10 Things to Stop Doing for a More Authentic Life & Career


Our 20s can be some of the best years of our lives. It's in this decade that we get our first "real adult" jobs, we go on fun trips and have amazing new experiences, and we just discover and learn more about who we really are. However, many of us can make our 20s more complicated than they really need to be by wasting our time, energy, and thought power on irrelevant things. We often do this subconsciously and don't even realize it until months or even years go by and you look back and think, man, I was trippin about nothing. (**raises hand**)

Now that I’m in my late 20s, I certainly don’t profess to know it all, but I have so much more peace than I’ve ever had before. It's been nice to have more energy, laughs, and just an overall better quality of life because I've learned what to give attention to, what to ignore, and how to live in a way that truly matters to me, when it comes to my career aspiration and personal life. Check out my list of 10 things to stop doing when have made up your mind that you want to live an authentic life that fills you up. 

1. Don't beat yourself up when you do something that's considered less than perfect.

We all have weaknesses, but real self-love means accepting ALL of yourself....the good parts, the parts you want to improve, and the flaws that you've simply come to terms with. Mistakes in both your work and in your personal life are a necessary part of life for you to grow to become the best version of yourself, so as long as you learn from them, it's all good and trust me, the earth will NOT come crashing down. :-)

2. Stop putting unrealistic expectations on when you can achieve your goals in life.

Some people have paths that are straight and narrow that seem to be only blue skies and smooth sailing from the outside looking in, but in reality (non-filtered, uncontrived reality), for most of us, our paths are crooked and filled with ups and downs and often we have to spend time in ways we may not always want to.

For example, we may have to spend more time than we want to in jobs that don’t suit us for the financial stability until we can switch paths.

Or we may have to spend more time single than we want to until "the one" comes along. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you know you're taking steps to get where you want to be, be thankful for that, and stay consistent with your efforts. When you do that, the results WILL come.

3. Stop complaining about the work you have to put in to get the results you want. 

Most of the time, life is filled with compromises that ultimately get us to where we want to be and contribute to our growth. If you want to start a business on the side of your day job, you're going to have to sacrifice some time for that. If you want to get a better body, you're going to have to sacrifice some of your favorite foods sometimes or force yourself to workout when you'd rather be relaxing. To get results, you just have to get it done. Don't make it worse on yourself by complaining along the way.

4. Stop comparing your life to others' lives. 

People may seem to be doing amazing things all over your social media timeline and that's great, but remember, that's their highlight reel. You're not with them day in and day out. You didn't see the not so pretty compromises or the years of work that they had to put in for those picture perfect moments of glory. Stay focused on your lane.

5. Stop trying to live in a way that fits other's expectations, not your own. 

Your story is written by you. We live in a world that's so driven by the expectations of others. Let all that go and customize your life to fit the expectations you have and want for yourself.

Striving to live in a way that brings happiness to others and not to yourself is the quickest way to be sad, stuck, and unfulfilled.

You get to define what success looks like for you. You get to define how you wish to show up in the world. It's all up to you. Don't hand that power over to anyone else.

6. Stop overthinking stuff. Just stop.

People aren't as concerned about you as you think and many situations aren't as catastrophic as we make them out to be. We can waste so much time in our heads looking for underlying, implied meanings in the most insignificant conversations or actions of others. We also waste time being overly dramatic about things that happen in life or about things that don’t go our way.

In reality, people are all so absorbed into their own worlds, that they don't even have the capacity to think about you the way you think they are. And most situations really just aren't that serious. Save yourself some energy by being present and not taking things personally, and when you do have a setback, just look at it as a minor bump in the road or a shift in direction.

Related: How to Overcome Fear of Failure in 5 Steps

7. Stop asking other people questions that you already know the answer to.

You have inner wisdom. Trust it. One of my biggest pet peeves in life (maybe it's the independent entrepreneurial streak that I have) is adults asking for other people to tell them what to do next. We can waste so much of our power second guessing ourselves, when whole time, we knew exactly what we should’ve been doing.

When it's something you're certain about and that feels right for you, stop wasting time "taking surveys" from everyone to see what they think. Just do it. You don't need the validation. 

8. Stop making excuses for why you're not doing what you really want in life.

Yes, we all could have been set up better as teenagers or as college students, but you know what? Many of the most successful people came from nothing and gained the knowledge that propelled them to their success later in life. Don't let your past or your present be an excuse. People make time for what matters to them. If you really want something, you'll make it a priority and you'll find a way to get it done. 

Related: 5 Tips for Balancing Blogging with a 9-5

9. Stop trying to make other people be something they're not.

At the end of the day, you can throw all the fits you want or dole out all the advice and self-help book recommendations you can think of, but at the end of the day, people are going to be who they are. 

No one changes or grows until he or she is ready to. It’s a complete waste of your time trying to force change on someone.

This goes for friends, dating, family...anyone. All you can do is be your best in life, know what you deserve, and try your best to surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

10. Stop feeling guilty for having a down day.

I used to get so down on myself when I wasn't in a good mood. I used to tell myself I shouldn't be feeling like that or I should be happy.

But the reality is, as humans, we’re simply not going to be happy every day, and that’s ok.

Life is a series of ups and downs. On those down days, just handle your business, indulge in some self-care, talk to a trusted loved one, and know that it will pass.

What are some things that you have learned along your life journey that have helped you to live with more peace and authenticity? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.