Who do you want to become? This is a question life coaches often ask during sessions – and for good reason. Getting a clear picture of who you want to be, and what personality traits go along with that vision, can be an enlightening experience. It can be hard to pin this down in your twenties, as many twenty somethings are navigating transitions, learning curves and new dynamics. I’ve put together this list of five things to master in your twenties which will set you up for success no matter what path you choose.
Focusing on mastery will help you move from being focused on “getting it done” to becoming “outcome focused” where you can show gradual improvement while enjoying what you are doing. Mastery can be a thinking shift for some people, as it is less about achievement and more about improving outcomes over time while enjoying the journey. As we explore each item below, think about how mastering that element could change your life.
#1 Confidence In your own abilities
Some seem to be born with more confidence than others. Although there are many factors that play into gaining and maintaining confidence, the important thing to know is that you can foster confidence, and grow your confidence in your own abilities no matter where you are starting from. This is especially true in your twenties as you develop in so many capacities.
Mastering the confidence you have in your own abilities will open up a world of possibilities to you. How can you enjoy this process of personal growth? What abilities do you want to foster along the way?
Self Confidence Experiments:
- Create a list of what you have accomplished in 2017. What are you proud of? What surprised you?
- Identify someone who will help you build up confidence through genuine support and belief in your abilities. Sometimes a quick check in with this person is all you need to get back on track. For more informations on what this role might look like – check out my guide to Five Relationships to Cultivate in your Twenties (especially the “Cheerleader” role).
- Email five people in your life and ask each of them to reply with what they believe are you three biggest strengths. It might seem strange to ask, but we always feel great about making someone’s day so don’t be too tentative to ask for this feedback. What you find might surprise you!
#2 Personal Accountability
If you don’t hold your word to yourself, you won’t trust your ability to succeed. This one is all about personal integrity and honoring commitments to yourself. It takes some time and discipline to establish personal accountability – but it’s the first step to building a strong foundation for future growth.
There’s also a link between personal accountability, anger and frustration. If you are struggling with anger – it might be resulting from feelings around a conflict with personal accountability. As Linda Galindo says: Whenever I am angry I ask myself this question, “What is it I do not want to be responsible for right now?”
If you didn’t feel the emotions that are linked to failing to demonstrate personal accountability, such as shame, regret, guilt, procrastination and blame, what feelings would take their place? What are actions you can take to begin your journey to mastering personal accountability? Is there an experiment you can do with your commitments to yourself to see how you react? Always remember to practice judgement free awareness in relation to your choices, behaviours and actions. We aren’t here to label things as good or bad. We are trying to gain awareness of where we are currently at – so we can make the best plan to move forwards.
Personal Accountability Experiments:
- Note when you feel angry this coming week. Ask yourself “What is it I don’t want to be responsible for here?” Is there a connection to personal accountability?
- Make a commitment to yourself to do something you know is important for reaching your goals. Make every effort to keep that commitment. If you are able to keep it – explore why. What was more important?
- What are actions you can take to begin your journey to mastering personal accountability? Identify one thing that stands in the way of you keeping commitments to yourself. Make a plan to eliminate that barrier this week!
#3 Fostering Relationships
Your twenties can be a time of huge growth in your social environment. Often we broaden our horizons with post secondary education or enter the workforce. Many twenty somethings find themselves moving away from home and relocating to new cities or towns. In each of these situations is an opportunity to foster relationships, and expand your network. I like to think of a network as a web of relationships, that all go both ways. There is a common factor tying two individuals together, and a large element of that network relationship is the exchange of information, advice or opportunity.
Look at how you can work towards mastering your relationship building abilities. What do you need to bring to the table to be someone others want to connect with? What do you need to do to find those connecting opportunities, form genuine relationships that benefit both parties and then continue to maintain that connection going forward? Who would you be in ten years if you were a master at fostering relationships?
- List your current relationship & network environment members. These can include family, friends, acquaintances you would say hi to on the street, significant others, classmates you can greet by name, work colleagues you interact with on a daily basis, and others you talk to at least once a week. How do you feel about the quality of this list?
#4 Your Ability to deal with Failure
Most people view failure as a personal reflection of their shortcoming or a demonstration of lack of ability. This leads to thoughts of disappointment, self doubt, guilt and apathy.
However by making a conscious decision to look at failure as a learning experience we turn a negative experience into an opportunity for personal growth. My clients see a huge shift when they start exploring failure as feedback or data.
For more information on how to deal with failure, as well as some exercises to try – check out my two part series: Personal Growth Series: How to Accept Failure.
I am all about developing habits that support you in your journey to becoming your best self – and mindfulness is a great habit to incorporate. Mindfulness, in any form, will help you be more grounded, focused and productive – all great attributes to have as you design the life you want.
- Use the same bowl, or plate at work. Carefully select a bowl or plate that makes you happy, and symbolizes balance and grounding to you. Each time you eat at work – use this bowl, and honor what it symbolizes for you. Take care of it, washing it and putting it away between each use. It’s amazing what this small routine can do to bring mindfulness to eating!
- Practicing meditation is a great way to incorporate mindfulness into your day. (Headspace is a great resource to get you started)
- Cultivate a Yoga Practice (I love Yoga with Adriene, she brings a humor to yoga that is so refreshing!)
Reflect back on the five items to master in your twenties (Confidence, Personal Accountability, Forming Relationships, Accepting Failure and Mindfulness) and let yourself be drawn to the item that resonates with you most. Play with that item in the upcoming week and see how it shows up in your current life.
You don’t need to select the item you “need to work on”. There is nothing wrong with seeing your strength and wanting to grow it further! Notice any patterns, in thoughts or behaviours as you explore this week. Consider the topic of mastery and what it means to you. Think about where else you would like to see mastery in your life, and what it would mean to you to be masterful in a particular area.
I would love to hear what experiment you plan to try this week – let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.