Clinique asked me to join in on the #FaceForward conversation, asking, “If you could give your future self any advice, what would it be?” So here are 10 lessons that I’ve learned about myself and life, in hopes that they’ll serve as gentle reminders that I think our future selves would thank us for.
1. Your scars are what make you beautiful.
Be thankful for every heartbreak, for they were planned. They come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. Their purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and your addictions, break your heart open so new light can come in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life. And you do.
2. Take it day by day.
Worrying doesn’t make your problems go away. Anxiety can eat me alive sometimes – I get a sick feeling in my stomach and it’s hard to concentrate on work, sleep or anything else that I’m doing. It’s important to take each moment and stay present. Enjoy what you’ve got going on now, and don’t worry too much about tomorrow – because worrying doesn’t solve anything. Take it day by day, and set small, achievable goals that will help you get to where you want to be. What happens is meant to happen, and the more you trust that – the easier it will be to let the little things go.
3. Love yourself first.
I have always been the person to fall in love and give a little too much. I’m always placing my happiness in other people’s hands, and to give them that much power over my emotions, my life – is unfair to ME. I think it’s important to love yourself first, and not let your happiness be determined by anybody else. Take your power back. Think of what makes YOU happy because it’s impossible to love anyone else the right way if you don’t love yourself first.
4. The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what you did wrong, regretting things that you’ve done, decisions you’ve made – but the past is the past and you’ve got to learn to forgive yourself, let things go, and move on. But when you do look back, do so only to see how far you’ve come – to recognize the gains that you’ve made – in only six short months, or one short year. Tell yourself, over and over again, “Good job.” Pat yourself on the back. Because you deserve to feel accomplished, proud and confident – and no one can do a better job at doing that, than you.
5. The harder you fall, the higher you’ll fly.
Remember that your struggles are why you are capable of succeeding. Your so-called mistakes or failures have prepared you to exceed other people’s expectations. The problems you’ve faced in your life have molded you into the person that you are today – you’re stronger, more resilient, complicated and capable. There is a reason for why you’ve experienced the things you’ve experienced – and your future self will thank you for remembering your purpose.
6. Never be afraid to be yourself.
I’ve been told countless times that I’m too passionate, too intense, too serious, too much. I’ve been told to talk less, be less, do less. People will try to mold you to their liking, squeeze you into a space convenient for them. If I had listened to those people in my past, I would never be who I am today. You were born different, and shaped specifically for your own path. Don’t ever apologize for who you are, and don’t ever let anyone make you think you have to do so.
7. Work hard, play hard.
Work your ass off. Work until you feel like you can’t work anymore. Then work some more. But don’t lose yourself in your work because creativity is a funny thing – it comes when you least expect it, and most of the time when you’re not even in the office. Balance your life, balance yourself. Play just as hard as you work, give yourself breaks, take the pressure off when you need to – and focus on happiness. Because you deserve it.
8. Live for today. Prepare for tomorrow.
Yes, you should enjoy the moment and live for today. But preparing for your future is just as important. I want to be able to tell my future self, “You’re welcome.” Taking care of yourself now will allow your future self to reap the benefits. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, washing your makeup off before you go to bed (no matter how lazy you feel), going to school, taking care of your skin, educating yourself, staying positive, surrounding yourself with good people, traveling the world – be proactive in life and do everything you can do today, to make sure that your future self will thank you.
Thank you to Clinique’s 3-step program + #FaceForward campaign for inspiring this post. What advice would you give to your future self? Leave a comment below!