Hindsight can be a wonderful thing.
I was recently involved in a conversation about what advice would you give to your younger self, in particular to people in their 20s. This question has lingered with me for some reason so I thought I would expand on some of the lessons I wish had known at that time. Twenty years on I am still working on some of these!
1. Don’t place your worth on external validation from others. If you always need to be told you are great, amazing, kind etc. There will come a point where you feel empty and worthless. Knowing your self worth comes from within, harness and develop it yourself – that is true strength and courage
2. If something or someone feels off, always trust your instincts. The few times I have ignored my inner alarm bells it has got me into some really difficult and traumatic situations
3. You cannot change the past so don’t let it take up too much space in your head. This is often easier said than done, we create a lot of self suffering from replaying situations we cannot change. Learn the lesson and try to move on ASAP
4. What thoughts, experiences & emotions can you challenge, accept or let go?
5. If you feel uncomfortable, you are entitled to walk away. You can set & reset your boundaries at any time, don’t be afraid to let people know what they are
6. Not everyone will get you or even like you. That’s totally fine, you don’t need to beg people for friendship
7. Live for the moment. Look to the past for lessons but don’t dwell there. We can plan for the future to some extent but allow yourself to be flexible and work to your own timelines, not ones that other people think you should meet
8. Don’t hold a grudge or be vengeful. Be big enough to acknowledge the part you have played and what lessons have presented themselves to you. Have the humility and grace to understand that your side of the actions are not always the right way
9. Don’t allow your judgement to be clouded by the opinions of others. Trust your own mind, and develop your own morals & values. Remember that people may not always tell the truth about you either
10. When someone shows you their true colours, believe them and take appropriate steps to protect yourself
11. Try to find small sparks of joy in each day
12. Let people know you care. Our time on earth is limited and precious
13. Grieving for loved ones will always be with you. We never get over grief, however over the years we learn to live with it and the pain does lessen over time
14. You can’t do everything and please everyone. You will find this exhausting
15. Pay as much attention to your mental health as you do your physical health
16. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, when you do, be aware that some people may be uncomfortable with what you say. Don’t let this deter you, it takes time to find your tribe and you will find them
17. Be kind to yourself and others at all times. Don’t let other people’s actions harden your heart
18. Help people without the expectation of them returning the favour, although be careful people don’t start to abuse your kindness
19. Never lose hope and always have faith in yourself and what you are capable of
20. Don’t be afraid to fail. There are many lessons to be learnt and it’s where some of our biggest growth happens. When we fail at something it allows us to start understanding who we are
If you have any lessons you would like to share I would love to hear them. Namaste.