• Alisha & Almaza

10 Empowering Things Every Women Should Do Before She Turns 40.

Having recently turned 35, I initially felt a little awkward because really Im still ten years younger stuck in my 10 years older body. After living through a pandemic and having to put our lives on hold, this list can provide a source of inspo for when life gets back to normal (whatever that may look like). So looking forward towards the impending New Years Eve resolutions, have a look at the below and consider perhaps how you want to empower yourself in 2021.

1. Stop worrying about your age

First things first, remember this: age is just a number. Entering a new decade may be a milestone, but it doesn’t have to be a millstone, so stop worrying about the numbers.

2. Get educated in something you love doing

If there is something you’ve always wanted to learn to do properly, for career purposes (especially if you've been made redundant) or just as a hobby, then do it now before you become bogged down with too many responsibilities. Getting educated in something that you love, no matter how big or small, will give you that extra bit of confidence and something exciting to focus on. And don’t feel guilty if you don’t go on to use your newfound knowledge; this is just as much about enjoying the process as it is about producing results.

3. Face a fear

Here’s an interesting acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, when we fear something, it’s because our heads are telling us that that particular thing will lead to a negative result, but where is the evidence? I dare you to apply for that job you think you have doubts about being good enough for, to ask out that man you’ve had a crush on since day dot, or to finally stand up to that person who’s been putting you down. You’ll find that walking through such fears only makes you stronger.

4. Take on a physical challenge

Find a physical activity that brings you pleasure, whether it’s running, dancing, swimming, cycling or any other form of exercise, and challenge yourself. I’m not saying you have to sign up for the next Muddy Princess or Iron Man, but committing to a race or competition of some kind will not only motivate you to get fit, but will also give you something positive to set your sights on.

5. Experience culture shock

While it’s all very well fleeing the country and travelling somewhere with sunshine, swimming pools and 5 star service, you’d be kidding yourself if you called this an ‘eye-opening travel experience’. Go somewhere really different, talk to the locals, try the signature dish (yes, even if it is chicken brain) and don’t be afraid to stand out; you’ll learn a lot more this way than by isolating in some English-speaking resort.

6. Do some self-reflection

When I go to bed at night, I ask myself the following questions: have I been selfish or dishonest today? Have I let fear stand in my way? To whom, if anyone, do I owe an apology? Self-reflection is not designed to make you feel guilty or bad about yourself. On the contrary, it will help you improve, little by little, enabling you to become the best possible version of yourself.

7. Fail at something

We’ve all had it instilled in us from a young age that it’s bad to fail, to the extent that fear of failure often stops us from pursuing the things we really want to do in life. However, the only way you can really fail is to not try in the first place. Say you’ve always wanted to stage a play, so you eventually give it a go, only to discover it’s not the roaring success you were hoping it would be. So what? You won’t have lost anything. On the other hand, you’ll have gained all sorts of knowledge in the process, which will help you if and when you decide to try again. Through failing, we learn some of our most important lessons.

8. Break a bad habit

Think of the habit that is causing you the most harm, be it mental or physical, and make it your mission to nip it in the bud before entering your thirties. Mine was drinking too much. Yours could be anything from smoking, to checking Facebook every five minutes, to biting your nails right down to the quick. Whatever it is, the longer you do it for, the harder it will be to break so my advice would be do not delay!

9. Get a complete makeover

Every woman ought to do this at least once: pick your favourite brand and go and get a makeover with them. Besides being a real treat, there is also something incredibly relaxing about having someone apply your makeup for you.

10. Travel alone

Solo travel may sound daunting but, in my opinion, it’s one of the most liberating things you can do. I was nervous at the prospect of travelling alone six years ago but I so badly wanted to see the world and, at the time, nobody else was willing and able to accompany me, so I went for it. What did I discover? I had the freedom to do exactly what I wanted, when I wanted and I was never actually alone, as I met more people than I would have done had I been travelling with someone else. Definitely one of the better decisions I’ve made over the course of my life.