The pressure of achieving everything in your twenties

 Well hello to you my reader chums! When I was younger, by the age of 25 I thought I'd be married, with kids, have the house of my dreams, and a career that made my heart soar, but in reality, it's far from the truth. We're always told our twenties will be the best years of our life and there's a 'timeclock' on when to achieve everything by - but what I'm realising going into my mid-twenties, is that it's all a social construct, and there's no time limit on your goals and being happy.

If you're like me and feeling a little lost in your twenties with a huge amount of pressure to get everything achieved as soon as possible, then this post is here to give you the reassurance that you're going to be okay.

The pressure of achieving everything in your twenties

Why you don't need to achieve everything by your twenties

Firstly, you are so young. When you put your twenties into the perspective of your entire life, you'll realise how young you really are and how you literally have the rest of your life to grow, achieve your goals and do everything you put your mind to. 

Your twenties are the decade to find yourself; to figure what you love, what you hate, make mistakes, travel, create lifelong memories, make friends, realise some people aren't for you, and just be you. This is a decade we should appreciate and take everything on board that we go through, whether it's good or bad. The lessons we learn when we are young shape us as we grow older and turn us into better, more rounded people.

Rome wasn't built in a day and your goals are the same, they don't need to happen all at once, especially at such a young age. Everything is a process, whether that's finding your dream job, learning to love yourself, or buying a house. The most successful people are the ones that take the time to figure who they really are, what makes their soul happy, and work at a life they dream about. They're not the people who try and cram every dream to be fulfilled into their twenties. If you achieve it all now, what are you aiming for?

My point being, live in your twenties. Live whilst you don't have big responsibilities. Try the things you always wanted to do, love hard, travel freely, make spontaneous choices and enjoy the beauty that life is - your twenties won't always be easy, no decade will but there's no point trying to put pressure on yourself to be the most successful person in your twenties. Instead, focus on the person you're aiming towards and accept the fact that not every day will be a rainbow, but every day is a blessing and here to teach you something.

Every older person you meet, they'll always tell you to live and enjoy it when you're young as when you're old, all you want to be is young. Cherish every day, ride the waves, and know, you've so got this and whatever life throws at you.

Top tips on dealing with the 'twenties' pressure

Stop comparing your chapter 1 to somebody's chapter 20 

Comparison is the killer of all joy, I've said this in many posts but the notion weighs so true in every situation. Every single person is different and everybody's journey is different. You do not need to be the same as everyone else. There is only one you and that is so special. You shouldn't compare your chapter 1 to somebody's chapter 20. Just because someone has found their career or met their dream partner and you haven't, it doesn't mean you're not good enough, it's just not your time yet. We all have different paths and what is right for us, will find us.

Keep believing, keep dreaming, and keep focusing on yourself to create a life you will love. If you focus on who you are and what you want, you'll also stop comparing as there will be no need to. You deserve to love yourself and your life.

Do the things that make you happy 

Life is short and your twenties will sweep by quicker than you think. It feels like yesterday I turned twenty and now I'm in my mid-twenties, life really is that fast. And that means it's too fast to live a life you're not happy about.

By putting pressure on yourself to try and achieve everything in your twenties, you take away the joy of the moment. The fun of spontaneous beach trips, getting so drunk you're cry-laughing or screaming your heart out at a concert. All these moments are what make you happy and should be what you focus on. Once you practice gratitude and live for the things that make you happy, the pressure should subside slightly and you can experience everything life throws at you.

Don't set your heart on a certain date/age on accomplishing 

We're all at different stages in our lives. I have friends that have a long-term partner and a kid, friends who are happily single and focusing on their career, and friends who are living for their travels and making memories, and we're all still the same age. There is no age limit on when we should achieve our goals. You can find love in your 50s, you can buy a house when you're in your 40s, you can have kids at whatever age suits you and backpack at whatever age, the main thing is that you're content in whatever stage you're at.

Setting an age on an accomplishment is something we're taught at a young age. I can remember being in school and thinking by the age I am now, I would have achieved all the textbook things like marriage, having kids, and having a house. But now, at this age, all of those things are far away from what I actually want, I just want to live for my travels, live for the days that make me happy and build a career I'm proud of, and surround myself with people who get me. Instead of saying 'I want to achieve this by the age of 25', say 'these are my goals and I'm working towards them.' Avoid limiting yourself as the pressure will be a lot more.

Make decisions right for you

In your twenties, you will hear so many opinions, whether that's from your parents, your friends or your colleagues but the opinion that is the most important is yours. Always go with your gut, whether that's deciding on a cake in a coffee shop to leaving your job and making your next big career move. Your instinct is there as it knows what you truly desire in your heart and you should follow that path, whatever the situation.

There are things in life that are for us and you'll know it's yours when it feels right in your heart, whether that's a job, house, friendship, relationship, or a life choice. Making decisions for you will help the exterior voices silent slightly.

Understand the privilege of failure

I hate failing, I think everyone does. It hurts my soul and my pride and knocks my confidence. But failure happens because it's meant to, it's meant to teach you a lesson or guide you on the right path for you. When you fail, take it as a privilege rather than well, a failure. As they say, when one door closes, another one opens -  and this is a phrase that should be applied always.

When you realise how much of a blessing failure is, the pressure you feel about achieving everything will lessen as your focus will change. The failure will divert your focus to pick yourself up and work harder, and push you even closer to what is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

78 comments

  1. This is such a good post, Della! And one that needs to be shared, honestly. I've been increasingly feeling dissatisfied with the concept of 20s and how we're supposed to not only learn to adult but also set up and have kids! It's ok if we don't want to follow a timeline that was set generations back, or even that works for others. Thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much lovely!! Yes exactly, I'm the same xx

      Delete
  2. I really feel this. I turned 29 in May and all of a sudden, there was loads of pressure to get stuff done before next May. I want to pause and remember all the things I've already achieved!

    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Incredible post, lovely! I learnt a lot about this "20's mentality" when I did life coaching and it really helped change my perspective. However there are certainly still times where I freak out because of it! I lost a lot of my 20's to my anxiety disorder when I couldn't leave the house, didn't have a job/career and lost all my friends. So I kind of feel like I'm making up for lost time. However I'm 29 this year and still haven't hit all those "milestones", probably because I feel like I'm playing catch up. It's a weird thing to process for sure but these little reminders help! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I'm the same and learnt in life coaching about it - take things at your own pace, you've got this x

      Delete
  4. This is such a great post Della. I agree with you on this one. The pressure in achieving lots of things in your 20’s is just too much. Even till the fact that you end up comparing yourself to others and that causes major mental breakdown. I’m super glad you wrote about this. Thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing, I certainly did have most of these pressures in my 20's to be what I had planned out or like my parents were, but things do not always go to plan :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ugh, I've been feeling internal pressure massively the past few months - I needed this reminder! Life isn't a race after all xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it helped, life isn't a race at all xx

      Delete
  7. I understand this so much, because I opted to my PhD so early most of my twenties have been spent studying. I always compared my success to those with careers or families!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you can relate!! Everyone's path is different and a PHD is incredible, well done xx

      Delete
  8. Loved this and it was so needed! We really need to speak up more about having everything sorted in your 20s, as you said it's just a social construct! As well as age is just a number and what works for someone, won't work for everyone! We are not made out of a mold to fit everyone expectation but only ours! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much lovely! Yes exactly, age really is just a number x

      Delete
  9. I feel this! I'm just entering my twenties and I already feel like there's a lot of talk about moving out, making money, getting onto the property ladder etc. and this post is super helpful x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh man I've felt these pressures. As I approach the end of my 20's, I still feel the pressure but I've gotten good at biting back and telling people that it's not a race. I think we all need to be told that from a young age.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're 100% correct! There is no right time to do things (even if societal pressures would try and make us believe that). Life is about constant growth, which sometimes means doing things in your own way and in your own time. I'm in my 40s and still feel the pressure sometimes, but as others have already said, life isn't a race. Fab post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! Life really is about constant growth xx

      Delete
  12. Hi Della.

    I couldn't agree more, such wise words.

    At the risk of sounding like a slogan on a T-shirt: You have one life - live it! This isn't some sort of practice run, this is the real thing, so make sure that you enjoy as much of it as possible.

    Be happy with, and thankful for, what you have - don't waste time comparing your life to somebody else's. As you say, Della, "Comparison is the killer of all joy".

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is such a great post. We're also in our 20s and sometimes it's hard to live up to unrealistic expectations. We completely agree that comparing yourself to others only makes things worse.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was exactly the same as you, I thought by the end of my twenties my life would be all set up, married, 2 kids, a dog, country cottage, and oh yes, banging career. It did not happen! The bit I love most in your post is, "Understand the privilege of failure" because that is just PERFECT. Failure is not the end of everything, rather it can be a beginning. Fab post x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my gosh I wish I read this when I was 25! I'm in my thirties now so would like to think I'm a little older and wiser to when I was in my mid 20's, but my goodness, looking back now I was so naive. I've never been massively career driven but I definitely felt like I had to have children by the time I was 25.. And when that didn't happen I felt like a failure. It's definitely a pressuring time to be alive! But like you say your twenties are the time to figure yourself out. Looking back now (hindsight is a wonderful thing) I could never imagine having the life I have now at 25, I'd feel too young. Haha! It's such a strange thing! Thank you for sharing this, it was really lovely to read.

    Claire.X
    www.clairemac.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and insight!! xx

      Delete
  16. I feel this! I think it's so easy to compare, feel like you're behind etc if you let your mind do that to you. I've never really had any major I want to do x by x age goals but I still feel like I have that catch up thing going on sometimes. You're so right that it's important to think about it in the context of life, so young and so so so much time x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had so much fun in my 20s! I'm so glad I did life in the order I did. I was still going out, having fun, going on holidays and being a tad careless with my money but I had such a great time! Now I'm in my 30s I've settled down!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Haha true, I did same and thought would have the life I wanted in my 20s. Well, I'm in my 20s now and still trying to achieve my goals haha. Thank you for sharing this insightful post!

    ReplyDelete
  19. can't agree more. really good post, thanks dear.
    lace wigs

    ReplyDelete
  20. A brilliant post! I agree there is so much pressure to get "everything" done in your twenties and how we all need to be in a certain place or have done certain things, but we all live our lives at different stages and it is ok to go at different paces. Thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
  21. I adore this post Della! I feel like there is a pressure to have everything completed in your twenties and I'm all for just living my best life in my twenties! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love all the positivity in this post Della! As one who was in their twenties a long time ago, I can still relate to everything you’re saying. I love the part where you “understand the privilege of failure”. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  23. So inspiring post I would like to live freely but for everything is necessary money and that money doesn't come free so I have to work pretty hard for that.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I feel this on such a level, there is so much pressure to achieve stuff in your twenties and it sucks :(

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am not quite to where you are yet, but I am already feeling the pressure so this post came at just the right time! Your advice on halting comparison of my chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty feels just right to me, and I also love your thoughts on how important failure is to growth. I enjoy the concept of failure but not the experience. <3
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think we could say the same about our 30s and 40s. Anything that takes the pressure of "having it all" off is something we should try to use.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love the comment 'Do things that make you happy'! It is such a great thing to live by!

    Amber x

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great post! It is so important not to compare - it is really hard not to but you never really know where someone is at in their life. x

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lovely post! My mom have to read this lol - I will turn 26 soon and the pressure of marriage and stuff really make me go crazy. I just want to have my freedom while I can and like you said "do things that make you happy". Thank you so much for writing this x

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm turning 20 this year so this was a lovely read. Definitely agree with doing the things that make you happy and stop comparing myself to others. Great post! xx
    TheQuietGirl | www.quietgirlblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. In my 20's, I had 2 kids (I had my first at 19) and I didn't really have time to find myself. I am now in my early 40's and just getting to find out who I am and what I want from the rest of my life. I would definitely say, use your 20's to find out who you are, what career you want & experience as much of life when you can. You have plenty of time to have kids, get the house etc later in life.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for saying these!! It's honestly what I need to hear today. You don't have to have everything figured out for you. Explore the world. Don't live by other people's standard. Make your own standard and live by that xx

    Thank you so much for this beyond awesome blog post!

    lenne | lennezulkiflly.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. At an anxious age, I feel that it has not been easy to walk over the past two decades. Life is not easy, still have to work hard, thank you for sharing the content.
    lace front wigs brazilian

    ReplyDelete
  34. I could have written this post about 10 years ago! I remember that in every age I think about my older self and imqgine how it will be. But when I get to that age it is something totally different.Twenties is a great age. Live it, make choices and make mistakes! Take care and keep writing great posts like this!

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is such a brilliant post. I'm in my early 30s now, but so much of this still resonates.

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a wonderful post Della - I couldn't agree more! I definitely had my 20's all mapped out as a youth and very little of that actually turned out as planned. However, I couldn't be happier with the path I've chosen to take. Life is all about learning and having experiences, and those rarely come from lists we create! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much and that is really lovely to hear xx

      Delete
  37. This is so lovely to read and really encouraging. Thank you for sharing
    Laila
    www.lailanblog.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yes this is so true! Everyone expects you to have everything together in your 20s and it is a lot of pressure. This was very encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is an amazing post and a great reminder. I am in my twenties and I still feeling the pressure. However, I am try not to put the pressure on myself. Thank you for sharing and the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I feel this deeply! So much pressure is put on us from an early age to start figuring out lives out and 20s seems to be the goal to have it all sorted.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful in anyway. I'd love to hear any feedback you may have.