Last week I turned 30. I’m always reflective when I have a birthday, especially one as symbolic as entering the 30’s. I’m not sure at what point in life we ??start to determine “deadlines” in life for personal and professional achievements, I just know that most of us create this expectation in relation to certain ages.
I’m not going to get into an alienated conversation of thinking I should be a millionaire, well resolved or 100% fulfilled at that age, because I don’t even know if it’s possible to be 100% fulfilled at any time in this life. And I also know, very well, that there are careers and vocations that can emerge well beyond three decades of life.
But then why so much insecurity about the steps reached so far? I know that many will identify with this questioning, which in reality has little to do with age. You can have this insecurity when you are 20, 30, 40, 70 years old. It has a lot to do with expectations .
I have the impression that working with the internet fosters a somewhat cruel comparison culture. Of course, all people, from all professions, are victims of comparison. But sometimes I felt a little old or inadequate in jobs or situations where I had to deal with people much younger than me. And I’m only 30! Rationally, I know I’m not old for anything in this life. But doesn’t it seem that there are thousands of rich and accomplished “Bettinas” in their mid-20s?
I think the keyword there is this: “seems”. Just because it seems like everyone around us is younger and more fulfilled doesn’t mean it really is. Even because it seems successful, nowadays, it pays billet. It guarantees the well commissioned #publis, course sales, “friend’s advice”. Selling unrealistic expectations became a business .
But this article is not about influencers with “perfect lives” or dream sellers. It’s about how we receive this information, compare ourselves to patterns that don’t exist, and create expectations about our lives that invariably lead to frustration.
I’m here to say that it’s okay if you haven’t accomplished everything you expected at 30, or 40, or whatever. Also because it’s not a race, and we don’t know what is actually going on in each other’s lives. It’s okay to rethink goals, be kinder to your limitations and, importantly, appreciate what you’ve already achieved.
There is a very good phrase I read these days on the internet: “ Do you remember when you dreamed of having what you have today? “. I think it’s an exercise that we do less than we should: being grateful for what we have and valuing everything we’ve already achieved, which I’m sure isn’t little. I write this text for you, but for me too, to remember that my journey here was not perfect, but it was the best I could do.
And you, what have you achieved in recent years that you forgot to appreciate while thinking about what you still lack?