“If you could travel back in time for a few hours and sit down with yourself as a teenager or young adult, what advice would adult you want to give younger you?”
It’s an interesting exercise to ask yourself that question. And it’s interesting to feel the emotions that come as you consider the way you’d answer that question.
Earlier this week I was speaking at a University to students and that question came up during Q&A. I shared with them a few of the things I’d want to tell my younger self if I was able to visit her back in college:
*Don’t be so hard on yourself and stop picking yourself apart in the mirror.
*Don’t ever be afraid to try – trying is how you are going to learn things that make you smarter, wiser, and stronger. And don’t worry about failing because it’s not a failure if you learned something that can make you better as you move ahead.
*It’s important to know that you can’t ever control an outcome, but you’ll always be in control of your efforts. So focus on giving your very best effort to everything you do and then trust that whatever the outcome, even the ones that seem disastrous in the moment, it is exactly the best outcome for you because it is the outcome that will lead you to the place you are actually meant to be…which by the way is a place that’s far more glorious than anything you have even begun to imagine yet. That I can promise.
*I need you to know that you are going to go through some hard things…actually, you’ll go through a lot of hard things….way more than you’ll want to have to go through….but I need you to know that you aren’t going to go through them alone. And during some of the darkest moments you’ll pass through you’ll be blessed to feel of the presence of Angels that are there with you, letting you know you aren’t alone and that you will get through those hard times.
*Not only will you get through the hard times, but one day you will look back at them with appreciation and recognize all of the valuable lessons they’ve taught you – how much smarter they made you, and the humility they provided you, and the way they increased your compassion and empathy for others, and a million other ways they refined you and make you into the person you were supposed to become.
*It truly is all going to be okay in the end…it’s going to be better than okay….it’s going to be AWESOME!!!!
After I’d shared the advice that “me today” would go back and tell “me back in college” I couldn’t help but realize how much “me today” benefited from having to think through that advice I’d give because deep down “me today” needed to hear it again too.
What advice would you give your younger self?
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )