This week on the Today Show’s Kathy Lee and Hoda the following question was posed: What advice do you have for your younger self? I considered the things I’ve experienced over the last 20 years that I could have avoided, and recognized some of the things I tell my 18-year-old daughter today are the lessons I needed to pay attention to when I was her age. I wish the older me DID visit the younger me back then! I could have saved myself a whole lot of trouble!
Knowing what I know now, I would give my 19-year-old self the following advice:
- Fear not. The world is big, but any mistake that you make is not going to tilt the earth off of its axis or start World War III. Don’t be afraid try something new. Your “safe place,” your “comfort-zone” is not as safe and comfortable as you think. It’s a coffin. It’s stifling. Get out! Be fearless and try new things!
- The word ‘no’ is your friend. You don’t have to be everyone’s “yes woman.” Say no if you don’t want to do something. You don’t need to give a reason. Just say, “No.”
- Be confident. You know what you are capable of doing! Don’t doubt yourself! Don’t let anyone plant doubt in your mind! You don’t have to own their disbelief in you! You also don’t have to prove to them who you are!
- Be yourself. Know yourself. This goes back to point number three. You know what you like and what you don’t like. You know what you need and what doesn’t serve you well. You are only obligated to change those things if you find that they are not helping you grow. You don’t need anybody else’s approval to be you
- Surround yourself with people who will help you grow. Be around smart, ambitious, forward moving people. Observe their habits. Learn from their mistakes. Their good qualities will rub off on you. You good qualities will rub off on them.
- Be limitless. You don’t have to subscribe to the beliefs and habits of one group. Don’t be a stereotype! Don’t listen to one type of music, read one type of book, watch one type of movie. Explore! Learn! Grow!
- You have a voice, learn how to use it. You have the power to affect change. Learn how and when to speak. Learn when to let your silence do the talking.
- Listen. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Observe. Think before you speak. Get all the facts. Just remember, you don’t have to share everything you know.
- Stay close to God. He is your source, strength and provider. Pray about the big and little things. Listen for that still small voice to guide you and take heed to what He says.
- Get out of your way! Quit talking yourself out being the best that you can be just because it looks like hard work. The process may be challenging, but you will survive it and be glad that you went through the process when you see the fruits of your hard work and determination.