Dear Younger Self,
I remember when I used to walk the streets with such an agile gait, ready to take on the world. In my mind, I had everything figured out. I knew what I wanted out of life and devised a plan - nothing would stand in my way.
But life has since humbled me in more ways than one. I'm not as young as you are, of course. I've since slowed down my pace, which means I've gained some pearls of wisdom. I'm also reflecting on how I've done things and conducted myself over the years. So even though I cannot turn the hand of time and undo certain things, I would be remiss not to pass down my knowledge to you, my younger self.
So, in my wisdom, this is what I would like you to know.
Follow Your Heart
Instead of rationalising things, scrutinising and overthinking everything, I urge you to listen to your heart. How you may ask - by taking time for silence. Because when you're unsure about certain decisions and do not know which course of action to take, even after dissecting every possibility, listening to your heart and your gut usually turns out to be the right thing to do.
Making bold decisions without concrete evidence is often scary and a vulnerable place to be. But when you train yourself to listen to your sixth sense and take more chances instead of waiting for things to happen, hoping they work in your favour, you will find the courage to take those leaps of faith. The results, I often find, surprise you in the most pleasant ways.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Becoming comfortable with being comfortable happens to the best of us. You may be operating in your comfort zone because it is familiar. Perhaps you have been in that place for a while, which means you now know how to navigate the challenges you often encounter. But as the adage goes, nothing grows out of your comfort zone.
Human beings are meant to evolve. We are meant to challenge ourselves to grow and become the best version of ourselves. I appreciate that daring to venture into a new territory opens you up to failure and scrutiny, but ask yourself this - what is the worst that could happen? Would you rather try and fail than regret it?
How will you know what you can achieve if you don't dare try?
So, shift your fearful mindset, cast fear and doubt aside, and go after your heart's desires. Travel the world, write that book, and start that business if that is what your heart and mind tell you. Your growth may come with some losses. Remember that. You may lose friends and relationships, but that is OK. All it means is that they were not meant to be a part of your journey. So, dare to take that step, leave your comfort zone, and explore what else God has in store for you.
Remain True to Yourself
In a world constantly trying to mould our behaviour and way of thinking by what it feeds to us, it has become a challenge to remain true to who we are at our very core. But do whatever it takes to be authentic, presenting yourself as you are. Always be honest with people. Do not dwell on what people think of you, for they, too, are wondering what you think about them. But, without being imposing, never hide or compromise your values, beliefs and principles for acceptance because that is a recipe for disaster. Instead, control the narrative by owning your story.
That's not to say there's never room for growth and improvement. On the contrary, you can and should allow yourself, through learning and understanding, room to grow and realise things about yourself that may cause you to change and shift your perspective and how you conduct yourself. That is what makes for real growth and development.
Lastly, avoid being fake. Always present the most accurate, best version of yourself. Because when people discover your fakeness, they will feel betrayed and reject you. Wouldn't you want to know that the people in your life like you for you and not who they think you are? Wouldn't you want to know that you got that job because the people who interviewed you saw the real you and not what you thought they wanted to see?
Check out my video below :)