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How To Not Feel Like a Failure In Your Early-Mid Twenties

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Let’s face it. You’re approaching your mid-twenties. It’s time to get your shit together. But, what does that mean?

Y​ou have a job, your own place away from your parents, and a degree. We did what we were supposed to, so why do we all collectively feel like our time is running out? Why do we feel as if we are failing?

T​he more money you have, the more you want. The more relationships you have, the desired connection grows deeper. The more time goes by, the higher the expectations of yourself. Where do these expectations come from? Perhaps your family, your partner, your friends, your Instagram feed. How do we begin to shift our view of ourselves from failing to succeeding? It begins with how we define failure.

Failure is the inability to meet an expectation. It isn’t always so black and white. There will always be variations in our experiences and accomplishments. No situation occurs through one specific action or outcome. It’s important to break our experiences down to see how much we did get right. Who’s keeping score anyway? We shouldn’t allow our lives to be calculated by capitalistic milestones. It’s not that simple. Although you should be proud of your physical accomplishments, it’s most important to realize that these things don’t define you. That’s your job. When you give these things the power to define you, you also give them the ability to take that definition away. Your reality can shift in a second. Giving outside factors that much ability to affect how you see yourself and live your life is a dangerous game.

Picture your ideal self: What makes them any different from yourself now? Maybe they are more healed, loved, and secure— but all these things come from within. We always have the power to be our best selves. It’s important to consider what could be holding you back from being proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. It’s also important to realize that this magical version of yourself with no flaws does not exist. What does exist, however, is the energy you always have access to embodying. The energy to take pride in everything you have lived through, everything you have accomplished and everything you have not. Your favorite version of yourself already exists within you; be kind to them.

I am now twenty-seven years old and have discovered what I believe to be the secret to accomplishing whatever you want: confidence. Obtaining confidence is much easier said than done. To quote queen Maddy Perez from Euphoria, “90% of life is confidence, and the thing about confidence is that no one knows if it’s real or not.” Faking it till you make it will get you far. Taking the time to learn how to love yourself in a way that makes you authentically confident is the most incredible justice you could ever do for yourself. When you love yourself, you are no longer affected by others’ opinions because you feel secure in yourself! You can go after the job you want, the person you wish to be, and the home you dreamt of. Building confidence is the key to a self-fulfilling life. That’s how actual manifestation works. If you believe it, it already is.

I​ could go on about how capitalism brainwashes us into believing we are only as worthy as what we produce, but I’ll spare you. This a self-love article. The easiest way to start loving yourself is meditation. Meditation can take so many forms. So as long as you’re providing yourself with the time, kindness, care, and attention, you’re on the right track. Know that any source that tries to tell you that you are not enough is a manipulative tactic to dedicate your life to something other than yourself. When you feel ashamed of yourself, thoroughly break down the “why.” It will absolutely be due to expectations meant to serve someone else. Don’t listen. Stay strong. Keep showing yourself kindness and compassion. Celebrate the small wins. Celebrate everything. You are already everything you have ever wanted to be.

Caysea Stone, a proud Orlando native, is a journalism major with a minor in women's studies at the University of Central Florida expected to graduate Fall of 2025. Her dedication to these fields is evident in her academic pursuits and personal interests, which include following a vegan lifestyle and a deep love for yoga, meditation, and feminism. She enjoys dissecting society and culture, from discussing trends to completing in-depth film analysis. Her ability to delve deep into these topics and provide insightful perspectives is a testament to her analytical skills and intellectual curiosity. Her ultimate aspiration is to become a writer for a renowned women's magazine such as Cosmopolitan or Bustle. But beyond this, Stone's true passion lies in empowering and inspiring younger women. She encourages them to prioritize self-kindness and actively work towards overcoming any internalized misogyny they may encounter, a mission that is both admirable and inspiring.