Spoiler: they’re supposed to be the best years of your life

Emirates Woman sat down with certified life and communication coach, educator and NLP Practitioner Shereen Mitwalli who offered the following advice for having a winning decade in your 30s:

Ah, your 30’s. The media culture nowadays portrays your 30s as ‘the new 20’s’. You’re probably more financially secure than when you were 20 and you haven’t reached a mid-life crisis yet either, so you’re living the best of both worlds. Your 30’s are supposed to be the best years of your life.


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It’s that decade of your life when your biological clock might start ticking too however.  By your 30s, you’ve probably got more stability, responsibility and freedom than previous decades. Our 30’s are the perfect time to learn, grow and appreciate self-development.

Here are six things every woman in her 30s should do:

Take care of yourself

Pampering yourself from time to time is as important. Treat yourself to what you love doing. As your body changes in your 30s, now is the time to focus on your health, diet and rest more than before. If you’re a new mum and have young children it can be pretty difficult to take time off. Take the time out to go and get your hair or nails done or go for a massage.

Stop comparing

As the famous adage goes, comparison is the thief of happiness. If you haven’t already realized this, now is the time to understand that there is always going to be someone who is better than you and there is always going to be someone who thinks you have it better than them. Each person is different in their own unique way. No one can truly be compared. Focus on the positive qualities that you have instead of the negative and be grateful for what is going exceptionally well instead of dwelling over the things that aren’t.

Learn to say “no”

I’ve noticed that many women I’ve worked with don’t know how to say know because they feel guilty.  If something doesn’t fit into your schedule it’s perfectly acceptable to say no. If you decide to say yes, it’s very important that you show up and actually commit to it but don’t over exert yourself.  You don’t have to go to every function, gathering or social event. Oprah had a similar problem, that she referred to as the ‘disease to please’ and claimed that it took her a long time to say no, but once she did, it felt pretty darn good.

Stay ambitious

If you have any unfulfilled dreams or ambitions left from when you were younger, now is the perfect time to pursue them.  In terms of career path, your 30’s should be the time when you reach new heights in terms of your career progression so far. If you have a dream house that you wanted to buy for a while now or a trip that you’ve been meaning to take for the longest time, now is your chance to pursue that. Whatever it is that you either didn’t have the time or finances before to do, your 30’s is the best time to do them.

Don’t deflect compliments

By the time you’re in your 30’s, you should be able to accept compliments with grace and appreciation. Whenever you disregard compliments, you’re refusing to accept positivity into your life.  Deflection of compliments shows the other person that their truth cannot impact you. Not only is it negative, it can lead to people feeling discouraged, unworthy of being taken seriously and unheard. The one who compliments you just ends up walking away feeling rejected while you continue your self-criticism. It’s now turned into a toxic and negative situation that could easily be avoided by a simple “thank you”. The world should be about receiving and giving positivity.

People can have different opinions

In your 30’s, you have probably met enough people by now to deduce that not everyone thinks the same, even those who are close friends. People are different and hence, have different opinions. Just because you don’t share the same point of view on something with someone doesn’t mean that you have to start a debate to prove why you’re right and they’re wrong. By now, you should realize that it’s okay to be around people who are different to you and that there won’t always be a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’—and that should be okay.


Every decade you go through has its own lessons that it teaches you. After your quarter-life-crisis in your 20s, you begin to settle down when you reach your 30s. Take time off to reflect how much you’ve grown by looking back at your old self and continue to aspire to develop and seek new avenues for yourself the older you get. Consider these six things I mentioned as milestones for how much you’ve grown to realize by the time you hit your 30’s, and if not, try and work on them as there’s always more ways to better yourself throughout life and at any age. It’s never really too late.

About Shereen Mitwalli

Egyptian-Australian born and raised, Shereen Mitwalli is a certified life and communication coach, educator and NLP Practitioner.  Based in Dubai, she was formally trained in television broadcasting and live presenting from the Sydney Academy of Film & Television and the prestigious New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. She has presented and spoken in front of more than 100,000 people. Some of the famous personalities Shereen has interviewed in the past include the legendary Richard Branson, Jack Ma, Lewis Hamilton, Chris Gardner, Gigi Hadid just to name a few.

Shereen Mitwali, the founder of www.personalityandcareertest.com – developed to help clients make better career choices and provide direction.  In addition to The Global Mentorship Program – a platform that provides online group mentoring sessions with an array of mentors from various expertise made available on an international scale.

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Media: Getty