Notes To My Younger Self
What advice would you give your younger self? What have you learnt on this strange journey called life? Read my article if you are feeling lost or if you just needs a good kick up the arse. Because you only have one life to live, so don’t be afraid to live it.
The one thing that I never want to have is deathbed regrets. To be quite honest, it is one of the main reasons that I bit the bullet and ventured into the fun yet fierce world of self-employment, where only the strong survive. I have a vision, a mission that was borne of both passion and experience. My sole purpose, my occupational raison d’être if you will, is to spare other women from the maddening frustration of trying to do it all and be it all that drove me to burnout.
It’s fighting for a worthy cause no doubt, but it’s a fight nonetheless. Fear and faith in equal measure. So much unknown and unknowable, seemingly so much at stake. This has all got me thinking about my youth, my future and the dreams of my past. What will people make of my life when all that’s left to remind them are grey hairs and scars.
I spent so long worrying about doing the right thing that I risked not doing anything. All those years wasted feeling insecure and fearful. I don’t have a time machine, nor a hotline to the past, but if I could talk to my younger self, I would say this.
It’s not what you are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
I suffer from that well known affliction of the first-born, Perfectionism. And whilst I would never dream of expecting perfection from others, I have a hard time not achieving it myself. That fear of not being good enough has held me back from so much. Better not to try, than to try and fail right? Wrong! I now view mistakes as learning opportunities, a chance to grow. Finally I know that the only things I truly regret in life are the things that I didn’t do.
So even if you make a fool of yourself, take risks. Do not be afraid to take an opportunity that might lead to the future you are currently only dreaming of. One thing is certain, if you do nothing then nothing will change.
Don’t be so prescriptive with your life.
Boxes are neat, but people are not meant to live in them. My penchant for all things organised extends far too far sometimes. I have a limited ability at times to see beyond the ordered and expected way things should go. If you manage projects, then you are a project manager and thus you always shall be. Not so! You are able to be whoever and whatever you choose to be. If you want to be employed, then be employed. If you want to run a business, then run a business. If you want to do both, then by golly why not?! You do not have to be or do only one thing. After all, there is no one way to be successful. There isn’t a right or a wrong way, there is only your way. Success means such different things to different people, that you should be the one to define it for yourself.
I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
Fear is NOT your friend.
Do not believe those dark voices that tell you that you can’t or that you’re not good enough. Balls to that! You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Those voices do not serve to protect you from big mistakes or from embarrassing failures. Instead they keep you from your greatest triumphs, by discouraging you from even trying. Base your key decisions on facts, not your feelings. If in doubt, use The Court Case Technique. It’s simple and you’ve probably been doing it already without realising it. All you have to do is:
- Write down the negative thoughts that are troubling you.
- Look for evidence to support the validity of the thoughts – but here we only deal in facts. So thoughts, opinions and feelings don’t count.
- Look for evidence against the thoughts ( remember to focus on fact vs opinion, based on previous experience).
- Sum all the evidence and conclude on balance (“Even though I…”).
Turn your wounds into wisdom.
Continue to be unapologetically ambitious.
Who told you that you cannot have it all? Well annoyingly, they were right. But, you can still dream BIG. She who dares, wins after all! If you aim for the sky and hit the trees, you are still doing better than most. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to pull down the stars and the moon for yourself. If you are prepared to work hard, then you have every right to live the life that you dream of. But do you know what your dream is? Are you living it or at least on the way there?
It’s not your job to save the world.
It’s all going to hell in a handbasket anyway, and there is very little that we can do to stop it. So don’t worry about it unduly. Do what you can, where you can. The rest has to be up to God if you are a believer, or the universe or whatever, but it’s definitely not down to you. Repeat after me:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
What you do to make yourself happy and to impact the lives of others around you, now that is something that you can control. Are you fulfilled in your life? Do you spend enough hours joyful, productive and contented? If not, you’d better have good reason. It is nobody else’s responsibility to make you happy but you. So what are you going to do about it?
Find out who you are and do it on purpose.
At Aurora Wellness we are all about self-improvement & productivity. To discover ways in which you can maximise your full potential and learn skills to grow your business, contact us for information about our online productvity programmes for female entrepreneurs.
Click here to get a copy of the Aurora Reflection & Projection Guide 2019, to help you set winning goals!
With over 15 years of management experience behind me I love to see women succeed at work and home. When I'm not doling out advice, I can be found sitting mute on the sofa watching tv with my husband or refereeing fights between my two kids.