T H E M I N D ​M A K E O V E R. O R G By Brandie Janay.

28 Golden Truths I Learned Before My 28th Birthday!

September 28, 2021 | 4 MINS

Written By Brandie Janay Sanders

I turned 28 on the 28th of this month. Some would call this my Golden birthday… whatever that means is up for interpretation. To me, it meant reflecting on what I have learned so far and how much I still have to learn. The value we place on the visual representation of success is so vast, we forget to place any importance on the things we can’t see. The internal growth, the process, and the work not measured by accolades or accomplishments. You know the funny thing about growth and healing is that sometimes we think we have it down pat and that we’ve made it past the worst parts of our lives and ugliest forms of ourselves in the process. But then, life shocks you and some of those parts of yourself you thought you were over are easily resurfaced when we’re triggered. But that’s the thing growth, it doesn’t mean we become strangers with our old selves and our old ways it’s actually the opposite and more about becoming familiar with the ugly parts, why they show up, when they show up and what they are telling us about ourselves. I believe that when we learn we teach and that through self-reflection and creativity we grow. So, on the 28th day of September, I celebrate 28 years of life by sharing 28 truths that are Golden to me.

1. Self-reflection is the ultimate form of self-care. When you take the time to reflect on why you are the way you are and what influences your decisions, behavior, and attitudes, you have the opportunity to strengthen your mind-body, and soul and you gain the confidence to just be, without self-doubt and the need for reassurance.

2. Being uncomfortable is a good thing. It means you are aware, it means you are being challenged to make a change and the only way to remedy uncomfortably is to first acknowledge it.

3. Understand more and internalize less. Learn to process life as it is, rather than how you think it should be. Life is more peaceful that way.

4. Set boundaries for every relationship in your life. Honestly, your relationships both personally and professionally deserve boundaries. Stop overextending yourself or feeling you need to be all things to people at all times. Practice saying now and prioritizing yourself when you need to.

5. Endings are just as important as new beginnings. It is sometimes hard to break ties with people or things we have grown accustomed to. Sometimes our ties become more routine than driven by desire. At this point, it is important to know when to close a door.

6. Pick and choose your battles. Not everything deserves a response or your attention. Learn to be selective about where you put your energy and release the need to address all things that seem offensive both directly and indirectly.

7. It’s okay to change your mind about what you want in life and who you want to be. That’s the great thing about life, you only get one... so at any time if you want to make a shift, go for it!

8. Stop being friends with people you have to tolerate. Simple, just let them go. If you are drained by them, their energy, and their drama let them go. It is okay to love people from a distance.

9. How people treat you is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves and vice versa… Sometimes when people mistreat you, it is solely due to their own internal struggles. Just the same way you speak and treat others says a to about how you feel about yourself. The more internal work you do, the more it will show externally in your speech, energy, and behavior toward others.

10. Separate to elevate. Isolation doesn’t always mean depression, sometimes it can mean progression. Take a break from people and spend time alone in order to re-shift and refocus on your goals.

11. Release the need for control. Practice trusting the universe. Being over-controlling isn’t fun for anyone around you and is draining to yourself. The more you try to control things, the more stressed you find yourself. Instead, focus on being grateful for what you have and trust that the rest will fall into place the way it is meant to.

12. Master the art of not taking things personally. Everything is not about you, so don’t try and make it.

13. Remember to slow down. Take your time and remember that it’s okay to take breaks. You cannot rush the healing process, practice learning to feel all things and emotions, even the bad ones.

14. Find the balance between available and accessible. Just because you have the time doesn’t mean others should have access to it.

15. Talk about your feelings. Leaving things unaddressed gives room for a buildup of emotions and frustrations. No one likes a passive-aggressive person or a negative Nancy. Say what you feel when you feel it and leave room for feedback from others.

16. Give yourself permission for error and vulnerability. Let go of the idea that you are supposed to be one way at all times and embrace your imperfections. Mistakes make you human, nothing more and nothing less. They are essential to growth.

17. The lesson will repeat itself until you learn it. If you keep finding yourself in the same situations over and over, it might be time to evaluate what the situation is trying to teach you and where you have failed to make a necessary change.

18. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Make it a habit to date yourself and show yourself, love. Switch up your self-care routines when you need to.

19. Emotions cloud judgment. Don’t be so quick to assume ANYTHING! When you assume the worst in people you are automatically on defense for something you may not even have the right assumption about. This can put you in some very senseless confrontations and leave you feeling pretty silly in the end.

20. If you want better friendships, practice being a better friend. Treat others the way you would want to be treated without waiting for people to prove they are worthy. Do things because it’s who you are, in turn, people will value you just for that.

21. Accept people for who they are, not who you want them to be. People rarely change because they are told to, but more often because they feel a need to. If you learn to accept people as they are, you avoid setting yourself up for disappointment.

22. Learn you are more powerful than your thoughts. Nothing good comes from overthinking. Probably my biggest downfall in recent years has been my excessive overthinking. It has simply done nothing but ignites stress and anxiety. For that reason learning to control my thoughts and in turn, my emotions have been one of the biggest takeaways in my journey.

23. High functioning alcoholism is still alcoholism.  If your personal affairs are falling apart due to alcohol use, it is still alcohol abuse. Learn when drinking like it’s your freshman year of college has turned into alcoholism in an effort to avoid real-life problems.

24. Stop carrying your pain from past experiences into present moments. Things happen and sometimes those things leave us deeply pained. Working to recover the wounds of heartbreak is vital in order to ensure we don’t carry that trauma into our future interactions and project that pain onto them and displace our feelings of distrust and disappointment.

25. It doesn’t matter who likes you, it matters if you like you and everyone else around you will fall in line. It is not meant for everyone to like you, it’s meant for you to like you. The people you need in your life will gravitate to you because of that.

26. This too shall pass. In all things, another day is coming and another opportunity to create positive change.

27. You deserve the best, not better. It is easy to think something is ideal when transitioning from something negative, but just because you find yourself in a better situation than the last, does not mean it is the best situation for you. Never settle.

28. Believe and invest in yourself. Don’t ever lose sight of the end goal. Whatever that may be for you, don’t get too busy and too caught up in a routine that forgets there is a bigger picture and a greater calling on your life. Focus on your own goals and ideas for success and don’t stop until you make them your reality. It is never too late to get any and everything you desire for yourself.

At 28 years of life, I am still quite of an emotional roller coaster… as much as I hated how my emotions would get the best of me at times, I’ve learned to love the ability to feel things so deeply. I don’t ever want to fall victim to the idea that we need to be emotionless or numb to avoid pain. I’d rather learn how to control the outward display of the things I feel internally. I think the world has an expectation of people in helping professions, and I felt for a long time I had to uphold that expectation of having my shit together, which resulted in avoiding my own mess at times. But undoubtedly if you don’t practice what you preach, it will always show in one way or another. I’ve learned to never let my passion cloud my process. Sometimes distractions are just that, distractions to all things necessary for growth. But it’s never too late to reflect, re-shift, and refocus and I have learned to embrace periods of discomfort and acknowledge what it is teaching me about myself. Cheers to 28 years of life, this birthday is a celebration of my dedication to growing both internally and externally. Thank you to all those who have helped support and encouraged me along the way, your patience, insight, and feedback has been much needed and appreciated.

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