Take your own advice.
Do you ever wish you could go back to your younger self full of the wisdom you’ve gained over the years? What would you tell yourself? Would the younger version of you listen to your more mature self’s advice?
I have often thought, if only I knew this when I was younger. I would’ve saved so much time, suffering, mental energy, worry. I think about it even more these days as my children grow and have become mini humans whose thoughts now go beyond Legos, Barbie’s, corn dogs, and Cartoon Network. Sometimes.
My daughter especially has mini-me written all over her. The way she tries to take care of everyone, the unnecessary worries, the constant people pleasing, are all traits that run deep in the mom gene pool. Oh, and the stubborn streak. Good grief I knew that would come back to haunt me. The amount of times I say to her, “honey stop worrying,” seem endless. I try to explain worrying is a waste of time, that most things we worry about never even happen. We both get frustrated and then I remember, I did that. Oh shit, I DO that.
Seeing a younger version of myself right in front of my eyes, those lessons I would go back and teach little me have become a reality. And really, they are things I still coach myself on. Old habits die hard after all, and even with 38 years of life experiences, I am continually giving myself suggestions. Let’s face it, when I say I wish I could go back to my younger self, sometimes I am talking about my younger adult self, you know like 37-year-old me, or last week me, or me five minutes ago.
Where do you start with advice? What are the priorities? It’s hard to narrow down what I wish for my children (and myself!) to take moving forward. I could come up with hundreds of need-to-know items. And much to their (my) dismay, I do. But when I look at the message behind every piece of advice I give, there are just a few themes that speak the loudest.
- There is just one you. Somehow the world needed you, just you, the way you are. You don’t have to fit in, like the same things other people like, look a certain way, pretend to be someone you are not. Whether it was a higher power, the universe, a random stroke of XX or XY chromosomes, or the damn Easter bunny, it was deemed that the world needed YOU. Don’t forget how special that is.
- You don’t need to know everything. You don’t have to be right all the time. You don’t need to know the future. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. We are constantly learning, growing, changing, and experiencing new things. Live in the present. Each moment of your life happens one time.
- Be a nice human. Be kind. Be humble. To others, but also to yourself.
- Life is good. There is more good than bad in this life. There is especially more good if you allow it, embrace it, and focus on it.
- Failure is not only inevitable, it’s important. If we aren’t failing, we aren’t learning. And we are also playing it way too safe. Each time you feel like you lost, you are laying down a stone on the path to success. For real. Everything is going to be ok.
- Your gut is always right. So is your mom. Enough said.
Note to self: remember 1-6 and take your own advice.