Have you ever been asked or heard someone ask the question, “what advice do you have for your younger self?”
I’m sure you have.
Well… have you ever actually thought about the answer?
If you haven’t, I’d challenge you to do so.
Because even though you can’t go back in time and change the trajectory of your life with the information, if you’re big on mentorship like I am, you CAN use that information and those lessons to empower others who need it.
With that being said, I’m going to share with you the top 5 pieces of advice for my younger self.
Keep reading to check it out.
Top advice for my younger self
Start before you’re ready
“Just be patient, and wait for the right time.”
That’s common advice.
Problem is, it’s not great advice.
In fact, I think it’s horrible advice.
Now, to be clear, I’m NOT advocating for flying by the seat of your pants and living recklessly – that’s just a dumb.
But, what I’m saying is that I’ve lived enough life to know that, when it comes to taking risks and going after what you want, there’ll never be a “right time.”
There will always be an excuse or 5 if you allow there to be.
If you’re like me, you want your ducks to be in a row before you take action.
But, again, them damn ducks aren’t ever going to line up perfectly.
And if you wait for them to be before you take action, you’re going to be one of the people who look back on your life with regret, wondering “what if?”
So, the first piece of advice I’d give myself is to start before you’re ready.
One of the biggest differences between highly successful and unsuccessful people is the willingness to take the leap.
They were willing to get off the fence of indecision, and get their asses in the game.
By waiting for the “right time,” which means that you’re waiting for things outside of yourself to be right, you’re training yourself to NOT trust your own intuition.
So, when it comes to taking leaps of faith in your life, trust yourself. That’d probably be advice 1b. It’s so important.
Stop sitting around waiting for everything to be perfect or right, and start taking action NOW!
Quit trying to be so damn perfect
Alright…. It’s confession time.
I’m blessed to say that I’ve never had to sit in an alcohol or drug recovery circle and admit my issues with those things (although, if you have, there’s no shame in that, and I am here to support you the best I can if you need it.).
But, one circle I’d definitely be sitting in if it existed is perfectionists anonymous.
I like to tell people that I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Notice I said “recovering” and not recovered – I still have my struggles. Ha.
But seriously, trying to be perfect has caused me so much stress and anxiety over the years.
I’m convinced that it’s part of the reason I’m 32 with more grey hair than my dad!!!
Perfectionism will wear your butt out.
And the dumbest part, is that we know perfect ain’t possible anyways!
Yet, there are so many people just like me who struggle with it every day.
If you’re one of those people, definitely reach out – I’d love to help you overcome that, because it seriously can rob you of joy in your life.
For me, my perfectionism was rooted in the limiting stories I had inside about who I was and who I was meant to be.
The fact that my parents were high school dropouts and we struggled financially growing up created a sense of perfectionism in my school and work lives.
Being the youngest of 5 (plus one adopted), created another level of perfectionism so I could stand out and feel loved.
And it showed up in so many other areas of my life.
The problem though, is that when you’re a perfectionist, enough is NEVER enough.
You almost feel this sense of anxiety that you’ve gotta keep pushing and keep achieving, because you don’t want to be judged.
And it’s a shitty way to live.
So, if you’re like me, and you’ve struggled or are struggling with perfectionism, ask yourself why you’re that way.
Who’s standard are you trying to live up to? Or, what pain are you trying to avoid?
And, one last thing about perfectionism is that it leads to procrastination.
Because good enough is typically never good enough for the perfectionist, you never finish the project, submit the book proposal, or show off the physical transformation.
Again… not a good place to be.
So, if you’re there, start doing the work necessary to stop it!
Let me know, and we’ll start a legit Perfectionists Anonymous group! Ha
Chase YOUR dreams – not the ones others have for you
I know that, if you’ve kept up with my content for any length of time, I sound like a broken record with the chase your dreams talk.
But, it’s because I’m that freakin’ passionate about it.
So, *** SPOILER ALERT *** it ain’t gonna stop!
Seriously though, if I really could go back and talk to my younger self, I’d tell him, “dude, most of these people have your best interest at heart, but they don’t get the dream that’s burning inside of you.”
And you know what I’d also tell him? That it’s okay that they don’t.
Oh, and that at the end of the day, only ONE person is going to have to answer to his dreams, and that’s him!
Here’s the deal… the vast majority of people aren’t chasing THEIR dreams. They’re living out someone else’s plan for their life.
Their parents. Their spouse. Or whoever else.
That’s the reason only 3 out of 10 people said in a recent study that they were happy.
What’s a quicker way to unhappiness than to deny yourself your goals and dreams in exchange for the mediocre and mundane life someone else reserved for you?
That’s like giving up your table at YOUR favorite restaurant to go to a reservation that someone else made for you at a restaurant you absolutely hate!
I get it… we don’t like disappointing people.
But the reality is, the people who love you the most, are going to be there to support you no matter what you choose to do (assuming it’s legal and ethical of course. ;)).
Do sacrifices have to be made in life? Sure!
But your goals and dreams don’t have to be the things that get sacrificed.
That’s a recipe for being one of those 7 of 10 people who are unhappy.
Think about your life as your favorite food dish – if you take away 1 key ingredient in that dish, you’re likely going to notice.
But, it may still be good.
But you go and take 3 or 4 key ingredients away, and it’s not even the same dish. And it’s damn sure NOT your favorite dish anymore.
That’s how your life is.
When you start trading in your goals, dreams, and aspirations for the things that others have reserved or desire for you, you’re taking the recipe of your life, and completely changing it.
That’s why getting clarity is so important.
So, to my younger self, you’re allowed to politely say “thanks, but no thanks” to those well intentioned reservations for your life, and go chase YOUR dreams!
Because, like they say, the ones who’ll care, don’t matter, and the ones who matter, won’t care!
Own your truth
This one here is a little personal for me.
So much of my life was about ignoring or trying to suppress things about myself in order to fit in or feel accepted.
I always felt like an outlier growing up – like I didn’t fit in with any one group.
Too smart for the jocks, too dumb for the nerds, too much of a goody goody for the partiers, etc.
I was one of those “cut from a different cloth” and “wise beyond your years” type of kids.
And you know what? I HATED IT!
I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to fit in damnit!
I wanted to feel normal and accepted by my peers.
And you know where that got me? In a bunch of shallow friendships and relationships with all the wrong people.
Well… at least until I decided to hell with that life, and became a total hermit who stayed home and worked out 2 ½ hours every day.
Yea, those body results everyone was raving about, that’s the dark truth behind where they came from.
And the worst part of it all, was that I spent so long trying to change who I was, that I actually ended up forgetting who I was.
Like at my core. Who the REAL Justin was.
That cut from a different cloth and wise beyond his years kid.
And to bring it full circle for the sake of this article, that led me down the path of pursuing other’s visions for my life.
Hear me when I say this… OWN YOUR DAMN TRUTH!
The real you!
You were created the way you are for a reason. It’s because you’re meant to affect change in other people’s lives as you are.
Does that mean you can’t change things about yourself that you don’t like? Hell no!
If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. But change it because you WANT TO, not in order to fit in, be accepted by others, or to make others happy.
And owning your truth also goes for taking a stand for what you want for your life.
If you desire wealth. Great, own it.
If you don’t want a spouse or children even though everyone in your family wants that for you. Great, own it!
Whatever you desire to be, do, and have in your life, own it, and build your life upon that.
If you do, you can’t go wrong.
Invest in yourself and life you desire
Okay… so it turns out that the Perfectionists Anonymous isn’t the only circle I’d be sitting in.
My younger self would’ve definitely been sitting in the Frugal Fannies Anonymous circle as well.
Hell, in some people’s opinion (my wife!), I’d still be sitting in there. But that’s besides the point.
The truth is, because of our hardships financially growing up, financial security became the idol of my heart.
Come hell or high water, I was going to make sure that my kids didn’t have to struggle the way we did at times growing up.
And that thought process created a very unhealthy relationship with money.
It also created a cost mindset inside of me. Meaning that, any money that I spent was gone. I couldn’t see things as an investment with a ROI (return on investment).
Therefore, I didn’t invest! And I tried to hoard my money, thinking that if I just kept the little bit I had close to me, then at least I knew I had that much.
But, we all know life has a way of happening. And in a pretty quick clip, that safety net you built could be gone.
So, regardless of whether you’re trying to hold it close to the vest doing nothing with it, or investing it into growing yourself and creating your dream life, your money is going to go somewhere.
And that’s a fact!
That’s why one of the best pieces of advice I’d have for my younger self would be to start investing in his dreams as early and often as possible.
Again, you’ve gotta use common sense, and not put yourself in dire straits.
But, going back to what we talked about at the beginning of this article, if you’re waiting for the “right time” to invest in yourself and your dream life, good luck!
Because it ain’t coming.
So, whether it’s books, educational programs, coaches and mentors, or whatever else, you’ve gotta invest in yourself.
You are your greatest asset. But, you’ll only ever be as good as you’re willing to invest in yourself to be.
Putting it all together
There you have it – those are the top 5 pieces of advice I’d have for my younger self.
The list would be so much longer, but I didn’t want to bore you to tears.
Now, I want to know your lessons.
What pieces of advice would you have for your younger self?
What are those lessons that, if you got to do it all over again, you know would’ve made things so much different?
Drop a comment below and let me know.
And, just know this, regardless of what stage of life you’re in right now, it’s never too late to start implementing that advice.
P.S. If you’re seeking additional clarity in your life and career, click here to download my Ultimate Clarity Guide. This will help you gain the clarity you NEED in order to create the life you WANT.