I know life has been difficult to say the least. Life has thrown many things at you that you do not know how to handle. Believe me when I say- you will get through it. You are beautiful, strong and capable of many wonderful things.
My 20’s have taught me a lot and I will strive to keep learning as I am approaching my 30’s. Here are a few things I wish I knew when I was your age. These will take time but being patient and compassionate with yourself will get you there.
Let things go.
You will overthink everything and worry too much about what others think of you. Some thoughts will be hard to let go. It may be a thought about how you think someone does not like you or that nothing will ever get better. The thoughts we have can become stories we tell ourselves. Just because we think it, does not make it true. Ask yourself, “what evidence or facts prove this to be true?”
Feelings are not facts. You will feel as if you are not good enough or you are not able to become someone that you are proud of. These feelings can and will pass. Allow them to go. Believe me when I say- you will do greater things than you can imagine and have an impact on many people’s lives doing what you love.
Know what keeps you grounded.
Schedule time for yourself and self-care needs. When struggling to regulate your emotions- write it out, ask for help, move your body, listen to music, pet an animal. Google ‘healthy coping skills’ and try one out. Know what allows you to be in the present moment to calm your mind. When you are present- you won’t be worrying about tomorrow or yesterday. Try asking yourself- what do I need in this exact moment? Be gentle with yourself and speak to yourself like would speak to your best friend. Feed your mind with love, hope and kindness.
Strive to be real, not perfect.
There will be a great degree of pressure to look and act a certain way to feel accepted. Falling into this trap will only have you living for others and not for yourself. Focus on what makes you truly happy and remember your body shape and size does not define you. The people who belong in your life will love the real you.
Being weird and different takes much more bravery yet whole lot less effort than trying to be like everyone else. Do you. This quote has recently stuck out to me when I catch myself comparing myself, “You can admire someone else’s beauty without questioning you own.”
Do not let people walk all over you.
Unfortunately, people will say mean or hurtful statements to you, know this- it is a reflection of how THEY feel on the inside. Try not to take it personally or anything for that matter. If someone does get to you, let the person know how they made you feel or talk to someone you trust about it. People are going through their own struggles and unaware of how they are affecting those around them.
Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Be strong and set boundaries with others. This may look like not saying ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’ or saying “I will think about it and get back to you” when someone asks you to commit to something. Setting boundaries also includes asking for your needs and wants. It will feel scary and vulnerable but it is essential for your well-being. Practice communicating firmly and respectfully. Be unapologetic for having needs. They are valid.
Focus on the things you can control and be aware of what you cannot.
The words and behaviors of others, others opinions, mistakes you have made in the past are not in your control. You can, however, control how YOU respond.
Be okay with making mistakes and learn from them.
If you make a mistake, remember you are only human. Mistakes teach us how to do better the next time. You will fail. Be ok with this and remember it is better to fail than to have never tried. As Michael Jordan said “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” Make a plan and never give up on your goals. Trust in yourself because you are worth it.
Give yourself time to heal.
You will get your heart broken more than once and when this happens, let yourself heal. This will be one of the hardest things to do but in order to move forward you need to allow yourself to feel your emotions. Cry if you need to. Its healthy and okay to cry. Distracting yourself can be helpful but it is only a temporary fix. Honor what the relationship gave you. Reflect on how you can become a better person from the experience.
When you are grieving, do not be scared to cut ties with those you need to. Do what you need to do, for you to move forward. Be patient and gentle with yourself in the process.
Love yourself and be kind to others.
Life is hard and scary but you are strong and the sky is the limit. Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable. I am so proud of you.
Your Older and Wiser Self