If I Could Give Advice To My Younger Self,
I Would Say…
We all have love-hate relationships. We love chips and salsa; we hate the scale. We love LeBron; we hate that he ever left for Miami. And we all purport to hating clichés, yet usually secretly love when they come true.
The cliché of “hindsight is 20-20” is so…true. What would I tell my younger self? What advice would I give to past me, having the luxury of knowing what has happened over the course of my life to date?
I’d simply start by offering loving reassurance. As young girls, most of us were devoid of any confidence based upon the striking realization that we had no idea where we belonged. Or, more specifically, where we would belong someday. There was no assurance. Were we supposed to grow up and be a wife? Stay single? Move to another city? Be a stay-at-home mom or enter a male-dominant workforce?
At least that’s the exact advice I would give to my younger self: Yes you can.
You can do the things that inspire you, which move you, the things you are passionate about and you were meant to do. And, pay attention, hear this part loud and clear – unapologetically. There is zero reason to ever apologize for being true to self. Nor is there reason to apologize for trying to figure out who that self is and failing – for good decisions come from experience, and experience…well, that comes from wrong decisions.
I’ve always been a doer. A competitor. A totally cliché, “Type-A” individual who has consistently been asked, “Man, do you ever sit still? “Why are you like that?” “Do you think you are trying to avoid something by keeping so busy?” My younger self answered those questions while simultaneously feeling like a guilt-stricken loser. My today self doesn’t bother.
I would advise my younger self to tune out those questions because someday the realization will finally hit that they are only posed by the equivalent of jealous 7th grade girls. Further, to younger me I would promise that being persecuted by said haters will all be worth it someday, much like every tough experience, struggle, and insecurity will be. That those situations will try with every ounce of the strength which we allow them to have, to break you – but don’t let them. Don’t you ever, ever, ever give up because confidence is actually a beautiful thing.
Lastly, I would give ‘ol younger self a big, fat hug and a smile from an older, wiser self who, unapologetically, knows exactly who she is – along with a reminder that it’s always easier to fail and be mediocre than to take a risk and be great.
Don’t be sorry – be great.
– Beth Schrader, Sr. Content Management Sales at Imaging Office Systems –
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