Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

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A reflection on life lessons

What lessons have I learned and what would I say to my younger self today? As we think about our youth graduating from the various levels of middle school, high school, and college, it’s a nice time to reflect on how we can use our gathered wisdom to share some advice. I am asking myself what are the biggest lessons I have learned in life so far. While it is difficult to pick the top ones, (due to the many mistakes, ha!), there are THREE that stand out.

1. Listen to your intuition and believe in yourself

2. View mistakes as stepping stones to success and learn from them

3. Practice empathy in your daily life

4. Listen to Your Intuition and Believe in Yourself

I can clearly say that the biggest mistakes I have made in my life so far have been when I did not listen to my intuition. Red flags were wildly waving at me and were ignored. It seems our body knows. When making big decisions, be present and aware of what your body is telling you. We get these messages all the time and often don’t listen because we don’t like the answer. Many times the answer is not expedient or does not seem to fit with our desired plan. When flags are waving internally, at least slow down and give them an audience.

There’s nothing more important to living your desired values than believing in yourself. Many times we are raised with families or parents who don’t believe in us or don’t encourage us. Our friends may not “get” our expressions of desire and there are always the “naysayers” out there who say “that can’t be done” or “why would you do that?” I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me and will likely happen to you too. Just remember that you get to be you. If there is a desire within telling you to pursue something, it is there for a reason. It is coming up over and over because it’s telling you it’s important for you. When the crippling self-doubt enters in, and it often does, ask the important question why? Why can’t I do this? Don’t allow the self-critical messages to govern, but instead allow your nurturing parent side to speak. If you want to do something that fits your value system, talents, skills, interests and you are halted because you don’t think you can do it, that’s usually the scared kid inside afraid of making a mistake. And this takes me to lesson number two.

2. View Mistakes as Stepping Stones to Success and Learn From Them

Will you make mistakes? Uh ya! And who are we that we think we should not make any mistakes in life? We should be perfect? Not only is that reasoning a little crazy but it’s also narcissistic in nature. As in, “I am so good, that I will never make a mistake.” Viewing our mistakes as a part of this shared human journey is so important for your mental health. As you’ve heard others say, “It’s not what happens to us, it’s how we deal with it.” Each precious mistake is truly a stepping stone to your goal. We learn so much from mistakes both good and bad and without them usually cannot move forward. When you are miss-stepping and realize it… learn something from it. This brings you much closer to your goals. Life teaches us if we listen!

3. Practice Empathy in Your Daily Life

Empathy for yourself and others is what makes life worth living. It is the essence of love, compassion and caring. Without empathy, you cannot love. Without love, life is hard. What is empathy really? It is the ability to get in the shoes of another person and understand what they are feeling, and then be able to validate and acknowledge those feelings in the other. It is truly a gift when someone does this for you. I know you have felt it, right? Try practicing this simple love tool with everyone you know. The key to healthy and loving relationships as well as sound parenting is the practice of empathy. We need more love in the world! Get after it!

Additional Resources by the Author:


Published Books + Audio Versions:

Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist, and Heal Your Family.

Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist, and Heal Your Family Audio Version
 Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Audio Version


Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Virtual Workshop. Work recovery in the privacy of your own home, complete with video presentations and homework assignments.
 Therapist Training for Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Share the 5-Step recovery model with your clients.


Small group therapy intensives.
 Daughter & Son weekend intensives. One on one sessions with Dr. Karyl McBride.

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