You don’t have to wear all the colours on the same day, in the same outfit.

A letter to my younger self

A lot of women and men I admire have been writing letters like this one, and I wanted to contribute my own voice to the conversation. Over the years, I have been my own worst critic and my greatest supporter, and the lessons I have picked up along the way have been life-changing. This isn’t the most difficult blog post I have ever written, but it is a great mental exercise. What would YOU tell your younger self?

1. Be comfortable in your own skin

The maintenance of a facade is never quite as beautiful as the original underneath. That’s why people still restore old furniture and paintings. You can spend your life battling comparison, or you can embrace yourself as you are.

2. Stop apologising

Control your apology impulse. There will be times when you will need to say sorry; but there will be a million other times where all you need to do is hold yourself together and keep moving.

3. Practice gratitude

You don’t need to reserve gratitude for milestones occasions. Start small; like being thankful for your health, good weather, or a smile. Watch how your positive energy grows.

4. Forgive yourself

Life is long and you deserve your own mercy. Release yourself from the guilt of self-blame.

5. Take risks

You don’t have to gamble with your life, but allow space for chance to happen. You never know where it will take you.

6. It’s okay to make mistakes

These mistakes will become the foundation for every great story that you tell. A flawless life would make for a very boring adventure.

7. Talent is overrated

I have seen so many mediocre people living out incredible fortunes. If I could bottle success and sell it, I’d use five key ingredients: patience, habit, practice, attitude and a sprinkle of good ol’ fashioned luck.

8. People aren’t good or bad

You will meet people you love and people you hate, but people aren’t villains or heroes. Sometimes we just aren’t compatible; like software.

9. Read every day

You can exercise your body regularly, but your mind is the muscle that drives the machine. If you put a Ford engine inside a Ferrari, it will look fantastic, but it won’t perform any better.

10. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion

You don’t have to be right or wrong, but the practice of self-expression is a developmental tool that will increase your self-confidence over time.

11. Stop trying to fix people

The people around you won’t thank you for trying. The hardest thing to change is yourself, and it is a journey that must be taken alone.

12. Change your posture when you are angry

Be mindful of how you respond to anger. If you are sitting down when you are angry, stand up before you respond. Even a small shift in your physical presence will shift your mindset. I wish I did this earlier in life!

13. Learn from others

Your education doesn’t end when you leave university, and there is no shame in being a student of life. Surround yourself with people who make you want to reach for the next level.

14. Remember what you love

And do more of it.

15. Surround yourself with support

The world is full of critics, but if you build a tribe who lift and inspire you, then your struggles will always feel lighter.

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