What I Didn’t Learn in Kindergarten
During this past year, I have been making some changes in my life and I’m currently in the middle of a career shift. I’m contemplating where I am now, where I want to be, and who I’m becoming. In this reflection process I’ve realized there are some ideas I’ve held about life that haven’t served me well over the years. Ideas that maybe weren’t so important after all. It’s taken some stumbles and falls for me to learn a few lessons and I will share those with you below.
5 Life Lessons that I Wish I Had Learned As A Child:
Don’t Worry About What Other People Think of You —
I spent so long worrying about other people’s opinions. I worried if someone thought I was smart enough, pretty enough, or cool enough. I would agonize over a comment anyone made about me. I even hid aspects of myself from others fearing their ridicule. I asked people their opinions rather than rely on my own instincts to make decisions. I didn’t want to do something if it made me look bad. I always thought I was a little different from everyone else and this worried me. Now that I’m older, this doesn’t bother me in the same way. People are going to have an opinion about you no matter how you live your life. This actually doesn’t have anything to do with you. It has to do with how they think and feel about themselves. Everyone is trying to figure out how to make their own life work.
Sometimes when we are trying to better ourselves, others will try to attack what we are trying to do because they feel a need for change themselves, this is their own fear. Don’t worry about the opinions of others; stay in your lane doing what makes you happy.
You Can’t Please Everyone —
In your journey, family, friends, and maybe even strangers, are going to tell you how you should live your life. I am a big people pleaser, so I used to listen to all that advice and wonder if I was doing what I should. I made sure I followed the steps laid out for me. Someone told me I should live in a certain way; so I did. I wanted to make other people happy. However, not everyone would end up happy.
I’ve slowly realized that if I’m going to live a life that brings me joy, I can’t please everyone. Even now some family members question my career and life choices as I’m learning to follow my own path. In my heart I know I have to do this for me. Of course, I struggle, but most days I wake up with a smile on my face and that’s important to me.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back —
Fear is needed in situations of danger, but letting fear rule every aspect of our lives only stunts our growth. I used to have dreams of becoming a writer when I was younger, but I cast that dream aside because I didn’t have enough faith in myself. I was too afraid I would fail. I’ve recently resurrected that dream as I have become clear about who I am and my purpose in life. I’ve gone out on a scary limb in constructing my life to be a writer and teach nutrition education. There aren’t any guarantees, but if I continue to live in fear I won’t accomplish any of my goals. I’ve used fear as a way to stop me from trying new things, taking chances, and getting close to people.
I’m taking a new approach as I practice to acknowledge the fear, recognize how I feel, and press on through it. It’s okay if we fail or make mistakes, as long as we try. However, we can’t try with that big wall of fear holding us back. Let’s learn to embrace the fear and go for it anyway.
You Don’t Have to be Perfect —
Besides letting fear hold me back, I have struggled with the idea of having to be perfect. I thought I needed the perfect clothes, hair, or job in order for people to like me. I had to be perfect in order to be taken seriously and heard. Well, none of that is true! Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes and go through tough times. We just have to be our true authentic selves for our tribe to find us. I’ve also used perfection as a crutch when working on different projects. This perfection is actually just a form of procrastination.
It took me months to start my blog because I thought everything had to be perfect. I spent my time searching for the right colors, fancy pictures, and correct wording. In reality, that didn’t matter at all. I decided to start blogging and fix it as I went along. I wanted to be writing and the only way for me to learn was to do it. You can’t wait until everything is perfect because it won’t be. You have to live your life now.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help —
I’m a very independent person; I like to do things for myself. I’ve never been one to ask for help but I realize I can’t do everything. There are some areas I need help in and it’s okay to ask. This doesn’t mean I’m weak, as I used to think, it means I’m strong enough to recognize when help is necessary. Someone else might have an easier solution that I just didn’t see. Next time you are stuck, go ahead, ask for help, or try a new suggestion. After all, we aren’t all perfect, remember?
At the end of the day what you should understand is, the only person you really need to please is yourself, as this is the one opinion that truly matters. Do what makes you happy and your life will thank you!
What life lessons have you learned along the way that you wish you knew when you were younger? Please share them with us in the comments section below!