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30 Things I Wish I Knew in My 20s



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When I was a child I thought that turning 30 would feel like suddenly becoming this giant wizard full of wisdom and witty answers. You could blame it on my vivid imagination or perhaps my love for fairytales.

Although I haven’t become much wiser and nowhere near witty, I’ve still learned a lot of things about life and I want to share them with you.

Originally, I made a video called ‘30 Life Lessons I Learned in 30 Years’, but you guys loved it so much that I decided to turn it into a blog post as well.

If you want to watch the whole video, here it is:

Here are 30 things I wish I knew in my 20s:

1. You’re Responsible for Everything That Happens in Your Life

Growing up, I used to refuse to take responsibility for my actions. It took me a few years in therapy and coaching to realize that I was the only person who was not only responsible for the bad things, but also for the good things that happened to me.

If something good happened, I couldn’t take credit for it: I thought it was either good luck or someone else was responsible for my success.

At the end of the day, if you rely on a source outside of you to bring you happiness or to punish you for your wrongdoings, you’re in big trouble. How you react to the circumstances and what you achieve in this lifetime is entirely up to you.

2. Life Is Too Short, Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

My grandpa passed away a few months ago and I miss him every single day, that’s why I wanted to share some of his knowledge and wisdom.

He used to say that “You shouldn’t take yourself too seriously” and that’s exactly how I’ll remember him: always smiling, cracking jokes, and making others laugh.

Once you realize that life is just a game, in which you face different challenges and learn as you grow, you’ll start treating death as a reminder to live in the present moment and appreciate life even more.

3. Attachment Leads to Suffering

We all live in a fast-paced world and get bombarded with material possessions everywhere we go. What I’ve learned the hard way is that if you attach yourself to a certain lifestyle or a person, you will inevitably suffer.

The reason for that is very simple: everything is temporary and you need to learn to let go. The paradox is that the less you care about what you’re going to lose, the more abundance you’ll have in your life.

4. Money Comes from Creating Value

This one was the hardest one I had to grasp. One of the people who influenced me the most was Ramit Sethi. His book “I will teach you to be rich” absolutely changed the way I perceived money and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to manage their finances better. You can buy it at Amazon here.

The first few months when I started my coaching business, I had a huge problem charging for my services. I felt like an impostor. But you know what I’ve learned?

It’s not about me at all. It’s about my clients. It’s about serving them; it’s about helping them; it’s about providing the best service that I can.

Money comes the moment you stop caring about it and focus on what’s truly important: making a difference.

5. Marriage Is Hard Work, but It’s Worth It

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or you’re married: it doesn’t matter. What I’m focusing here on is wanting to stay with one person for the rest of your life and doing your best to grow as a couple, but also as individuals.

Marriage is hard work. It’s not that glamorous and movie-like. It’s not about finding your soulmate even. It’s about constantly putting in the work, it’s about showing up when your partner needs you the most, it’s about accepting them and loving them for exactly who they are.

6. The More Fears You Overcome, the Faster You’ll Grow as a Person

This one took me quite a while to understand. I used to struggle with severe anxiety, I even had panic attacks for a few months back in high school.

The moment I started facing them one by one, I realized that none of them was that scary. I was scared of the fear itself.

7. Investing in Yourself Pays Off

The greatest asset you're ever going to have in this life is you. Click To Tweet

The more time and money you put into your personal development, the more freedom you’re going to have in your life: to choose a job that you love, to find a high-quality person to spend your life with, and to achieve your goals and dreams.

8. What You Don’t like About Others Is Also a Part of You

I won’t lie: this one required me a lot of inner work, especially with my shadow self. In this video, I talk more in-depth about this topic + I share with you how to accept your dark side:

In a nutshell, your shadow self represents all the parts of your personality that you’re unconscious of. When you don’t like something about someone, it’s often a sign that you’re repressing a part of you.

It’s not that simple to grasp, though. We all have inner resistance to things that make us look ‘bad’, that’s why we deny certain aspects of our personalities.

But if you want to understand and most importantly accept yourself as you are, you need to realize that what you see in others, is a part of you as well.

9. Reality Bites Only If You Prefer Your Fantasies

As a child, I had a vivid imagination. In fact, I still do. I just know how to handle it better and not let it interfere with my life as much. Here’s what happens when you’re constantly enveloped in your fantasy:

Whether you’re having fantasies about living a better life or you’re visualizing the worst things that can happen to you or the people you love, it’s still the same: you’re detaching yourself from the present moment.

Reality may not be better than your fantasies, but at least it’s real. And if you spend too much time thinking about your past or your future, you’re going to miss what’s happening right in front of you: YOUR LIFE.

One of the books that truly helped me face reality and live in the present is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s all about practicing mindfulness, observing your thoughts from a distance, and enjoying the present moment. You can buy it at Amazon here.

10. Kindness Goes a Long Away

When in doubt, do something that comes from your heart. Click To Tweet

I’m talking about true kindness. The one you don’t think about. The one you don’t talk about. The one you just do. And I’m going to leave it at that.

11. The Choices You Make Now Will Determine Your Future

If you spend your 20s and 30s slacking, not taking care of your mind and your body, and not investing in your career, you’re going to have problems with your health and well-being later on.

Every choice you make will determine your future, so the more mindful and self-aware you are, the better shot you have at living a long and healthy life.

12. Learn How to Take Care of Yourself, No One Else Will Do It for You

This sounds a bit negative, but it’s not. When we’re children, we rely on our caregivers to provide us with love, care, and a sense of security. But once we grow up, it’s tempting to search for that special someone who’s going to take care of us.

The truth is…

If you're waiting for someone to come and save you, you'll be waiting for the rest of your life. Click To Tweet

Even if you start a relationship on that foundation, it’s going to fail or you will become codependent on each other.

So, the best thing you can do is realize what your needs are and learn how to meet all of them. Check out this blog post if you’re interested in learning more on this topic.

13. Work with Your Mind, Instead of Against It

I’ve been meditating every single day for more than 4 years now and I can tell you that of all the things I’ve tried, it has helped me the most. Observing your thoughts and not engaging with them is the most powerful way to accept them and let them go.

Another practice that has absolutely changed the way I look at my mind is mindfulness: it grounds me in reality and helps me become more familiar with my surroundings in the present moment.

And the last one is a tool that I use from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it’s called The Automatic Thought Record Tool. It’s all about tracking your negative thoughts and finding healthier alternatives to substitute them.

You can download it for free and get instant access:

14. Trust Your Friends, but Trust Your Gut More

I used to be very naive in the past and made some questionable decisions when it came to my friends.

What I’ve learned over the years is that your gut feeling NEVER lies. If you feel uncomfortable in their presence or think that they may be manipulating you, don’t justify their behavior. Simply walk away.

15. Traveling Will Help You Grow as a Person

Traveling is my favorite thing in the world. I’ve traveled to many places, but I still have lots of destinations that I want to explore.

Every time I travel, I come back home refreshed, full of creative ideas, and humbled with gratitude.

16. Always Choose Quality over Quantity

This is a recent one. I used to buy lots of stuff that I didn’t really need, but what I’ve realized is that investing in high-quality pieces is always better than having more poor-quality alternatives.

I’m talking about all things: investing in a life-changing online program with experts like Marie Forleo or Tony Robbins, investing in skincare that has better ingredients, etc.

You will not only get the best of the best, but you will also feel good about choosing something that is truly worth it.

17. Social Media Is Ruining Your Life

The less time you spend on social media, the better. In fact, I don’t even encourage you to watch my videos if you’re not getting any value out of them.

Alex Becker is the reason I stopped hanging out on social media so much. His advice was to stop reading about what others are doing and stop comparing yourself to strangers on the Internet, and take that time and invest it into yourself and your business.

Once I stopped binge-watching videos on YouTube in my free time and I started taking some quality ME-time instead, I felt more fulfilled, more energized, and I was able to provide even more value to my clients.

18. Everything Is a Trade-Off, You Will Have to Pay a Certain Price

What do I mean by this: let me give you a recent example. Some women put their careers first, others prefer to become moms first. And there are also those superwomen out there that I admire so much like Gillian Perkins, who manages to do both.

You can’t have it all at the same time. Even if you manage to run a business and be a mom to a newborn at the same time, you will still have to pay a certain price: you will sleep less and you will have less time for yourself.

It’s all a trade-off. You just have to decide for yourself what price you’re willing to pay.

19. If You Feel Lost, You’re Not Living According to Your Values

We all feel lost from time to time, but if you know yourself well enough and you know what you stand for, it’s easier to bounce back when life hits you with a rock.

It took me many years of reframing my negative thoughts to realize that I had a lot of imposed beliefs that were no longer serving me. I had to unlearn all of them and find out what was true for me.

Once I understood what was truly important to me and what my core values were, I no longer felt lost. Download your FREE cheat sheet with the top 98 values here:

20. You May Have the Best Intentions, but Still Make a Mess out of Things

We all want to help others, it’s in our nature to seek connection. But when you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, you’re not respecting their boundaries and may end up hurting them even more.

If you want to learn how to say ‘No’ to people without feeling guilty, this video will help you out:

I’ve been on both sides of this one. I’ve had people who cared about me deeply trying to give me advice and I’ve tried to help people who didn’t really need my help.

If someone asks for help, help them, but don’t impose your opinion on them. Sometimes, it’s more than enough to just be there and listen.

21. No Matter How It Gets, There’s Always Something to Be Grateful for

Running around doing errands, crossing off to-do lists, wanting to create more, be more, give more… It’s a never-ending cycle of doing. But what about being? What about feeling like where you are right now is enough?

Sure, not every day feels great, but there can be a little something to be grateful for every day. If you’re still breathing, have a roof over your head and you’re reading this article, then you have plenty to be grateful for.

So, take the time to think of at least three things you’re grateful for every single day and see the results.

22. If you’re experiencing burnout, focus on your basic needs

I learned this one after my last burnout. I wasn’t sleeping well for 4 or 5 days straight.

I had to almost pass out from exhaustion to realize that if I wanted to help others, I had to take care of my needs first.

If you’ve struggled with not feeling enough as you are and questioning your self-worth, sign up for the waitlist for my signature program for women:

23. Your Emotions Are Your Friends If You Just Let Them Be

While feelings are your mental interpretations of what’s happening in your body, your emotions are your bodily sensations, your reactions to what’s happening at the current moment.

If you get curious about your emotions and let them be, you won’t have any problem with them. The better you become at noticing your emotions and letting them go, the easier your life is going to get.

Your mind just has to trust your body to do the rest. Click To Tweet

24. Flip a Coin If You Have to Choose Between Two Options

If you need to make a tough decision, you have two options and you’re not sure which one to go for, just flip a coin and watch your reaction.

If the coin lands on the decision that you really wanted to go for, you’ll feel a sense of relief, but if you want to flip it over and over again, that means that you wanted to go for the other one.

Always trust the flipping coin, it never fails to point you in the right direction.

25. You Already Have All the Answers to All the Important Questions

As a coach, I ask my clients questions to help them understand themselves better and integrate parts of themselves that they’re not conscious of. The truth is, we already know all we need to do, but we may not be aware of some of our old patterns, or may not have the right tools to overcome them.

26. Your Past Experiences Don’t Define Who You Are, You Define Who You Are

Having a negative self-image can be tricky: if you think you’re shaped in a certain way, your brain will continue to look for evidence to prove that.

For example, if you were abused as a child, you may have unresolved feelings of shame, anger, and sadness; you may think of yourself as injured, not good enough, or unlovable.

That is not something that goes away by itself, it needs a lot of work. We all have past traumatic experiences, but we all try to change and evolve.

Don’t let yourself stay stuck in the past, telling yourself the same old stories over and over again. Define who you are now by making healthy choices in the present and doing your best to work with what you’ve got.

And if you want to take the shortcut to self-love and self-discovery, check out The Self-Love Toolkit:

Learn How to Love Yourself, Unconditionally




(in less than 15 minutes per day!)


27. Do 1% Less of the Bad Things and 1% More of the Good Things

Shoutout to my husband, who gave me this idea a few months ago and it turned out to be life-changing. Here’s how it goes:

Let’s say you have a goal. Every day there are a series of choices that will either get you closer to achieving it or even further away.

For example, you want to write a book.

If you choose to do 1% less of what’s holding you back (for example watching 30 minutes less TV at night) and 1 % more of what’s bringing you closer (write at least one paragraph every day), these things will accumulate in time and if you’re consistent with your new habits, you can achieve almost anything you want.

28. If You Want to Be Creative, Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

The best ideas come from having empathy for others. I’ve learned this one from working in the advertising industry for more than five years and it’s probably one of the best advice I can give to young copywriters and writers in general.

The more empathy you have for others, the better you will get at understanding them. You will not only get into their heads but also into their hearts.

Many people don’t like marketers because they don’t want to be sold anything, but the truth is that we all sell ourselves whether we realize it or not. So, why not become good at it?

When you go to a job interview, you’re selling yourself as a professional. When you go on a date, you’re selling your personality and image. When you write an ad about a niche perfume, you’re selling the whole experience: not only the beautifully blended scent but also the craftsmanship and art that comes with the packaging.

The more roles you can put yourself into, the better you’ll become at creative thinking.

29. Even the Most Talented Person Can’t Beat the Hard Worker

I used to be very lazy. It was a defense mechanism I adopted as a child to procrastinate on things that I felt pressured to do. If you want to learn how to overcome procrastination for good, check out this blog post.

There are numerous examples of people who made it because they put themselves out there, not because they were good at it in the beginning. And there are numerous examples of truly talented people who gave up quickly and didn’t achieve what they truly wanted.

Achieving success is not about having talent. It's about constantly putting in the work and never giving up. Click To Tweet

30. Don’t Listen to Anyone Who Tells You That Your Dreams Are Too Big

If you had to take away just one thing from this article, please let it be this.

We’re here on this Earth for a limited time. We can spend our lives mechanically doing what others think will be good for us, or we can create our own path and do what we were born to do.

If your dream is realistic and you take action every single day, you will achieve it. Click To Tweet

Wake up every morning, provide value to the world, do the best that you can to stay consistent, and you will turn your dreams into reality.

And remember:

The world needs more authentic people who do what they were born to do.


Coach Simona

Coach Simona is a certified Life Coach, CBT Practitioner, author of the book "111 Ways to Simplify Your Life", and founder of  confidence program The Queen Within™.

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