Reflecting on my 30s

Reflecting on my 30s

It’s my 40th birthday this week.

I’m so much more nervous about turning 40 than I was turning 30. Part of it is cause the past few months have been full of changes for me: starting my own business, trying to get it off the ground and adapting to a different way of working.

It’s exciting.

It’s new.

It’s scary.

It’s hard not to second-guess myself and question whether this is the right thing to do. But while in the last days of my 30s, I can’t forget all the things I’ve done the past 10 years.

To just stop and take a moment to look back and celebrate all the things I’ve learnt and gotten to do over that time.

To look forward and realise: “You know what? I’ve done so much over the last 10 years, who knows how much more I’ll do over the next 10 years. They are going to be more awesome!”

It’s easy to purely focus on what’s next and worry about the future. But we need to stop and reflect to acknowledge how far we’ve actually come. What lessons can we learn from what we ended up doing and how we got there?

So 10 years ago I wasn’t:

🌏 Speaking at events all over the world. I’ve been lucky enough to give talks and travel to places like Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada! I only started speaking at conferences when I started saying yes to things that scared me.

↳ What are the things that scare me now that I should say yes to?

✨ Managing and developing engineers and managers. I’ve loved helping folks grow and develop themselves, and it’s been so awesome seeing them progress in their careers. I first started managing people in 2015, when our tech team started scaling and I wanted to help the team. I hadn't done any management before, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn something new.

↳ What new things should I be trying out now? Where can I push myself out of my comfort zone?

🎶 Taking singing lessons and singing my heart out whenever I can. I’ve always loved singing, but I never had the confidence to sing in front of others. I realised though that it just gives me so much joy and recharges me. Getting better at public speaking is what gave me the confidence to sing more, but I wish I had started doing it much earlier.

↳ What gives me JOY now? Where is the FUN? What builds my confidence?

💕 Teaching speaking, writing and other outreach-related skills. I took on the role of evangelism & outreach lead at FutureLearn in the summer of 2014, with the idea of getting the team to blog and to speak more. While I had been doing these things myself previously, this was the moment I started teaching these skills to others. Since then I’ve worked on helping folks develop these skills, and building resources and training material. And I’ve found that this is where my passion lies!

↳ What do I know that could help others? What do I enjoy doing?

These four things above are all part of what I consider ME, and it’s funny to realise that 10 years ago I hadn’t fully embraced those parts of me yet. Each of these I ended up doing cause I nudged myself in different ways, learned new skills and tried something new.

Take a moment to celebrate all the things you’ve done, and reflect on how you got there. Get inspired by your own achievements, for all that’s next for you.

So what are the things that you’ve done that you can take inspiration from?

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