Hello LBKK readers!
If you haven’t read part 1 to this post, I highly suggest that you pause, go read “Life Lessons Learnt In My 20s – Part 1”, and then come back right here to continue.
In this post I will dive into 8 more lessons I’ve learnt over the years:
7. Boundaries are necessary
Establishing boundaries was a new concept that I was introduced to in the latter part of my 20s. Not surprisingly, a lot of my misery was a direct reflection of my lack of boundaries. “No” was the hardest word for me to say, at least to the people I cared about.
“Boundaries are expectations and needs that help you feel safe and comfortable in your relationships. Expectations in relationships help you stay mentally and emotionally well. Learning when to say no and when to say yes is also an essential part of feeling comfortable when interacting with others.”Extracted from the book: “Set Boundaries, Find Peace – a guide to reclaiming yourself” by Nedra Glover Tawwab
Audacity is definitely at an all time high. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to believe that an explanation is owed for everything from anyone.
I’ve learnt, and truthfully am still learning, how to balance setting boundaries but not being unreasonably selfish with my time or resources. It might sound funny to some but for those of us recovering “people-pleasers”, it can be a major issue when it comes to setting boundaries.
Setting boundaries looks different in different contexts but the constant goal is to not over extend yourself to the point of self neglect and burnout. If you are no good to or for yourself, you will definitely be no good for anyone else. Take care of yourself first so that those around you can be taken care of.
8. I’ve learnt to give myself and others grace
Sigh… is the only way I could think of to start this one because I was the queen of being hard on myself. I tell this joke all the time that growing up, I would punish myself before my parents even had a chance to. It sounds silly now, but it goes to show that even at that young age, I set a high standard of expectations for myself. I know that it sounds like a positive thing but it can also be very toxic.
Having high expectations of excellence is great but the problem is how you respond when you fail… because it will happen. I can remember almost every failure in my life up until this point because of how traumatizing each one was. And the trauma wasn’t because of punishment or the reaction from anyone else, but more so because of how I treated myself. I gave myself no grace and negative self talk became my automatic response.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the way you treat others is a direct reflection of how you treat yourself. More than likely if you are hard on yourself, you are hard on everyone around you. So, learn to give yourself grace first and you’ll see how much easier it is to extend grace to others.
9. Effort is a direct reflection of interest
This one is pretty self explanatory… Patterns don’t lie but we just love to break our own hearts trying to justify accepting less than what we deserve. You deserve the best. The same effort that you put into the people and things you love should be reciprocated. It is not too much to ask. If the effort isn’t there, take what’s yours and move on. The people who deserve you will make the effort consistently.
10. In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.
Everything that you’ve been through, whether good or bad, has made you into who you are today. If you are blessed to be in a good place mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually… you most likely would not be there had things not gone exactly as they did in the past.
There’s a reason why that friend walked away without explanation. There’s a reason why you struggled through school. There’s always a reason. Even in the extremely painful experiences that you don’t even have the strength to talk about. The reason may not always be obvious but if you take some time to reflect and look where you are now compared to where you use to be, you will see why.
Your empathy, sensitivity, discernment, endurance, confidence, boldness, ability to bounce back from anything… It all came from what you’ve been through. You are the amazing person you are today because of it all.
11. It’s okay to have friends with different beliefs but everything is not for everybody.
Friendships have different levels and it’s important to know who to place where based on relational intelligence (RQ).
“Relational intelligence is the ability to discern if someone should be a part of our lives and what place they should occupy, and then align them accordingly.”Extracted from the book: “Relational Intelligence” by Dr. Dharius Daniels
There’s a concept I learnt about the three, the twelve and the others. In essence, there are certain things that I can share with the three that the twelve may not have the capacity for. Likewise, there are things that I can share with the twelve that the others definitely might mishandle. I’ve learnt the art of selective sharing based on this concept.
There’s a level of discernment one needs to have to know who belongs where and who has the grace to handle what. This is important because sharing certain things in confidence with the wrong person is a recipe for discouragement and derailment of purpose. We can know who to share what with based on where we place the people in our lives.
12. The right people will accept you as you are
You will not have to hide parts of yourself around the right people. The right people will be a safe space for you to be vulnerable with your emotions and beliefs without judgement.
To love people means to see beyond their flaws and really get to understand the person behind it all. If you listen to understand you will discover the root of people’s beliefs, fears, life decisions etc. This opens the door for empathy instead of judgement.
13. There’s no such thing as the perfect time!
Some of us need this one on repeat… say it with me, loud for the people in the back: There is no such thing as the perfect time!
If you want your life to be stagnant and to feel stuck, go ahead a wait for the “perfect time” because it will never come. There will always be a reason or excuse that pops up as to why you can’t do something now.
Timing is important, yes… because certain things are time sensitive. But you will know what warrants a genuine delay based on the season you’re in versus when you are waiting out of fear or disobedience.
14. Delegate tasks as necessary
You can’t do everything yourself all the time. Sometimes you need help. Put perfectionism aside and accept the reality that those sent to help you may not do things exactly the same way you do… but allow them to do it the best way they can.
Love & Blessings,