When my daughter went off to college, I remember panicking that I hadn't imparted all of the knowledge that I wanted in order to prepare her for life on her own. After I came back to my senses, I settled on these fifteen little nuggets. Years later, a client asked me what I said to my daughter when she moved away so I shared this with them. They found it helpful and hopefully others can as well.
1. It’s totally OK to be afraid, however, it’s not OK to let fear drive your decision-making. Will I succeed? Will I fit in? People can become paralyzed when they can’t predict the outcome. There aren’t many things that will eat at your soul more than knowing that fear kept you from taking the first step towards an amazing life.
2. Embrace “hard.” You want to do things that are hard. The harder you have to work for something the more pride you feel when you come out on the other side. The things that I’m most proud of are the things that I had to scratch and claw to accomplish.
3. Have five words that you want to define you. That doesn’t mean that your entire being can be summed up in five words. What it does mean is that you have five words that guide your choices in your day-to-day life. If someone asked the person that knows me best to describe me, I would hope they would say that I am a person of integrity. Integrity has always been one of my five words. Thinking about my words on a day-to-day basis helps me make sure my choices are representative of the person that I say I want to be.
4. Own Your Shit. Accountability is so important. One of the most important aspects of accountability is to not try to explain why you screwed up or justify yourself. “I did it because…” is not accountability.
5. Be vulnerable, but only to people that, over time, have demonstrated that your secrets are safe with them. Remember that trust takes time to establish. “I don’t trust words…I even doubt actions…but I always trust patterns." -Brené Brown
6. Never shy away from the awkward conversations. It’s amazing…I have seen people have years of misery because they were too afraid to have the awkward talk. Remember, all growth comes from awkward conversations.
7. No matter how loud you get, people that aren’t listening won’t hear you. If someone has a closed mind you won’t be able to pry it open…even with a crowbar.
8. Sometimes you will have to make a choice…”Do I want to be right or happy?” Sometimes being right isn’t the most important thing.
9. Remember that your self-esteem should never be tied to what someone else thinks of you. When you live your life by your five words, when you choose courage over comfort, and when you feel proud of the choices you make day in and day out…that is where real self worth comes from.
10. You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone that hates peaches. Don’t try to win people over. Just be your most authentic, genuine self to people that you choose to have in your life. It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you aren’t.
11. It’s OK to think about the past and it’s OK to think about the future, however, not at the expense of the present. We can’t undo previous decisions and we can’t be so busy thinking about the future that we forget (or try to avoid) what we need to do in our day-to-day lives.
12. All emotions are temporary. There is no such thing as a permanent emotion. No matter how bad or amazing you feel today…remember that things will change…and that’s OK
13. You are always free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
14. Who you choose to surround yourself with is a very good representation of who you are. Surround yourself with people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
15. Remember that you are loved and cherished. Remember that there are people that you can fall apart in front of that won’t judge you. Remember that no one expects perfection. You will fail at times. You will get rejected. Those aren’t what will define you. How you respond to those times is what will shape who you are.