who lives in Idaho. Literature and linguistics are her two passions, both of which she studied in college. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog and binge-reading fantasy novels.