When I was 16, I didn't have a clue about what I wanted to do as a "job" or really what a "career" was. I was more worried about boys, boobs (which I lacked at the time) and getting through school.
If only I knew then what I know now, I might have relaxed and enjoyed the teenage journey more.
So, here are 12 life lessons I wish I knew at 16, written in letter form to my younger self:
I want you to always remember that you are beautiful and bright and can achieve anything you want. And that you are loved.
But for those moments on your life's journey when the road is bumpy and you wonder how you're going to get through it, remember the following:
1. When life throws you lemons, make lemonade
There are going to be some ups and downs on your journey, and that's OK. The downs are there to make you grow, learn and become a better person. The universe always sees the bigger picture and has greater things in mind for you than you are aware of when you are faced with challenges. Always remember this: There is always a silver lining to whatever sh*t is being thrown at you, even if you can't see at the time. But one day you will, and one day you will look back and be grateful for those lemons.
2. Live in the present moment
This is so hard to do, especially at 16, when life is so new and challenging, and there are so many things to look forward to and worry about. Remember, you cannot change the past. Never, ever. Nothing you think, say or do will change what has already happened. So don't worry, cry or waste time thinking about what could have been, or what you should have done or would have changed. Everything happens for a reason, and one day it will be clear what lesson you learned.
So, focus on today, because today is all you have. Ever. Tomorrow always becomes today, and yesterday is gone. Today is all you have, all you can control, so live it to its fullest. And if you live every day in this way, your life becomes abundant and filled and happiness.
3. Listen to your instincts
Oh my, oh my, you probably won't do this because it's hard to trust or believe that your gut instinct can be so spot-on. But it is. If it doesn't feel right, it's not. Trust your instinct.
4. Anything other than 'yes' is 'no'
Some things in life are black and white. When you need to make a decision, the quickest way to know (other than trusting your instinct) is to know that if the answer isn't yes, then it's no. There is no maybe or might or one day. Don't take gray for yes.
5. There is always light at the end of the tunnel
You are going to experience hard times, challenges, broken hearts, arguments, upsets and more. But nothing last forever. Days pass. The sun goes down and a new day breaks. You have the power to make each new day better than the last. Your happiness is in your hands, and only your hands.
6. Stay positive
You control your thoughts, so make them positive and make them work for you. Trust me, you will learn how to do this because of the lemons that are thrown at you! But by staying positive, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. By staying positive, you will naturally live in the present moment. Watch your mind, your thoughts, because thoughts become things and this becomes your reality. No matter how bad things get, wake up to a new day and control your thoughts by focusing on what you want (not what you don't want), and then watch how your life turns around. Your mind is the most powerful thing you own. So own it.
Yourself, that is. And if people don't respect you, move on. This goes for friends, bosses and guys (especially guys!). If someone loves you, they will treat you with respect and kindness. If someone loves you they don't cheat, hurt you or disrespect you. If that happens, take a deep breath and move on. And no, don't wait for someone to change. When the time is right you will meet the one, the one who will love you for who you are. But yes, you will date some duds before you find the one. Just remember, you are worth more, so much more.
8. Treat others how you want to be treated.
That is it. Simple.
9. Gossip is for small minds
If you can't say it to a person's face, don't say it at all, but better still, if you can't say anything nice, don't anything at all. Especially at work, don't be the one hanging around the water cooler -- this is no way to progress your career. Gossip is negative and will bring negativity into your life.
What goes around comes around. It might not come around straight away, but energetically you will get receive back what you put out. At some point, in some way, three fold. But just as this works for negative behavior and thoughts, it also works for positive actions.
11. Never be afraid of following your dreams
Whatever it is that makes your heart sing, do that. Whatever it is that makes you smile, do that. Whatever it is that you are intrinsically drawn to, do that. Whatever it is that is pulling your soul, do that. Listen to these inner feelings, the pull, your inner guide. Follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you can't achieve something.
Is all there is. If you are ever in doubt about anything, show the situation or person love. Even if it is just in your head, visualize showering them with bright white, loving light. The more love you put out, the more love you will receive, the more positivity will be around you and the more abundant the universe will become for you.
And finally, love yourself. To be loved by another, you must first love yourself.
Lastly, remember you are beautiful and bright and can achieve anything you want. And that you are loved. You have every reason to love yourself right here, right now.
I Love You,
What would you tell your 16-year-old self? Is there anything that you wish you knew then, that you know now? Please comment below and share the wisdom.
For more musings on life, career and motherhood, sign up to my newsletter the "Love List" at www.theedithub.com. If you'd like to discuss holistic coaching to help you transition in your career, change careers, or find balance as a working mother, please drop me an email to Rebecca (at) theedithub (dot) com and as soon as a coaching space becomes available you will be notified.