When I think about my past self-esteem struggles, I can’t help but wonder how different my life would be if I hadn’t experienced them. I placed so many expectations on myself to be the “best” that it created periods of stress, anxiety and low self-esteem in my life.
Several years ago, I began to address my negative thinking and self-image views. It’s because of these wellness checks, as I like to call them, that I’ve come up with some advice I would give to my younger self.
Filling my mind with positive words and messages is something I have to consciously work on each day. It requires an awareness of what I’m thinking along with self-correcting behavior. I used to be really self-critical for making innocent mistakes. Instead of encouraging myself to keep trying, I would magnify the errors and had a difficult time moving past them. Looking back, I can see how unfair I was to myself for simply being human.
The advice I would give to my younger self in regard to making mistakes is that no one knows everything. I shouldn’t expect myself to be perfect at something I’m just learning, as it takes time and dedication to develop any skill. I would also tell myself that mistakes aren’t failures. They’re opportunities to learn and develop resilience when facing adversity.
Like many of you, I still struggle with self-criticism and the negative feelings I experience as a result of it. Over the last few years, I’ve learned what triggers my inner critic and how to shift my thinking to a more positive state.
Having this mindset would have helped me greatly during my teenage and college years. When it comes to self-criticism, the advice I would tell my younger self is to RELAX and that I’m doing better than I think. I would go on to reassure myself that everything will fall into place when it’s time.
Read More: What Advice Would You Give to Your Younger Self ?
Having patience is something that’s a continuous work in progress for me. I’m so goal oriented that sometimes I try to rush a process so that I can move along to the next thing I want to accomplish.
When I set my mind on achieving something, I want to accomplish it in the least amount of time, which isn’t how life works. Learning to slow down and enjoy each moment as it comes is advice I would give my younger self. It’s actually advice I currently have to remind myself of. I’ve learned that rushing the natural order of something leads to overlooking important details needed for successful completion. By slowing down and taking each day one at a time, I’m building the patience needed to navigate the different paths my life takes.
I’m still a work in progress when it comes to this piece of advice. I honestly believe learning to love oneself is a life long process because we go through so many stages in a lifetime that tests our ability to love who we are. For example, the way I love myself today is completely different from the self-love I had as a teenager and in my very early 20’s.
During that period in my life, I equated self-love with external things such as academic & financial success. The better I was at achieving these things, the more I “loved” myself. If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self that I have to love who I am regardless of what I do and achieve because loving myself is something that will last a lifetime. The material things and accolades only last for a moment in time, so learn to be your biggest cheerleader.
I’m interested to know, what are some things you would tell your younger self? Feel free to share some with me in the comments below.