My lovely friend, Mindy Tsonas of the Wishstudio, asked me to write a letter a few months ago to a special young woman about to venture into the scary (and exciting) world of adulthood. I really enjoyed the process of reflecting on what I would say to a younger version of myself—and think you may enjoy tackling a similar project. Below is my letter with 18 guideposts.
What would you write to someone about to start a new journey in their life? I would love for you to share your own guidepost(s)!
I am delighted to share with you a few tips or helpful lessons I’ve learned over the past 26 years. Many of these tips serve as guideposts for me as I continue to struggle and wonder through different phases of life. I hope that some resonate with you as you begin to navigate this magical new phase of your own life.
18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey
- It’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to wear (and own) your imperfections, and to fall flat on your face – as long as you keep reaching out for support and maintaining the courage to put one foot in front of the other.
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Learn to say no as much as you say yes. Less is more. Replace “Could I do more?” with “Would I like to do more?”.
- Mistakes are powerful gifts. Don’t leave the lessons within them concealed – gently unwrap a mistake to gain the wisdom within its rough exterior.
- Ask why before you ask how. Intention is required to create your compass.
- Action deflates fear – always.
- Recycle. Don’t fix what’s not broken. Reuse what’s worked before.
- Trust your intuition. Resist second-guessing.
- “Success” cannot be defined by others or even put into the hands of others for evaluation. If left unguarded, your success could be taken away at any moment. If you equate success with your intrinsic worth (even subconsciously), then you will be left broken apart.
- Be more proactive and less reactive – to better align your reality with your vision.
- Attempting to avoid negative events and situations proves an exercise in futility – negative things happen to everyone. However, adversity can often provide an opportunity to strengthen character, deepen emotional fortitude, and increase your overall sense of self and self-worth. These life lessons can only come when you decide to channel through difficult circumstances while relying on the gift of embracing self-empowerment.
- Time and energy are not equal. Improve their interaction by learning their unique characteristics.
- Don’t get stuck within the details. Whisper to yourself the words of Terri St. Cloud: She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.
- Remember to breathe.
- By acknowledging when you don’t know the answers and shed light on your vulnerabilities, you are creating space for your authentic self to live wholeheartedly and courageously. We learn the most about ourselves from the moments in which we let down our guard and admit, “I don’t know all the answers. I am uncertain and that’s okay. How can I transform this experience from one of self-doubt to one of self-compassion?”
- When the journey gets tough, remember the words of Margaret Thatcher: You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
- Gratitude is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.
- Greatness is never achieved. It is something you must intrinsically bestow upon yourself.