Today is my birthday and I am 28 years old. I’ve been thinking about my life these past ten years and how many changes that have happened. Graduating from high school, college, meeting the Sgt and moving in together, losing my dad, getting married and beating cancer. It’s been a very full decade and I’m leaving out some smaller and more private changes!
I’ve been thinking about what I would tell my younger self if I could. What I wish I had known at 18, other than buying Apple stock and what the winning lotto numbers were.
Let your light shine. You are awesome and when you let that awesomeness shine out brightly, people respond well to it. Embrace it, own it, wear it. That’s what confidence is and looks like.
The people who respond positively are your friends. And chances are, they’ll be very good friends. Those who react negatively aren’t your friends, even if they say or seem like they are. A good friend wants to help you shine out brighter than ever, not dim your light.
“No” is a complete sentence. I don’t have to explain or offer an excuse. If I need to be polite, “No, thank you” works. I can say no if I don’t want to. No one can make me do anything and declining doesn’t make me a wet blanket or a bitch.
On the flip side, say yes to something out of your comfort zone. The caveat to this one is, “but only if you really want to.” I’ve sometimes kept myself from trying or doing something that deep down, I really wanted to do but I was afraid of taking a risk. The fear was from appearing vulnerable, failing (especially in front of others) and possibly succeeding.
I asked around on Twitter and Facebook too and I got some good gems. Like this one from my step-father-in-law, “Add value to everyone else’s life. Yours will be incredible.” It’s about more than just doing unto others, it’s about thinking (and acting!) about how you can help someone else and make their life awesome. It’s adding your light to someone else’s.
From Em Dash Paper Company, “No one can tell how young you are, and your age doesn’t affect how awesome you are. Just own it.” The wonderful thing about being young is that you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Come to think of it, that’s true at any age.
What would you tell your younger self if you could?