I was writing a letter to my younger self as a reflection exercise, and midway through realised I was really writing for me, now, present time. All of my advice to myself is highly relevant. The big lessons are the hardest to learn, the hardest to transform into action. Somehow thinking about my 16 year old self, allowed me to access the things I need to be thinking about right now.
I want to share with you what I wrote, in the hope it will inspire you to do the same.
You’re wonderful. Really. Just the way you are. The sooner you start believing in that, the sooner your growth trajectory will explode. You’ll put yourself out there more. You’ll try things. Have more incredible experiences. This is important. You learn by doing. By experiencing things. So get out from behind the laptop and the textbooks. Don’t stay small because you’re scared. Get out and do what you want. I can tell you as your future self that you’re fine. It all turns out fine. The worst that can happen is pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things. Perspective is a wonderful thing. Cultivate it.
Life is not all or nothing. A bad day or moment doesn’t mean you’ve failed at something. No matter how long it takes, as long as you pick yourself back up again, you are winning at life. You get to decide what winning at life looks like and I say choose to win small and frequently. Big wins will the come as an automatic consequence.
Lose control. I know, I know! This is so far outside of our sphere – control and order is where we live. It’s powerful to realise letting go of the reins doesn’t cause the world to implode. That knowledge will allow you to take risks. Start small, talking to a stranger. For control freaks, taking risks is a muscle that needs to be built up and exercised. So again, small and frequent. Then when the time comes, you’re ready to take big risks. So call the boys, take the dance class, commit to more than you think you have time for and stretch yourself.
I want you to know you are destined for great things. Keep following what you enjoy and keeps you motivated. The rest does follow, just like you believe it does. So you are on the right track even though you don’t see the path yet. You can always end up where you’re meant to be.
There’s a lot of life lesson stuff here. It’s a little intense. On a lighter note, have fun. A lot of fun. Squeeze the most out of life. Sitting around waiting isn’t your style so embrace that side of you.
Lastly, always remember you are more beautiful than you see, smarter than you realise, more fun than you give yourself credit and 100% deserving of achieving all of your dreams.
Love always, Sara.
What advice would you give your ten year younger self? Take a pen, write without editing, surprise yourself. Which piece of advice is still valid today? Tell us in the comments below!
This post was first published in July 2016. It has been updated for July 2017.