Ep #22: How I’ve Changed From my 20’s to my 30’s

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently celebrated a birthday! Another year older, another year wiser…at least I like to think so 🙂 As I move into the third year of my thirties, I want to share the ways in which I’ve changed the most from one decade to the other. Because while there’s a ton of areas in which I’m still growing and improving, there are some facets of myself that have almost completely, if not entirely transformed! And those deserve to be celebrated!!

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How I’m able to CUT people, places and things out of my life with the snap of my fingers
  • Why my confidence is at an all time high in my thirties
  • How I transformed from hardcore partier to hardcore homebody
  • The #1 “mental muscle” I’m working out the most right now!

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TRANSCRIPT

Welcome back everybody. Thanks so much for being here as always. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently celebrated a birthday– that time of the year that pushes most of us into some deep reflection on the past and the future ahead.

Another year older, another year wiser…I sure like to think so at least.

My twenties came and went so incredibly fast and my big “Thirty, Flirty and Thriving” party felt like it was just yesterday! So now as I move into the third year of my thirties, I want to share with you today the ways in which I’ve changed the most from one decade to the other. Because while there’s a ton of areas in which I’m still growing, strengthening and improving, there are some facets of myself that have almost completely, if not entirely transformed. And those are the specific things I want to talk about– because my hope is, is that you too take some time to think about the areas in which you’ve grown and which areas may need some improvement as you go on living this one short life we’ve been given.

So let’s get started!

In my moments of reflection, the thing that stood out to me the most was my now ability to CUT people, places and things out of my life much more quickly than I used to.

When I was in my twenties, I held onto jobs that were suffocating and unhealthy, a relationship for 8 years that was all wrong for me and friendships that I had outgrown, yet felt obligated to maintain.

I did not establish any boundaries in my twenties!

I was the person who always said YES! Yes to invitations, yes to overtime, yes to FAMILARITY…YES to people, places and things that weren’t necessarily adding real value to my life, but that I was keeping alive because of fear– ultimately. My fear of change and the unknown, my fear of letting other people down, fear of confrontation, my fear generally speaking of just saying: NO! I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want any part of this relationship. I don’t want to work at this job or on this project.

Looking back, I realize how much of my time in an essence was wasted– how much of my time was spent partaking in things that didn’t bring me absolute joy.

But as I got older, that automatic response of saying “YES” got tired and I started to form this filter between the choice (both big and small) and my intuition– what Shaina really wants. What Shaina really values. And in time, that filter has strengthened.

When I wake up in the morning, I start each and every day with a fixed tank of energy (we all do)– there’s only so much of me to give. And I’m much more conscious of that in my 30’s and therefore, I’m much more calculated with my daily decisions:

Is THIS something I genuinely want to do with my hour? On my Saturday morning? On my Tuesday afternoon?

These questions– this filter– is what creates that bigger joy factor into my every day.

So today (more than ever), I’m able to cut things off and out almost as quickly as the snap of my fingers. If I don’t want to do something, I grant myself permission not to do it, not to go there, not to invest my time, energy and focus. Like no questions asked. No guilt. No shame. Just a straight, quick, clear-cut NOPE.

Now that I’m in a committed, healthy romantic relationship, for me, this cutting of the cord has been most prominent in my work and specific work tasks and my friendships.

I choose to exert a lot of my daily energy into work (and again, projects that I want to work on because I love them), but that leaves me with less energy for things like socializing. Which at a glance may seem like a “bad thing” to some people, especially people who value their friendships above all else, but for me, it’s been a blessing. And the reason is because when I have less to give, I’m much more particular about WHO I’m giving it to.

I am all about quality over quantity now, 100%.

I look back on college and ya know I had I think over a thousand FB friends. I’d go to a party and know 80% of the people there. Back then, I’d probably say, “I have a TON of friends.”  

But as I got older, I realized that the majority were just acquaintances, some were really negative to be around, others were judgmental or just not trust-worthy. Like I really learned who my true friends were in my twenties. And that realization came when I got clear about what I value in a friendship. At 18, 19 years old, I never took the time, to say, “OK. Who are my people? Like what do I look for in my ideal friendship?” A lot of us don’t do that. Most of the time, we just meet someone, you seem pretty cool, let’s hang out, you invest more time and think, “alright we’re doing this thing.” Right? Now, because I clearly know what I value in a friend, I’m much more selective.

For example, if I feel like I can’t be 100% authentic in your presence for whatever reason, I’m not going to invest my time into the growth of this friendship. In the small fraction of time that I do have for social relationships– I value connecting with people that are fun, light-hearted and childlike like myself– people that are positive, confident in themselves and people that are hard-working and ambitious.

I have a pocket of friends back on the East Coast that I’ve know since HS, are SO “my people” and who I consider more like family and then I have a few good friends here in LA and that’s it.

Since creating these firmer, stronger boundaries, the quality of my relationships has obviously strengthened which in turn has strengthened the quality of my life.

And although this may be considered a personal evolution on some level, I also believe that this is something that just comes with age, universally speaking. I remember talking to a friend of mine a few years back, whose in his late 30’s, and we were talking about relationships. And I remember asking him (in my twenties): how do you just cut somebody off so quickly? How do you just walk away from things? And he said, it comes with age. He said you get to a certain point in your life when some people and things just aren’t worth your time anymore.

And now at 33 years old, I know that (and feel that) to be SO incredibly true.

So not only have I learned to let go of relationships more quickly, but like I briefly mentioned, I definitely honor my intuition more than even before when it comes to my career. I’m not afraid to turn down opportunities, projects, ideas and everything in between. Again, I only have so much of myself to give, so I’m much more selective about what I’m working on. If something doesn’t feel 100% right, I take a step back and get curious. What isn’t working? What needs tweaking? What needs to be cut out?

In my twenties, I definitely let my rule-following self steer the course of my career (not always, but more often) and now in my thirties, I have this newfound confidence in what feels good to me and in my personal vision for business.

And speaking of confidence…

Another way in which I’ve changed, is that I am much more confident (generally speaking) in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s, even with the newly fine lines and cellulite, believe it or not!

I look back on pictures from my early to mid-twenties and I’m like “Girl, what did you have to be insecure about? With that smooth forehead and skinny body?”

But it’s just another reminder that confidence truly is an inside job!

When I was 24 years old and first moved out to Los Angeles, I was probably my most insecure self to date. I mean first of all, it’s Los Angeles, the land of plastic surgery and “perfection” and I was this young girl in a new city, before I had even opened my first self-help book and before I dug into the GOOD, GOOD work.

When I first moved here, I made every attempt to improve my outer appearance– facials, manicures, shopping trips and even some questionable injections. I thought that if I just looked my best, that I would feel more confident. YEA, that didn’t work out. It just cost me a whole lotta money. It was my attempt to control how other people perceived me by my external appearance.

Once I had a little more time to settle in and the artificial spell wore off, I spent a good chunk of my twenties in a self-exploration phase (as most of you know), figuring out what makes me SO awesome– and that deep, internal “work” has really paid off in the way in which I carry myself and how secure I am in myself today.

Taking the time to discover my gifts has been a huge part of my confidence. Having something that you’re naturally good at, yet challenging yourself to improve and achieve personal goals…yea that will do wonders for your self-esteem, let me tell you.

I know what I have to offer the world, just by being myself now, just by tapping into my own strengths and passions– and I don’t need anything outside of me to remind me of that. I already know. I already believe in myself. I’m on my own team. And that’s been so liberating in itself.

And with that being said, with this sense of real, deep confidence, comes caring way less about what other people think of me!

Again, when I was in my twenties, it was all about outside validation. If that guy liked me, then I felt attractive. If that person praised me, then I felt worthy.

Today, I could give two craps.

When I show up 100% me, if you like what you get, great. If you don’t, great. Like I’m not going to apologize being myself…and I’m definitely not going to try and change how I come off to appease you. Like NO. Again, not worth my time. And that is a beautiful thing, let me tell you.

Going back to not only my tank of energy at the start of the day, but yours as well (because we all have it), focusing so much on how other people perceive us and worse, trying to change their minds sucks up a lot of our energy– energy that otherwise could be used toward improving our insecurities and actually following our own intuition and truth.

So although I’ll sometimes stumble upon a photo of my 21-year-old self in a bikini, sighing, “ahhh to be young again,” I definitely don’t miss that internal angst.

One of the biggest behaviors that has changed for me over the past decade is my willingness and excitement (or better yet, lack thereof) for the nightlife…aka PARTYING and partying hard. Again, I do believe this comes with age, but personally I’ve gone from one extreme to the other.

My partying habits began in college, as I know that’s the case for a lot of us, and they definitely continued throughout my early to mid-twenties. I had a few slumps here and there, but it remained pretty consistent. I used to love going out, meeting new people, socializing until the sun came up.

Now, not so much. Nathan is lucky if he can get me out on a Saturday night. I am a complete homebody! I find a great sense of peace living a very simple, quiet life– doing the work that I love at home, I like the beach, traveling back to the East Coast to spend time with my family and friends.

Like I’m pretty chill now. The appeal that extroverting myself (not sure if that’s even a word), but the appeal that extroverting myself once had is no longer there.

This transition started for me in my late twenties, however in the beginning stages of it, I was consumed with how other people were living their young lives in comparison, especially living in a big city. And what I mean by that– is although I had the desire to stay in, I’d find myself feeling guilty or envious of people who were out on the town, dancing at a club and posting stories that showcased how much fun they were having!

So that definitely created this subtle internal tug of war for some time. I’m an introvert at heart, yet I was comparing my internal state to other people’s external state. Which if you look at it from that standpoint, it just shows how inaccurate and flawed our measuring sticks can be. I mean how is it logical for me, an introvert- someone who enjoys spending time alone- to compare myself to these outgoing, extroverted, social butterflies?

Like it makes no sense. So once I was able to see it from that perspective, I was able to get more comfortable with what my essential self wanted, even if that looked different from somebody else’s experience…if that makes sense?

Now, in my  thirties, I’m able to enjoy a glass of wine with a romantic comedy on a Saturday night and not be phased by what I see on social media.

Now with that being said…do I appreciate a good push and shove toward a night out sometimes? Absolutely! Especially on those warm summer nights. Which is why dating somebody whose more extroverted than I am creates a good healthy balance. My point is, that it’s refreshing to be able to do my own thang the way in which feels good to me, and be totally fine about it!

And kinda the last thing I want to say, the last facet that’s been the most recent, very gradual change for me is living for the NOW– more consistently than I ever have.

Really grounding myself into the present– not only to lean into what I’m grateful for and enjoying those aspects of my life, but also incorporating more of the things that bring me joy into my life right now– and not waiting for some future moment.

I’m definitely not a pro at this yet, don’t think I ever will be, as I don’t think any of us are, but I’m hoping that with this next decade of my life, I’ll be even less of a future-focused person.

I just gotta do this and THEN I can do that. Once I achieve XYZ, then I can make that happen.

Once our home is completely done, then we can invite people over. 

There’s a part of me that always seeks perfection, before something else can occur.

Nathan has been a huge blessing in my life when it comes to this. He is the first person to tell me, “you’re doing that thing again that you do”– he’ll say.

And I’ll be like, OK, OK, OK got it.

So my awareness of this is definitely KEY right now! And from that awareness, I can really work out this muscle with each new day.

And that pretty much wraps up this episode for today my friends. I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for listening, I’ll see you next time.

 

 

 

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