We asked the YOU-community to share a piece of advice they’d tell their younger self. A part of life is to make mistakes and learn from them, to have ups and downs and realize later what you could have said, thought, or done differently. No regrets – simply recognizing the advice you could have used earlier so you can live better now.

We’re all on our own journey through life. Yet, we found that we learn many of the same lessons. Most of the advice boiled down to these three:

Advice #1 – “Stop worrying”

Advice #1: Stop worrying

Don’t worry too much. Things will get better. This too will pass. Dwelling on it doesn’t help – it just gets you down. People don’t really think about you as much as you think they do. Many people wanted to tell their younger versions to tone down the worrying, like Hannah here:

“I don’t even know where to begin with this. I spent all of my childhood and my teenage years, and most of my 20s, worrying. Was I smart enough? Pretty enough? Skinny enough? Good enough? Would I make anything of myself? Did I have enough money saved? Does admiring a woman make me a lesbian? Is my diet ok? Do I exercise enough? Did I work hard enough?
I wish I’d had CBT sooner and learnt to let things go. I have spent much of my life afraid, depressed and feeling like the odd one out. The peace I’ve found with myself over the last year or two is so welcome.
I’d tell myself to stop worrying. You can offer more than a size or a weight. You can spend a little on having some fun. You are smart, you’re attractive, people like you because you’re kind and funny. Cake is good, starvation is bad, and you are more than good enough.
-Hannah, UK

Advice #2 – “Live the present moment”

Advice #2: Live the present moment
Instead of worrying – we’d tell our starry-eyed younger selves dreaming of large wealth, sky-rocketing careers and wedding days from Vogue to live in the present, and enjoy the moment (incidentally, this is also heavily supported by the science of happiness, read e.g. Dr Sonya Lyubomirsky’s research and book on “The Myths of Happiness”). Here’s Marind’s story:
“[I’d say:] Live the present moment wisely… And if everything else fails, live while you can.
I tended to be competitive and workaholic – it became an addiction … I ended up not taking care of “ME”.
If I hadn’t changed my attitude towards life and didn’t look after myself I could have ended up the “Sandra” of this Barry Manilow song:
“She’s a great little housewife
Though sometimes she talks like a fool
But she helps at the store in the holiday rush
And she picks up the kids after school …

She says, I swear I love my husband, I love my kids
I wanted to be like my mother
But if I hadn’t done it as soon as I did
Oh, there might have been time to be me for myself, for myself

There’s so many things that she wishes
She don’t even know what she’s missin’
And that’s how she knows that she missed …”

-Marind, Australia

Advice #3 – “Be yourself”

Advice #3: Be yourself

Thirdly, we’d like to advise our younger versions (and often also our current selves) to drop the masks and just be ourselves. Because you are enough. What you say, think, feel, do, matters. You may make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Your “faults” make you beautiful.

“I was very insecure growing up, so I think I’d have lots to say to little me. Something like this might just do:
Be yourself – embrace your differences! They make you unique and very awesome!
Dance more and do it often! You’ll find you’re pretty good and we have tons of fun doing it!
Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and tell others what’s on your mind. You are a very intelligent girl.
Reeeeeelax! Enjoy the time you spend doing things for you and don’t beat yourself up for everything. You’re doing the best you can and that’s good enough.
Keep smiling, and treat others with respect. It’ll open doors to friendships and you’ll meet a ton of amazing people thanks to it.
And don’t be so stubborn… trust me, when you’re older you’ll wish you would’ve heard all this.
-Monica, Mexico

What would you tell a younger version of yourself? Have something to add or just want to drop us a line? Write it in the comments below or reach out to us at [email protected].

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