Note to My Younger Self
Not too long ago, I used to beat myself up for my missteps in the past, failing to realize that I didn’t know better and that I acted based on the information I had at the time. I started to note some of those things gradually and decided to collate it all into article. These are things I wish I knew and took advantage of when I was younger. Some will argue that I’m still very young and indeed I am, although young is relative 🙂 . I’m still learning and some of these still ring true for me daily. Honestly, I knew some of this at face value but needed to experience for myself to get a full understanding. Nevertheless, the younger me and maybe today’s you could still do with some very helpful life lessons. Here goes:
- Do not be so hesitant and stop relying on others for permission to be you. Take more risks and trust your gut feeling. Don’t allow your emotions be heavily influenced by others and stop seeking validation from others, especially people who don’t matter. Your hesitation can sometimes come off as incompetence and could be misinterpreted wrongly.
- Trust your process. You cannot have it all figured out but in the meantime, play your part and watch things play out. Be patient with your growth, take advantage of your youth to explore your hobbies and interests. Go on adventures and learn as much as you can about the world around you. Life is all about seasons. Relax and enjoy the current phase you’re in and look forward to the next season without hurrying into it. It will come at its own time.
- Time is precious, and it waits for no one. Procrastination is a thief of time. There is nothing stopping you from doing that thing you are pushing till tomorrow or next week right now. Think long and hard on this one.
- Read! Read! Read! Fiction, motivational, self-help, informational, diaries, biographies and other non-fiction books. Reading opens your mind up to a new world and expands your knowledge. I cannot think of a disadvantage of reading. Spend less time on social media and more with your nose in a book.
- Pick your friends wisely and look out for people who share similar values and interests. You want friends who will encourage and build you up as opposed to leech friends who suck your energy and add little value to your life. Your good friends will form a part of your support system who will be there to see you through the difficult days. Bad friends can get you in trouble and waste your time.
- However, accept the fact that twenty friends cannot play for twenty years. Once you sense that a friend-ship has sailed, cut your losses, appreciate your cherished moments and move on. There is no point hanging around and trying to convince someone to let you back into their life when you have outgrown each other and no longer have much in common.
- The future is that – the future. Meaning it is yet to happen. Instead of worrying about the unknown, focus on living in the present and making the best of life as you know it. No one knows tomorrow and honestly tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone. It’ll be nice to look back on life without regrets so live boldly, freely and intentionally.
- You have the power to be who you want and do what you want. While it is important to sometimes look to others for support, you need to learn early on to make and defend your own decisions and bear the consequences of your actions without relying so much on others.
- Stop doubting yourself and be bold. This weakness will hold you back for a while but always remember that you are very smart and have a good head on your shoulders. Do not let fear control you especially in your early years. Do as many things you find your hand to and are interested in till you find your niche then hone it.
- Speak up for yourself! You are kindhearted and very trusting so be wary of people who will try to take advantage of you. You’re also very easy-going and non-confrontational but if someone does something you do not like, let them know and talk it out. Do not let water go under the bridge and walls be built before you sort it out when it may be too late. This will strengthen your relationships and save you from losing good friends.
- Immerse yourself in situations and activities that make you uncomfortable. That concert you would love to go to but can’t get any friend to go with you, go alone. Take yourself out. Volunteer for causes you care about. Volunteering is another way to get informal experience. This is especially helpful to assess certain jobs and determine if they’re a good fit for you. If you think you’re interested in something, take on a volunteer role first before jumping to a full-time job in it.
- You’re still young and are bound to make mistakes. Don’t be hard on yourself when you do. Mistakes are a part of life and they will happen as you don’t have everything figured out. Be sure to learn from your mistakes so you can bounce back from them.
None of this might be new to you but I hope it serves as a reminder. If some of it is new to you, I’m glad to have passed the message across 🙂