13 Self-Sabotaging Beliefs To Let Go Of In Your Twenties
If there’s anything I’ve learned as a therapist, it’s that the human mind is capable of incredible things – empathy, understanding, self-awareness, depth and growth, manipulation, and total destruction. Our mindsets are the catalyst for our day, good or bad.
What we believe is what we think… is what we feel… is what we do… is what we become.
But despite how important beliefs are, we often develop them without consciously realizing it. I hear these common beliefs from twenty-something women all the time, and they’re just not true!
So here are 13 beliefs to go ahead and let go of now, because they simply won’t serve you.
1. The belief that your career is set in stone.
Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations generally held the idea that it’s best to find a good job or career, and stay with that company until you retire. That’s just not the case anymore.
It’s very common for people to change careers, and not just in their early twenties, but many years into the workforce. It’s also increasingly common for people to go back to school to learn additional skills.
Basically, if you’re afraid to jump into something, unsure if you can do it for the next 40 years… stop it. The job market is constantly changing. Find what is the best fit at the moment and continue to work on your long-term goals, even if that includes a possible career change.
2. The belief that you cannot make an impact in the world.
You absolutely can and I don’t care what field you’re in. Will you impact the whole world? I don’t know. But can you impact someone? 100% yes. Maybe it’s through your chosen job or career, maybe it’s on the side. Volunteer. Show kindness and compassion to people you work with. Find a cause you truly believe in and donate. Simply be kind in your daily life.
3. The belief that you know everything you need to know.
Never stop asking questions, and never stop learning. You don’t know everything. You don’t even know a tiny fraction of everything, and that’s okay and normal. Whether it’s your college major, your career field, current events, your faith or religion, a random interest, or the people around you, keep learning. Those questions help you grow.
4. The belief that authority is always telling you the truth.
We so often believe mainstream media, social media, and marketing campaigns without even thinking about them. Or perhaps we say that we know they have their own interests in mind, but we still keep buying their products and sharing their content. Really dig into your values, and discover what truths matter to you. Question claims. Look for the sources of information you discover. Do your own research before sharing.
5. The belief that you have to accomplish _____ before 30.
You don’t have to be married. You don’t have to have kids. You don’t have to own a house. You don’t have to have traveled the world. You don’t have to have a college degree, or a graduate degree. You don’t have to have your career figured out. Whatever expectations were set into your beliefs that you had to do before 30 to be a successful or worthy human being, it’s not true. Your accomplishments are part of your individual journey, and that isn’t on anyone else’s timeline.
6. The belief that your body is only valuable if she looks a certain way.
We think our bodies need to look a certain way only because of the time and place we were born into. This article completely fascinates me: the same photo of a young woman was sent to 18 freelance designers in 18 different countries, with instructions to Photoshop the photo to their cultural preferences. And every one of them turned out differently!
There is no one standard of beauty or what you need to look like. Your body is yours, and she is beautiful, talented, strong, and resilient. She has taken you through every journey, joy, hardship, and challenge you’ve ever faced. If you only practice one thing, practice thanking and accepting your body.
7. The belief that you are not enough.
There is an “enough” mythical standard for basically every demographic, and I’m guessing you’re not it…. Because even the people who are “it” really aren’t it!
No one is the perfect working mom, perfect creativepreneur, the perfect corporate success, perfect wife or girlfriend, perfect influencer, perfect friend, perfect… anything. You bring unique gifts, your voice matters, and you are enough just for being you.
8. The belief that you are too much.
SAME THING. You can see the standards of perfection out there and think you’re way too much. You’re too loud, opinionated, assertive, ambitious, challenging, or maybe your body literally takes up too much space. It’s all a bunch of crap.
Again, your unique voice matters. You have the responsibility to decide how much is enough and too much for you, and you get to keep people in your life who understand that, and let go of those who will always make you feel less-than.
9. The belief that you cannot change.
We hear both “people can change” and “people never change” all the time. I’m in the first group. People absolutely can and do change. And especially if you’re in your twenties, you can and will inevitably change. Every experience of your life will change you, whether it’s a little bit with each good habit you instill or a lot with a life-changing event. Embrace that change and grow with it.
10. The belief that your relationship status will make you happy.
It truly never will. At least… if you believe it is the only thing that can make you happy. Healthy relationships are beautiful and they absolutely bring happiness, but if you hold a relationship up on this magical pedestal, no real relationship will ever meet your expectations.
Relationships are messy and imperfect, and that can either be part of the beauty or the thing that crushes your unrealistic dreams.
11. The belief that busyness equals importance.
We tend to consider being busy as some kind of badge of honor, like we can’t slow down simply because we’re so needed in the world. We’re not. Unnecessary busyness just means that you are more likely to burn yourself out, feel distracted, be less productive, and probably resentful of everything keeping you busy. Instead, prioritize your tasks and make space in your day to just…be. Without your phone, emails, or to-do list.
12. The belief that all your close relationships should be with your peers.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have close relationships with your peers, but when we only spend time with people who are our age, have had similar experiences, or are in the same stage of life, we tend to find ourselves in an echo chamber.
Find people who are significantly older or younger than you. Learn from their wisdom, and give it back. Find people who have had completely different experiences from you, and see a bigger picture of the world. Find people in a different stage of life, and see how it can contribute to yours, and yours to theirs.
13. The belief that your life doesn’t matter.
You matter. And honestly, that statement isn’t a stereotypical “you’re special” kind of thing. You’re ordinary. Me too. But you matter, and your contribution matters. And you matter to people in your life, and you’ve made their lives richer and better and fuller and whole. Remember that.