Christine Hassler, self-proclaimed “twentysomething and quarter-life crisis expert,” — the same Christine Hassler who runs an expensive “transformational” workshop she calls ”Chrysalis” — is sharing ten tips over on Huffington Post on surviving your twenties. While her tips are a little bit like telling an alcoholic not to drink or an over-eater to avoid the buffet table, they aren’t completely idiotic. After the jump, I translate her ten tips.
1. Be present. This is a tough one because we spend so much time in our twenties obsessing about what we will be and who we will be with. Take the time to just be. Living mentally in the future constantly only creates anxiety. Yes, set goals and consider your future while committing to action steps that are attainable and realistic. And then just accept where you are. Trying to figure it all out is fruitless and robs you of the present moment.
Translation: Life happens whether you’ve made plans or not, so party it up now before you’re saddled with a real career, marriage, kids, and aging parents who need your support.
2. Stop comparing. Don’t look at everyone else around you to determine your worth. There will always be someone more successful, richer, prettier, wittier, thinner, and so on. Who cares what your friends are doing? Focus on what you want and be grateful for what you already have. Find individuals who inspire you rather than people you attempt to measure up to. We are all on different paths, carve your own.
Translation: If you already have low self-esteem, for God’s sake, quit hanging out with supermodels.
3. Stop caring about what other people think. Other people’s opinion of you or your choices is just that – an opinion, not the truth. It’s your life so get in the habit now of living it on your terms. Don’t let your fear of someone else’s reaction stand in the way of your dreams. Be kind, but be you. And most importantly, don’t personalize things. Often people give us feedback that is a bit rough around the edges. You can still hear the feedback if it is relevant, truthful or helpful without getting hurt.
Translation: Grow a pair, already!
4. Tune in. We all have intuition; we just do not always know how to access it or want to listen to it. Pay attention to your gut feelings. The more you listen to your intuition, the louder and more accessible it will become. And you can’t hear your inner voice when you are only listening to the voices of others.
Translation: If you think that guy’s no good for you, he probably is, no matter how hot he looks with his shirt off.
5. Don’t wait for permission, approval or validation. Many of today’s twenty-somethings grew up with over-involved parents who guided their path and patted them on the back along the way. Now it’s time to be your own head cheerleader.
Translation: No one cares about the size and frequency of your crap anymore — literally and figuratively.
6. Make choices. Today’s twenty-something has an upscale problem: an abundance of choices which often leads to making no choice at all. If decision making is a weak skill, find ways to build your decision making muscle. Resist the urge to call your friends and parents when faced with a decision. Make little choices each day on your own, without consulting anyone else (unless of course your choice directly affects another or others).
Translation: If you keep consulting your friends every day about whether you should have a bagel or scrambled eggs for breakfast, you won’t have anyone left in your life to celebrate your 30th birthday with you.
7. Make mistakes. Perceived failure is often how we learn the most. I have learned more from my mistakes/failures than any of my accomplishments. Mistakes are often the catalyst to accomplishments. Playing it safe only keeps you comfortable and it is only when we are forced to push beyond our safety zone that we discover our potential.
Translation: Go ahead and sleep with that no-good-guy who looks hot with his shirt off. Just be sure to use protection.
8. Do things alone. Young people often like to travel in packs or yearn for a permanent “plus one.” Learn to be your own companion first. Be single for an extended period of time. Go to a movie alone. Go to dinner alone. Or best yet, travel alone. Be open to discovery.
Translation: Clingy-ness is not cool.
9. Build your tribe. All of us need a tribe that extends beyond our family and consists of both peers and elders. Cultivate your personal and professional relationships by networking, seeking out mentors, and calling upon the wisdom of older generations. Ask questions to the people who have “been there, done that” and listen carefully to their answers. And ask for help or support when you need it. Yes, independence is important but needs to be balanced by interdependence and connection. And by connection I mean live, face-to-face interaction. Facebook will not nourish your soul.
Translation: Step away from the computer and go have a drink or two with real, live human beings.
10. Be of service. Don’t just be part of a tribe, contribute. Many people comment that self-reflection and introspection is or feels selfish. Well it is if that is all you do. As you are in this phase of life when you are learning more about who you are and what you want, make the time to give to others. Not only will it get you out of your own head, but when we step into the attitude of service, we uncover amazing and untapped qualities. It is in the act of giving that we receive the most.
Translation: Do at least one thing for someone else every day. It’ll make you feel better about yourself than everything else on this list, I promise.