Article by Clarisse Encontre
Inside the mobile generation we live in today, we get to a certain point where we seek for a deeper understanding of ourselves and our true purpose. “What is my purpose on this planet”. It’s a hard question to answer… we all have goals and dreams, but our purpose can take years to come about. Some of us spend the whole of our twenties figuring this out, like questioning our talent, and oftentimes doubting our capabilities. This article explains some of the greatest lessons I learned during my twenties and how to gain awareness and self-confidence.
The world is currently going through a pandemic leaving many of us confined at home for an uncertain period of time. A strange and frustrating time we are living as we continue to fight COVID-19 and take care of ourselves, by slowing down a little. Although these last few weeks of self-isolation have felt like a decade, I’m actually starting to learn more about myself – almost as if I was building a new me again. I’m feeling more patient by enjoying simple things: cooking new recipes, reading books, listening to radio shows and watching the sunset from my balcony. Don’t get me wrong, I miss socialising, I miss my friends and family and I am already anticipating the first aperol spritz on a rooftop bar.
This lockdown could bring out the best in all of us once it is over, starting with patience. A lot of us want things by clicking our fingers. We expect the same love and attention we give out, to come right back to us. We expect results instantly. We have high expectations and are quickly disappointed.
I felt this way at many stages. So the biggest lesson, up until today is to learn how to manage our expectations. Both in personal and professional environments. Then the most challenging part of my twenties was job hunting, which was long and stressful at times, but also made my twenties filled with adventures, new interests and lessons learned. So, as I’m getting close to the end of my roaring twenties, I thought it would be wise to share some anecdotes and recipes on how to gain awareness and self-confidence.
Here is some of my best advice for you:
– Know your values
They might develop over time, but the principle here is to focus on what you value the most in life, because no one can take that away from you. Write them down somewhere safe and apply them in your everyday life. Ask yourself, do you value equality, freedom, happiness, adventure, creativity, wisdom? Whatever they may be, apply these in your bible of life, both at work and at play. Use your values when you write your cover letter to work at your dream company, use them when you are giving your first pitch in front of angel investors, use them to nail your job interviews. Let this be your DNA.
– Travel, travel, travel
Create a travel piggy bank and see the world out there. The more we travel, the more we learn about ourselves and about others. Don’t stay in the same area during your twenties. If you get the opportunity to study, do an internship, volunteer or work abroad, take it – it might be a one time opportunity. The world is a gigantic place filled with billions of humans and wild fauna and flora. Some of the most memorable experiences of my life were spent abroad in a new country, where I got to experience a new culture and leave my baggage behind.
– Negotiate your salary
Time is money, we all know that. So make sure you determine how much your time is worth before signing an offer. Don’t just accept the figures you are given without thinking it through. For any job you are offered, learn to negotiate your salary and explain how much you would like to be paid for. This is a great way to establish self-worth and self-confidence for the long run.
– Don’t be afraid to try new things
My philosophy in life has always been: “If you don’t try, you’ll never know”.
I have worked as a Copywriter, a Communications Consultant, a Journalist, a Waitress, and a Project Coordinator…I’ve worked in media and advertising, higher education, PR agencies and recently joined a Fintech Startup. The story of the matter is that you should embrace new challenges as they come to you. Don’t be intimidated or feel you don’t know enough. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING in order to do the job. I now work in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. I had zero background in finance, computer engineering or mathematics. Now I’m speaking with some of the most renowned authors, influencers, and attending some of the biggest tech events in London. You are never too old to learn something new and thrive in a new industry. Learn from experts, be curious and keep educating yourself on the topics you value the most.
-Never stop learning and educating yourself
Keep up with your hobbies and interests in life, even if they are completely different from your day to day job. The art of learning new skills are so rewarding and elevating. They represent who you are and there is nothing more gratifying than educating yourself on the subjects that matter the most to you. It doesn’t just stop once University is over. Our personal development is based on how we choose to educate ourselves now and in the future.
– Do more for yourself, rather than for others.
FOMO, and what have you…which boils down to saying yes to everyone, accepting every invitation, and doing more for others than for yourself… Throughout my twenties I constantly liked pleasing others. Dropping everything just to be with someone else. Which often led to high expectations and high disappointments. I would always question, and doubt myself, until someone said to me: “Make yourself unavailable. Make your own decisions for yourself, stop wanting to please others”.
– Praise yourself.
Celebrate you, your life and all your achievements – no matter how big or small they are. Praise yourself every day.
No go out and be amazing!!!
On the same subject, here is a selection of my favourite books:
– The Witch of Portobello – Paulo Coelho
– 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Yarrari
– Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho
– Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
– The Science of intelligent achievement – Isaiah Hankel
– Show your work – Austin Kleon
– Becoming Michelle Obama – Michelle Obama
– How successful people think – John C. Maxwell
– Quiet: The power of Introverts in a World That can’t stop Talking – Susan Cain
For any further questions related to personal development or career advice, feel free to reach out to Clarisse Encontre via LinkedIn or Instagram and check out her website for more of her readings.