There are a few things I wish I could tell my younger self:
1. Don’t change who you are to please other people. Find someone you can be 100% yourself with. I promise, there is someone out there who will love you for being exactly who you are.
2. People are so focused on themselves that they don’t notice your flaws the way you do.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail.
4. People are going to judge you no matter what you do so do what makes you happy.
Yes, there is wisdom in aging. We learn the things we need to know through growing up, through trial and error. But darn if I didn’t wish I’d known a lot of these when I was younger. I wasted a lot of time on people, plans, and other things that ultimately weren’t worth it.
But again, those things taught me exactly what I needed to know. And it taught me the things I needed to grow.
The first one seems self-explanatory. Always be yourself, right? It seems super simple. But the number of times I pretended to like things or be someone else for a guy is insanely high. But one can only pretend for so long before your true self comes out. Plus, it just makes you, and ultimately, the other person, miserable.
Nick and I were talking about this the other day. Before him, I don’t think I was ever truly my 100% self with anyone else. Now I am my goofy, very badly singing and dancing, make-up words to every song self with him. I couldn’t imagine trying to be anyone else. Not anymore.
And number 2? It’s true. Think about it in your own life. We all have so many things going on in our own lives that we don’t have time to focus on anyone else’s. We’re the hardest on ourselves in every possible manner. Physically and in the decisions we make. And I can tell you that if someone else is judging you, that’s a them problem, not a you problem.
That ties into number 4. No matter what you do, you’re not going to please everyone. You’re going to be judged, in some way, shape, or form. So you may as well do what makes you happy. I think about this in my own life with starting CrossFit, for instance. I put it off because I let a friend convince me it was a cult and wouldn’t do any good. And now that I’ve been in it for 8 years, I wish I would have started a whole heckuva lot sooner!
Don’t put off doing something because of someone else’s opinion! They don’t live your life. They can’t decide whether it’s right for you. Only you can do that. So do what makes you happy. Do what makes sense in your life, for you.
Number 3 also seems self-explanatory, but when I was younger and people would ask me what I was afraid of, I would answer with failure. I was terrified of failing. There’s no telling what experiences I missed because of this. Because I was too scared of TRYING things thinking I would fail.
I’m glad I’ve changed my tune, though, because the many failures I’ve faced have led me to some of my greatest wins. Failing doesn’t mean it’s over. Failing isn’t the end. Failing simply teaches you what doesn’t work.
Never be afraid to fail. Never be afraid of trying something new. And do what makes you happy.
What’s something you’ve been putting off because you’re afraid? How can we help you overcome that hump? You deserve to do things that make you happy. You deserve to be happy.
Have a beautiful week!