I will be 40 in less than a year. I would be lying if I said that turning the big 40 didn’t bother me. It seems that 40 is a number where I believe I should have finally ‘arrived’ in life, or my life should be the perfect picture of a successful wife, mother, business woman or whatever other demanding expectation I put upon myself when I was younger. My life right now is pretty good, but if I could have planned it all out or done things differently – it definitely would not look like how it actually turned out. I am a blessed mother of two children and I do have a few accomplishments under my belt but I sometimes compare my life to others and it just gets me down.
As I reflect being on this earth for almost 40 years and I rewind to when I was in my 30s, I would have definitely done a few things differently. Luckily, because of some of my past challenges in my life, I was forced to learn new tools. Some of my past experiences forced me to do things differently which turned into a good thing eventually.
Here are 20 brutally honest things women turning 40 want all women in their 30s to know.
1. Love and accept yourself – fully
I truly believe if I had accepted the good and bad parts of myself at a younger age, I would have avoided many of the wrong decisions that I made in my life. Once you know who you really are inside, you begin to accept and love yourself fully. Once you truly love yourself from the inside, you are able to love and accept others which provides a much higher probability of maintaining healthy relationships.
2. Feed your soul
Whatever your passion, or whatever you enjoy in life, make sure you feed your soul with what inspires you. If you are not sure what your passion is, try new things and find different activities until you find a few that give you that feeling of warmth, freedom and acceptance inside.
3. Find a strong support network
For a long while, I tried to do everything in my life in my own power and with little help from others. I later realized having a strong support network of friends and safe people to share my life with is so rewarding. Finding and cultivating new relationships with others that will love and support you no matter what is so important to have in life.
4. Be authentic
During some of my harder times in life, I wore a pretty and smiling mask on my face no matter what I was going through. Only a few close people in my life knew what was really going on during my hardest trials. Once you begin to show others you have ups, downs and struggles in life just like everyone else, you become more trustworthy and sincere to others.
5. Live for you
A huge part of my life was taken up by taking care of everyone else which resulted in having no time for myself. My motives and reasons for doing things were wrong which in turn made my life much harder than it had to be. You cannot make everyone in your life happy – ever. Once you begin to make the best decisions for yourself instead of others, life gets easier.
6. Don’t compromise too much
I could have avoided a few bad relationships if I would have figured this out when I was younger. Compromise is required in any close relationship because we are all different and have different wants. Compromise is a good thing most of the time if the compromising is equal on both sides. Once you give up your wants and needs the majority of the time in any one relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate that relationship and decide if it really is healthy for you to be a part of it.
7. Travel more
This might be my biggest regret. I did travel some when I was younger before I had children and it was wonderful. Money can buy you material things or memories. If I had thought about it this way before, I would have stopped making the meaningless purchases on material things and made sure I spent my money on at least one new destination each year. Traveling creates a sense of freedom and opens your eyes to the way others live in different parts of the world.