1. Feeling confident in quite literally your own skin is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
2. Taking a leap of faith in yourself to start over can make you feel invincible.
"I was never the cool kid. Never really had any friends growing up either. Moving away when I graduated was the best thing I ever did. I got to start over, make new friends, and enjoy my twenties. Now that I’m married with a 2-year-old, I find myself loving my thirties way more than I thought I would. I am more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. My body has come into its own. I feel confident, something I never felt in my teens or twenties. When you know who you are as an individual, nothing can stop you. That’s what your thirties feels like."
3. Celebrating yourself is key in realizing your self-worth.
4. Having the ability to turn an unplanned life event into something extremely positive.
"I’m not where I thought I would be: divorced and a single mom. But I am strong and believe in myself and don’t care about what anyone else thinks. When I was a twentysomething, it was always about what she would think or what they would think. Now it’s what I think, and I think I’m bossing it."
5. Learning the power behind simply saying "no."
6. Understanding how rewarding it can be to take time to reflect and check in with yourself.
"I really dreaded turning 30, but now that I’m two years in I’m not afraid to ask for what I want, whether it’s a raise at work or a clean glass at a restaurant. I’m not afraid to put myself out there, and I’m in the best relationship of my life. I’m not afraid to cut people out if I need to; I apologize more and am more willing to admit when I’m wrong. Seriously, turning 30 can be daunting, but if you just sit back and get to know yourself after that first year it’s all cake!"
7. Putting yourself first can help you sift through the nonsense.
8. Learning that the next decade is really just an exciting new chapter.
"Your thirties are the teen years of adulthood. You know what you want, but you know what you have, so there's a lot more action and less planning. Twenty-nine doesn't feel great because you keep thinking about all the stuff you didn't do, but once that ZERO is at the end of your age, it's a whole new beginning."
9. Freeing yourself from the trap of past worries.
10. Realizing that life is not about playing catch-up, but, rather, going at your own comfortable pace.
"I cried months leading up to my 30th birthday. I felt like I was so behind from everyone else around me. I wasn’t married, didn’t own a house, or have kids. Now I’m 33 still not married, don't own a house, or have kids, and I'm OK with it. Your thirties are about being OK with where you are in life. I'm more comfortable with who I am now more than I was ever in my twenties. I think it’s because I'm confident on where I am and not worrying about catching up to everyone else."
11. Achieving peace of mind through a sense of gratitude.
12. Finally feeling like you're on the correct path in the pursuit of happiness.
"Being able to speak my mind, pursue my interests, dress my body, do my hair and makeup just to please myself and nobody else is amazing, and I’m blessed to finally have the confidence and sense of self I do now. I LOVE who I am, love where I’m going with my life, and I feel powerful."
13. Taking life lessons and putting them into motion.
14. Understanding how to take better care of yourself.
"My diet is much healthier. I don’t even remember the last time dinner consisted of beer and a doughnut. It was much easier to adopt healthy eating habits than I once thought!"
15. Realizing your voice matters.
16. Challenging yourself to conquer your fears.
"I’m 32, and so far my thirties have been way more amazing than my twenties. I understand myself deeply as a person, and I accept the things about myself that I used to hate. I have so much more confidence because I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t care what everyone thinks about me, and that is an amazing sort of freedom. I have made more friends, changed my career drastically, and had the courage to do the things that intimidate me. I was an insecure, desperate-to-be-liked girl in my twenties. Now I’m a woman who is confident in who she is and what she wants."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length, clarity, and spelling.