If I only knew this before…

I remember being that stubborn girl, arms crossed, face scrunched up thinking I-knew-better.

Refusing to learn from other people’s mistakes. Thinking I could figure it all out on my own. Carving my own path.

I was driven, focused and ambitious.

A girl with a plan.

In pursuit of money and recognition with my confidence weighing on outside validation. Running on the never ending treadmill of needing to prove myself to others.

In my twenties, I thought I had to have a plan for my entire life. Loading up the pressure on myself to fit the mould of what I thought others expected of me.

Sure that brought me some impressive external results, but it cost me joy, fulfillment, expansion, and play. I lost myself in the never ending pursuit of validation, money and external achievements.

I remember at thirty, my daughter was born and I looked into her beautiful grey eyes and cried.

This life I created for myself, the successful career, the healthy bank account, husband, million dollar home, new baby and three dogs were everything I ever wanted and yet I still felt something was missing.

What exactly, I wasn’t totally sure, but I knew it was my duty to go find out what it was. I knew I had a calling to be more. I knew I was meant to do something big in the world.

In that moment I realized that I had a strong desire that could no longer be ignored. I knew it was my time. I wanted to pave the way for my daughter to live a life of passion and fulfillment and I felt it was up to me to lead by example. To demonstrate how to live a life building my own dreams, not somebody else’s. And that I could make great money following my passion… and so could she.

That pursuit led me to a lot of realizations.

The biggest being this…

Suffering and a lack of fulfillment, joy, and passion can be measured by the degree of how far away you’ve moved away from who you are meant to be.

Spending most of your life seeking external validation, achievements and adapting to meet other people’s expectations of who you think you should be all leads to moving away from who YOU are and who you were meant to be.

On the flip side, happiness, joy, and fulfillment come from trusting yourself, being more of who you were meant to be, growing as a person, contributing to others, and having a deeper connection with your true self.

It’s time to be you, because you don’t look good wearing somebody else.

Here’s what I wish I could have told my younger self:

Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Be kind. Be gentle. Speak to yourself in a way that is encouraging because your inner dialogue is by far one of the most powerful voices ever. Don’t let your inner critic run the show. If you do, it’ll only get louder and harder to ignore.

Don’t be so serious and have fun. Live a life of passion. Feel free to experience life, passion and excitement.

Give freely.

Allow yourself to receive. Take compliments without feeling like you always need to give one back. Just stop and receive.

You can have it all. Don’t set limits on how good things can get.

Live knee-deep in gratitude. Appreciate everything in your life.

Move towards pleasure rather than away from pain. This is where the magic happens. It’s not about what you don’t want, but what you do want. Focus on that.

Be curious. If you fail, be curious why and adapt. Failures are just detours in the right direction.

If you win, find out what worked and do more of it.

Don’t let naysayers impact your decisions. Shut them out and lead by example of how you want to live and watch them follow or drop off. If they drop off, you didn’t need them anyway.

It’s impossible to please everyone, so don’t bother trying. Just be you and not who you think others expect you to be.

I know you are ambitious, but it’s more than just power-packed action that gets results. It’s about aligning yourself and allowing what you want to come in while taking consistent action.

What feels like a big deal today, is something you probably won’t even remember ten years from now. Just think back to when you were a teenager. 😉

You know that thing you really wanted? The client, job, partner, successful launch that you didn’t get? Have faith that what is coming your way is even better, so let it go and drive on.

Fear isn’t real. Oh yes, it sure feels real but it is an illusion of the mind. It’s false evidence appearing real. If you keep moving forward, the fear will dissolve away, but it will never be gone for good. Don’t let fear keep you stuck from taking the very action that’ll lead you to what you want. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Each time you do that, the fear will dissipate little by little and you’ll be so amazed at what you are capable of.

Everybody has some dysfunction in their life. If you focus on the past, you’ll keep yourself from experiencing today and living for the potential of tomorrow.

When you feel jealousy, know it’s simply a sign of someone having what you want. If they can have it, so can you. Instead, get curious as to what they did to achieve it. What aren’t you doing that they are doing?

Seek out mentors and model what they did to get to where they are. Success leaves clues. Follow them. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Don’t compare yourself to others. You are not them. You are you. Seeing who you are, stepping into your own power and brilliance, will be the key to your success and happiness. Focusing on others keeps you from seeing your own genius. And it’s your unique genius that will be your super power money maker.

Don’t wait to see the entire staircase before you take the first step. Once you take that first step, you’ll find the next one and the next one. It’s ok to feel unsure, that’s normal. You just have to keep moving. It’s so much easier than. Stop. Start. Stop. Start.

Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right but you can’t explain why, know it’s a clue. You don’t need to understand it, just walk away. On the flip side, when you’re hit with an inspired idea, trust it is your internal guidance leading you to what you want and act on it immediately. Otherwise, you’ll see that idea show up in somebody else who is willing to take action on it and you’ll be staring at them saying “But I had that idea first” as you watch them reap the rewards from taking action.

When you look at someone else and think their business or life is perfect, understand that you’re comparing yourself (both your ups and downs) to their highlight reel. You have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes for them, including the failed attempts, fears and doubts.

One decision doesn’t mean it’s forever. You’re not locked in for life. All that pressure to feel you have to decide now what your entire life will look like is wasted energy. I know it feels huge, but it’s not. Just decide based on what feels right for you right now.

Life is a stream of decisions pieced together. One wrong turn is just a slight detour that you’ll learn from, and that’s ok. There’s millions of second chances. They will never run out unless you die with your lie still inside you.

Those whispers inside you to do something great? Listen to those. They are your potential seeking expression. They won’t go away until you pay attention to them. Keep listening and moving towards what excites you. Soon you’ll find what you are most passionate about, if you don’t know already. And it will probably change.

You’ll find your purpose, but it’s an evolution. It’s a series of pieces that comes together, not one main event. So take the pressure off yourself.

As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So if you don’t want to be like those people you are spending time with, consider building new friendships and relationships. It’s ok to let friendships you’ve outgrown go.

Take 100% responsibility for everything you do. It’s nobody else’s fault. The quicker you acknowledge your part in it, the quicker you can move past it, forgive and drive on.

Spend time in silence and just listen. Quiet the noise and the inner chatter, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Observe your thoughts in silence and let them go without judgment.

You are enough just the way you are.

Everything you take in influences you. The news, what you read, social media, what you watch. You may not know it but those stories, observations are guiding your inner thoughts. Those inner thoughts lead to feelings and those feelings dictate your actions. Your actions create your results. So choose wisely what you consume.

Learn from others. Absorb their life lessons, experiences, and know-how. Ask for help if you need it. It doesn’t make you less of a person. Nobody did it all on their own. You’ll never receive if you don’t ask. Stop putting those ahead of you on a pedestal. They are no different than you. Human.

Your past doesn’t dictate your future. Get present with today and get out of “What if’s.”

Whatever is personal is universal. If you think you are alone, you’re not. There are many others.

God’s delays aren’t God’s denials. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It might be even better than expected. Imagine that my friend!

Tell me, what’s one piece of advice you would like to share with your younger self?

Comment below.

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