When the dreaded day comes that you are suddenly 30, it is a significant milestone that often triggers a whirlwind of emotions. It’s a juncture where the realities of adulthood, responsibility, and aging converge, and many individuals find themselves grappling with a mix of fears, doubts, and uncertainty about this new chapter in life. As a 29 year old myself, very soon to be turning 30, I have dealt with much of the fears associated with the number – but it’s okay and I am very happy, whilst living the good life. Here’s an article on some of these fears and why it is perfectly okay to have them.
The Age-Obsessed Society
The society we live in has an obsession with age. From youth-centric advertising to pop culture’s obsession with staying forever young, it’s no wonder many people approaching 30 might have anxieties. These societal pressures can manifest in the form of several fears.
Fear of Unrealized Goals
One of the most prevalent fears that come with turning 30 is the apprehension that you haven’t accomplished what you expected to by this age. Check-in with yourself and realize within who you are and where you are heading; accept it. You might have set ambitious career goals, envisioned your dream home, or planned out your ideal family situation. If these aspirations haven’t been achieved, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and disappointment. We often spend our 20s pressuring ourselves to get things done before our 30s and this is our mistake.
Why It’s Okay: Life rarely unfolds according to a rigid plan. Sometimes detours and unexpected challenges lead to unforeseen opportunities. Remember that it’s never too late to chase your dreams and set new goals. Your 30s are still young and vibrant, offering ample time for growth and achievements. There is still plenty of time to reach your goals and achieve your dreams.
Fear of Aging
Turning 30 also brings you closer to the reality of aging. You may start to notice physical changes like fine lines, the occasional grey hair, and a bit less energy. These changes can be disheartening and make you fear what lies ahead.
Why It’s Okay: Aging is a natural part of life, and it’s essential to embrace it. With age comes wisdom, experience, and a deeper understanding of oneself. Many people find that their 30s are some of the best years of their lives because they’ve learned to appreciate the present.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The fear of missing out is a pervasive fear at any age, but it can become particularly potent when you hit 30. You might see friends or peers getting married, having children, or jet-setting around the world, and you might worry that you’re missing out on these life experiences. However, you can always check-in with them – they are not going away!
Why It’s Okay: Everyone’s journey is unique, and what works for one person might not be the right path for you. Instead of dwelling on what you might be missing out on, focus on what you’re gaining: independence, self-awareness, and the opportunity to pursue your own desires.
Navigating the Emotional Terrain
Beyond societal pressures, there’s a range of personal and emotional factors that can contribute to the fears associated with turning 30. These can take many shapes, forms and sizes but one thing is certain: they can be overcome.
Fear of Un-fulfillment
Many people worry that they won’t achieve the level of personal or professional fulfillment they desire by the time they hit 30. This fear can lead to feelings of restlessness and discontent.
Why It’s Okay: True fulfillment is a journey, not a destination. Life is filled with twists and turns, and what you seek today might change tomorrow. Embrace the journey and be open to new experiences that can lead to fulfillment.
Fear of Regrets
Regrets about past decisions or missed opportunities can haunt people as they approach their 30s. You might worry about the choices you made in your 20s and wonder if you should have done things differently.
Why It’s Okay: Regrets are a part of life, and they often teach us valuable lessons. Use them as stepping stones for personal growth and making better choices in the future. We are not the same person when turning 30 as we were when we turned 20, the same as we are not the same at 20 as we were at 10. We change, we grow and become more and more who we are supposed to be.
Fear of Responsibilities
With 30 often comes a host of new responsibilities, from managing finances to taking care of your own health. These added duties can be overwhelming, and the fear of not being up to the task is a valid concern.
Why It’s Okay: Responsibility is a part of life’s natural progression. It might be daunting at first, but it also offers a sense of empowerment and control over your own destiny. Over time, you’ll become more adept at handling these responsibilities.
Why It’s Perfectly Okay to Feel This Way
It’s important to acknowledge that these fears are entirely natural. Your 30s mark a time of transition, growth, and self-discovery, and it’s perfectly okay to have apprehensions about the unknown. Here’s why it’s perfectly fine to feel this way:
Growth Through Discomfort
Fears often arise when you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. Feeling uncomfortable or anxious is a sign that you’re evolving and challenging yourself. It’s an opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement.
Fears and doubts can serve as a catalyst for self-reflection. Use this time to ponder what you truly want in life, your values, and your aspirations. It’s an excellent opportunity to make informed decisions about your future.
You’re not alone in these feelings. Many people go through similar fears and anxieties when approaching 30. It’s a shared human experience, and talking to others about your apprehensions can provide solace and understanding.
Life is a Journey
Life is not a race; it’s a journey. There’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for success or happiness. Your 30s are just one chapter in a much longer book. Your story is unique, and it’s still unfolding.
Opportunities for Reinvention
Your 30s are a time for reinvention and self-discovery. You have the chance to redefine your goals, dreams, and ambitions, and to chase them with newfound wisdom and experience.
In conclusion, it’s entirely okay to feel a bit anxious about turning 30. It’s a time of change and self-exploration, and the fears that come with it are normal and part of the journey. Remember that you have the strength, resilience, and wisdom to navigate this new chapter in life. Your 30s can be a time of personal growth, fulfillment, and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead. Embrace the fears, learn from them, and step boldly into this exciting new phase of life. If you are reading this in anticipation of your 30th birthday, why not make a list of things to do before you are suddenly 30?
Niklas is a religious studies teacher and freelance journalist who has written for a number of platforms on a wide-range of subjects. He especially enjoys philosophy, football and travelling.