Dear Teenage Self,
What a journey you are in for! I believe everything in life happens for a reason and without pain and struggle we do not have the desire to seek and improve. So my dear, everything in your life has happened just the way it was intended!
Don’t stress the small stuff - it’s all small stuff
Remember when you spent days stressing out about whether you should take year 10 Graphics or Japanese - because due to the time table clash you couldn’t do both? You were so worried that this one decision would impact your future career you even went to the Dean about it! Hehe! Guess what my darling, you didn’t end up utilizing either AND you still haven’t been to Japan! Guess it wasn’t that important after all! Like many things we feel stuck about at the time - everything has a resolution and the unnecessary stress we put ourselves under is just that - unnecessary. Learn to trust yourself more, go with your gut and know that you can always make changes to your decisions later.
Perfectionism is a hindrance not something to be proud of!
Remember when you wouldn’t let anyone see you with a bump in your hair? Or how you used to stay up till 3am finishing assignments to make them perfect? Or all the opportunities missed b/c you needed something to be perfect and it wasn’t? Well guess what?! You will soon learn that ‘done is better than perfect’ and that perfect actually doesn’t exist. You will be told that ‘things will evolve over time’. Therefore, it is better to get started on the journey with ‘good enough for now’- knowing that you can always add and tweak and evolve. And guess what?! You get it! You do this! And then life and opportunities and traction really get exciting!
Be kind to yourself
So often you were so super hard on yourself that if it had been someone else saying those things, it would have amounted to extreme bullying. While you had high standards which is commendable, you did yourself no favours in beating yourself up. You were so young, so eager, so determined and so disciplined. You deserved praise and love and yet you were so, so hard on yourself. I want you to know that you are loved, you are worthy and you are enough. The biggest lesson you will learn as you get older is that kindness is the key to life. Being kind to others lets your own heart soar. And kindness towards others will only come when you find kindness for yourself. You will learn to speak to yourself in the mirror with loving kindness, and this will parlay into your relationships with others. It is a beautiful cycle of positive, loving kindness. You just have to give it a try - it all starts with you!
Being busy is not the goal
For some reason at school the idea of being busy, participating in every single extracurricular activity, and proving that you could do it all was the goal. While you did adore 99% of the things you were participating in - school production, dance, theatre, rowing, netball, life saving, Duke of Edinburgh, World Vision, Young Enterprise, singing, working… phewy- it did take its toll! It left very little time for you to reflect and take charge of your mental health at times. You would have anxiety attacks and get sick because you were run down. Well guess what? As you got older and learned all about the body and how we are 100% responsible for our health, you learned to listen to your body. You learned when to rest and what to feed it in order to sustain you. You learned that busy was not the goal, but instead living purposefully based on what was most important to you was the goal. You learned that you can have it all, as long as you honor, love and look after your physical body and mindset through juice fasts, meditation, self-reflection and personal development. It’s OK, you end up doing real good!
Self love is the answer
When you were younger you did not have the tools to understand and care for yourself in the way you deserved to be cared for. You burnt out, struggled with anxiety and made yourself sick at times with worry. But you were very resourceful. You knew there was more. Your desire for experiencing the world to the extent of everything it offered lead you down the path of personal development. You invested $23K in a seven program package after you had just quit your job at the law firm and had a massive student loan and no job - because you believed. You believed in yourself and you LISTENED to your gut. You knew this was the right thing for you. You trusted yourself. And it was one of the most profound and important turning points in your life. Fast forward two years and you had travelled half the world, completed most of the courses, developed your sense of self confidence, purpose and joy, met incredible people, paid back your student loan in full (as well as the course), and started putting together the pieces of what would be a very successful business. Go you! You rock star!!!
So missy, relax, be kind, done is better than perfect and DON’T STRESS THE SMALL STUFF - because it’s all small stuff!
Brace yourself, it’s going to be one incredible ride!