A Letter to My Younger Self
A couple of years ago, a good friend named Marcella Allison, invited me to participate in an event she was holding to empower and pay it forward to other copywriters, marketers, and entrepreneurs in our industry …
I was to write a letter to my younger self with a piece of advice I wished I could go back and tell her, and then read it to the group.
What helped me get ahead, what got in my way, and what really mattered?
The idea was inspired by the famous Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, and I was flattered to be asked to participate.
But looking back now, I realize the experience of writing the letter was wildly rewarding to me personally.
These days, many of us are way too hard on ourselves …
We struggle to do everything “right” and be our best … as children, parents, partners, writers, employees …
And we focus on what we haven’t yet achieved, rather than celebrating all that we have already accomplished in life.
Maybe you can relate?
As a writer, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re not doing well … and the next rung in front of you …
Getting your first client, making the jump to the next income level, mastering a new skill, adding another revenue stream, crushing a control … there will always be another rung no matter how far you climb.
And while I’m a big believer in pushing forward to always grab the next rung on the ladder, I now know from experience that pausing for a minute, and looking down the ladder you’ve already climbed, can be extremely motivating.
So today, I’d like to invite you to write your own letter to your younger self …
What would you tell him or her today that would provide comfort and encouragement on the journey ahead?
I’ve pasted my letter below …
And if you’d like to share yours with me, I invite you to send it to me here.
Just remember, when it comes to the writer’s life, there is no “finish line” — and there will always be another goal in front of you …
So schedule in those moments to take a break … reflect on how far you’ve come … and then get back to work! ;)
A Letter to My Younger Self …
You’re going to be successful. Relax!
I realize the world feels so big and the path in front of you seems overwhelming at times. So I’d like to give you some guidance on how to make that journey more enjoyable.
To start, know that early on, you won’t actually know as much as you think you know. It’s going to be a humbling experience after college. But when you figure that out, your real learning will begin.
Surround yourself with smart people. You will have many incredible mentors along the way — be open to every opportunity to learn. Just don’t let your ego get in the way. You don’t have to know it all. And you won’t! So use this time to learn.
Next, be brave …
The best things in life will make you feel like you’re going to throw up. Literally! But I promise they’re worth it. Go ahead and walk through every door that opens. And feast your heart on what it craves.
And finally, practice self-care … both physically and emotionally.
I know you like to burn the candle at both ends, and are proud of your “first in-last out” way of working, but it will come at a cost.
It may seem counterintuitive right now, but the more you can focus on what your body needs … rest, water, sleep … the faster you’ll move forward and the more successful you will be. Remember to BREATHE.
And while yes, being a perfectionist and a strong competitor will serve you well …
Life will be far easier if you remind yourself at every turn that you’re doing the best you can. And sometimes — most times — that will have to be good enough.
You are good enough.
What advice would you give your younger self? Let us know in the comments below!
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Dearest Carolyn Jeanette;
You are a dedicated Christian. At times you've fallen, but you knew through Jesus you are forgiven and you got back up. Other Christians who don't share in your faith and confidence, will try to stumble you. But hold on tight, He will never leave you. Trust in God, and believe in the Holy Spirits lead in your life. Don't believe that you need to submit to them, or that the H.S. needs them,to show you the way. I promised that the H.S. will lead you into all truth!
Carolyn Jeanette –
I loved this one! It felt you were writing it to me :-)
Guest (Rebekah Mays) –
Advice to one's Younger Self
Dear Robert, one's younger self; take heart my boy, the worry you have concerning your clumsiness is just in your inheritance gained by birth from your father's family DNA. Don't dwell on it, there is nothing to be done about it. You're only ten years old, and sixty plus years in your future there still isn't. Another thing I'd like to tell you is don't become the introverted person that developed because of the hurtful teasing dished out to you entering the teen years. A huge piece of advice, do not take the teasing literally, you'll only feed the misplaced judgment of those doing the dishing.
Your much older self,
637 characters, 495 without spacing.
Robert D P –
These are more "if only you had knowns" than advice. They could have saved you from much heartache and depression.
1. Run, don't walk, away from religion! All those shoulds and shames and judgments, all the doing things that just weren't you in the name of an illogical god. Be yourself. You are good.
2. Take time daily to enjoy the beauty of the world. You are in it for such a short time.
3. You will come to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don't worry!
4. Be gentle with yourself.
Guest (Jody) –
A Letter to My Younger Self
You can become all that you desire in life. Be it a police officer, race car driver, a doctor, or in the ministry spreading God’s love.
There are going to be stumbling blocks placed in your path.Be it family, friends or other things that life brings us. Don't let that stop you.
Follow your dreams and make the one that is you come to life, you will be happy and have the desires of your heart.
Take your time and pursue your dreams.
Sophie Thomas-Campfield –