Four Pieces of Advice I’d Give to My Younger Self

Start with having faith in yourself.

You will always be graduating

When I look back at my younger self I feel great appreciation for her courage and determination. Life gave her many obstacles to overcome. Some were of her own making, some beyond her control, others thrown into her path by well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people. I would tell her that setbacks, delays and heartbreaks are more than offset by the wisdom she will gain from her experiences. To make her journey more enjoyable I would add four pieces of advice.

Trust Yourself

It’s tempting to believe someone out there has the answers, an authority figure that can show you the way. There are experts who can give you direction, techniques, know-how and the benefit of their experiences. But true authority resides within you, the instinct that warns you when you are in danger, and when you are on the right track. Take time to think before you make decisions. Gather all the information you need, and then act. Whatever happens, have no regrets. Whatever mistakes you make, you will learn from them.

Do Your Best (But Not Always)

Trying to do your best all the time is bound to lead to frustration and anger. The only person you have to please is yourself, so balance your desire to achieve with having fun. And be selective about your time. Excellence requires focus. Take a break when you feel overwhelmed, talk with someone who can encourage you to persevere through self-doubt and fears. Mediocrity is easy, which is why there is so much of it. Reaching your full potential requires that you forgo shortcuts, no matter how appealing they seem at the time. The wrong choice is always easy at first, and then it gets difficult. The right choice is difficult at first, and then it not only gets easy, it’s exhilarating.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Your body is the vehicle for your soul. Treat your body with affection. Exercise. Sleep. Eat moderately. Don’t say yes when you need to say no to what is not good for you. If you do give in, correct quickly. Don’t block your emotions with food, alcohol, drugs or entanglement with people who sap your energy. When you overextend, retreat to recharge, without feeling guilty. Feel and express your anger before it festers into resentment. Otherwise, you will develop chronic bodily ailments no doctor can cure.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Laugh Frequently

Negativity is no match for humor. When you can laugh at worst-case scenarios, those raging in the outside world as well as inside yourself, you will be immune to others’ gloom and doom predictions. Tune out those who do everything except look inside for the source of their problems. When you are criticized, consider the critic. Instead of assuming they are right and you are wrong, ask yourself if he or she has achieved what you are trying to do. Does this person want the best for you? Or are they secretly envious? How you feel after you are around people will tell you who is a true ally.

Develop a Spiritual Life

There are many paths to God. Find the one that enlarges your spirit. Meditate, pray, and be open to what life is teaching you. You are here to become who you were designed to be. Have compassion for the struggle that is part of the human condition, your own as well as others. Learn from those whose lives demonstrate the truth of what they say. Ignore the rest. Most of all appreciate and love you.

Funny thing is, this is the advice I’d give myself today.

Originally published at medium.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


In Praise of Older Women

by Sarah Blick

What advice would you give your younger self?

by Danielle Fuligni

Advice For My Younger (and not so younger) Self

by Kylie Dunn

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.