I moved to NYC four years ago, and I’ve since experienced the good, the bad, and the really freakin’ strange. Though I’m only in my mid-twenties, there are things I wish I knew even just a year earlier. I want to share these lessons and thoughts in hopes that it will inspire you to act. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. Live life to the fullest, look for the good, but also know how to recognize a red flag.
1. Dreams are not to be taken lightly.
Dreaming keeps you inspired. It keeps you feeling creative, hopeful, and motivated. So, find what it is you are passionate about – It’s usually what you catch yourself doing when you have the entire day to yourself. You could shut the entire world out, get lost in your thoughts to the point where you forget to eat… you’re in the zone. Don’t let your dreams take a backseat – Your side hustle could someday become your full-time hustle if you work really diligently at it.
2. Never underestimate the power of YOU.
Stop doubting yourself. The voices in your head wondering am I smart enough, am I pretty enough, am I good enough? YES. Yes, you are. Stop questioning and go do the damn thing. You have to believe in yourself before others will believe in you. There are so many times my lack of confidence has stood in the way of getting what I want – I won’t let that happen again and neither should you.
3. Deepen your connections with people.
If you connect with someone new, truly get to know them on a personal level. What’s their family like? Who do they most admire most? What is their life passion? Don’t just follow them on Instagram. From creating a network of deeply connected friends and mentors, also consider eliminating any toxic energy in your life. If there’s a friend or family member that brings on the negativity, judgement, and bad energy, let ’em go. Who has time for it? Find your crew and love and cherish them.
4. Venting actually makes you angrier.
When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it’s better to sweat it out or write it out rather than turning to someone to vent. I find venting just makes you feel worse about a situation, because the more you dissect it, the angrier you feel. Try to approach every situation with a fresh mind, hopeful attitude, and a positive mindset. Sustained negativity will never serve you – It will just chip away at you, until you’re too guarded and closed off to be open to new ideas and opportunities. The best form of revenge is SUCCESS. So, just serve it up to those haters by winning at life.
5. Learn how to manage your money or you’ll always feel broke.
I often hear people in my generation say, “I’m young – I have my entire life to save money.” Well sure, but it’s important to start building good habits. Consistently put money into your savings, so your money can work for you. Not the other way around. Start by creating a monthly budget or use a money-saving app like Qapital (seriously the best).
6. Having a bad boss isn’t your fault. Staying with one is.
Can I just talk about this? I’ve had incredible bosses over the years, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. You want a LEADER that empowers you, motivates you, and even inspires you! Someone who is a mentor, and someone who wants to build your skills and help you grow. If you’re in a situation where your boss treats you like a machine, doesn’t communicate, and only points out the negative – go above them and see if there is someone else you can report to. Otherwise, you’ll never be happy or fulfilled. If you’ve done everything you could, don’t force it. Just leave.
7. You absolutely have to network.
The first year I lived in New York, I felt overwhelmed, shy, and not sure of what I wanted. I didn’t socialize as much as I should have. Today, it’s a completely different story. Maybe it’s because I’m older now, I’ve “found myself” and all that jazz, but I love making new friends and connecting with people. I’ve made friends at restaurants, on the subway, in line at the grocery store… you name it. A friend of a friend of a friend might know just the right person that can help you get one step closer to your dreams. Or maybe they just become a really close friend! Talk to everyone. Be kind to everyone. And return the favor when you know someone that could help a sister/brother out!
8. Don’t worry about what others think of you. Chances are… they aren’t even thinking of you.
People don’t care as much as you think they do. And for the people who DO care, well, they can get a life. Really, tell them that. Live your life for YOU. Do what makes YOU happy. And if what makes you happy also makes other people happy, that is just an added bonus!
9. Love who you are in real life, not just on social media.
If Instagram died tomorrow, who would you be? Don’t measure your self-worth in likes and followers, because all of that is temporary. Create a life you are proud of from the inside out. Don’t look for validation from strangers on the internet. Use social media for what it is – a platform to share, connect, and inspire people from all over the world. YOU are amazing, and you make life interesting just by being yourself. It’s the little things that count.
10. Gratitude will change your life.
A little gratitude goes a long way. I like to end each day by reflecting on what I’m grateful for. Some may call it prayer. Whether you are reflecting in bed before falling asleep, or you jot it down in a journal, find your flow. A daily gratitude practice will remind you of all the good that surrounds you, and in turn, your positive thoughts and energy will attract the right people and opportunities.
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What are some of the things you’ve learned over the years? Anything you wish you could tell your younger self? Share it with me! x
Love & Hugs,