Your 20s are such a crazy time because, to lift a philosophy of Britney Spears', you're not a girl, not yet a woman. Or if you don't identify as female, you're not a child, not yet an adult. Basically, you're still cookie dough, but you've gotten impatient and decided to take a bite out of that dough. It's a great time because it's a lot of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, and mostly repercussion-free mistake making (for instance, you can afford to be in the "wrong relationship" or at the "wrong job" for a while because life in your 20s is but a dream). As you enter your 30s, things start changing. You have more responsibilities. You have to start thinking about the future as something that's actually happening and not just some far off concept. You have to drop some of your more childish habits and insecurities.
Being in your 20s is a learning curve, and one of the things you learn is self confidence. If you haven't already, there are habits you should work on developing in your 20s to see you through to shedding more and more of your insecurities as you get older. Here are some habits you should try and adopt in your 20s to give you more self confidence:
1. Not Comparing Yourself To Others
The worst thing you can do for your self confidence is compare yourself to others, because there will ALWAYS be someone more successful, more well-travelled, better-dressed — just MORE — than you. But that doesn't mean anything. Everyone gets sad, feels hurt, faces pain or struggle in their lives. Just because someone else's life looks great on paper, it doesn't make it any better than your life. Breaking the toxic cycle of constantly comparing yourself to others is an essential habit you'll need if self confidence is what you're looking for.
2. Congratulating Yourself For Your Achievements
Breaking the cycle of comparing yourself to other means focusing on yourself. Congratulate yourself on your achievements, no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back for assembling IKEA furniture. Buy yourself flowers when you get a job promotion. Be your own biggest cheerleader in order to build your self confidence.
3. Focusing On The Things You Like About Yourself
Instead of standing in front of a mirror picking yourself apart, deciding you're not funny enough, not smart enough, not tall enough — get into the habit of focusing on the things you like instead. When standing in front of that mirror, ignore the things about you that make you feel insecure, and pinpoint the things you love. Stare at them, think about them, and let that be how you send yourself out into the world — loving yourself.
4. Not Saying "Sorry" For No Reason
Women tend to say sorry a lot, even for things they don't need to be sorry for. I always find myself saying "Sorry" when someone else runs into me because they're not paying attention in the street, and afterwards I'm always kicking myself for that knee jerk reaction. Practice not apologizing for everything in your 20s so that you don't carry the bad habit through your life. Only be sorry when there's actually something you should be sorry for. Simply existing is not one of those things.
5. Surrounding Yourself With Positive People
Sure, your 20s are a time where you might pick up some party pals or a bad ex or two, but you should get in the habit of spending time with positive people. "Toxic" people, or people that make you feel bad about yourself on purpose, are just going to make you feel bad about yourself. Focus on having people in your life that make you feel happy, because the happier you feel, the more your self confidence will grow.
6. Getting Back Up When You Fall Down
Wallowing in self pity is a great way to feel really bad about yourself. Get in the habit of admitting defeat, dusting yourself off, and trying again. Eventually, you'll get whatever it is you're working on right, and the sense of achievement will make you feel wonderful about yourself. Self confidence, of course, isn't just about being the best at something. It's about learning to trust yourself to try.
7. Spending Time Alone
Learning to love being with yourself is just as important to self confidence as anything else. It doesn't mean being a hermit, but being able to entertain yourself for an evening if you don't feel like going out, without having the anxiety of FOMO looming over you, perfectly comfortable in your own company, is really they key to loving yourself. If you can be your own best friend, you'll be able to do anything.