How to Make Your Life Great with Advice from Your Younger Self

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What if you already have the best advice-giver on your team? Here’s how to make your life great with advice from your younger self.

I recently asked the readers of my blog and email; “What would you tell your younger self?”

These pieces of advice became something of a letter to my future self! Instead of just regretting that we didn’t know what we didn’t know, we can take this advice and use it to propel ourselves forward in life.

My readers sent me some brilliant answers and my co-host Kate Campion and I used these as the foundation to a recent podcast on Midlife Spotlight called How to Have a Great Life with Advice from Your Younger Self.

Looking back, life might have been better if I’d known these things and often, we regret that we didn’t know them. But here’s the thing, these things can be put into use at our current age.

Since there is no rewind on life and we can only go forward, we can definitely dig in and see how we can use what we have learned to benefit us now. 

For most of my life, I was so self-conscious and put too much pressure on myself. I also sought validation from others, instead of trusting myself. 

Of course, any of this advice would have been great, though who knows if the teenager me or the me in my early 20s would have followed it? 

I believe that we all have so much wisdom inside us. The problem is that we don’t often trust it. But to help get at our own wisdom, I asked “What would you tell your younger self?”

These are life lessons from your authentic self you need now, and can probably take in more easily at this time in your life.

My motivation is to have a positive impact on other women in midlife and beyond.  We can’t help our younger versions, but we sure can help our current and future versions.

For the longest time, I like many believed that youth was the best time of our lives. But as I crossed into my fifties and now my sixties, I know differently. 

In my own way, I have been pushing the boundary of what midlife and beyond can look like.

Picture of two women with one woman whispering in the ear of the other one. Words are: How to have a great life with advice from your youngerf self.

How to Use This Advice from Your Younger Self

These pieces of advice come from myself and other midlife women and reflect what they wish they had known when they were younger.

Most of these women have found success in their lives and career path but have also had setbacks.

To get the most out of this post, remember, that we can’t go back in time and holding on to regrets can impact the future.

Your own timeline is unique to you, and this is the very best time to give yourself permission to keep on growing!

Advice From Their Younger Selves

I recently asked the readers of my blog and email; what do they wish they could tell their younger selves? 

Looking back, life might have been better if I’d known these things and often, we regret that we didn’t know them. But here’s the thing, these things can be put into use at our current age.

Since there is no rewind on life and we can only go forward, we can definitely dig in and see how we can use what we have learned to benefit us now.

I think sometimes, we forget how much time we potentially have in midlife. It’s normal to look back and think we’ve had our best times and think that can’t happen again. 

That’s just not true. We may have decades left in our lives. I know that it is possible to have the best times in this part of our lives as well.

Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Life

Don’t let fear restrict and limit your life. One of my readers sent me this and oh, how I could relate. My life was ruled by fear for almost six decades!

  • Fear of not looking good enough
  • Fear of not being smart or talented enough
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of disappointment/disappointing
  • Fear of rejection

Fear can be a useful emotion. But often the only thing we are afraid of is how we will feel. For example, public speaking is a huge fear for a lot of people.

We fear feeling embarrassed, looking stupid, saying the wrong things, or worse not saying anything at all if we freeze. Yet, it’s not going to kill us if any of those things happen.

This is different from say, doing something that could be truly life-threatening. You need to pay attention to that for sure.

I’ve really been dealing with not letting fear rule my life in these past nine years. It’s been a gradual thing.

One way I like to think about things is the difference between your house being on fire (legit fear) and the smoke alarm going off because you cooked the bacon too long. The smoke alarm activates your fear, but you aren’t really in any danger.

While you can’t go back and have your younger self be less afraid, you can definitely encourage your current self to see the difference between not wanting to feel uncomfortable.

If you know something isn’t truly dangerous and your fear is of feeling certain feelings, then I say go for it. Here’s a fun tip. Even the worst feelings only last about 90 seconds if you let yourself really feel it in your body. The real pain is trying to push those feelings away.

Picture of mother and daughter with the words: Advice from your younger self that will change your life

You are More Attractive Than You Know

One thing that came up a lot was how we didn’t realize how attractive we were and how our bodies were actually okay.

So, many women would have told their younger self to enjoy their bodies more no matter how much we weighed and for most of us, our bodies were just fine.

So, my midlife friends I’ve got some news for you. Whatever your age is now, or what your body looks like, you can appreciate it right now.

I’m telling you this from a place of love, having had an inside view of what life is going to look like later. I spent about six weeks living in a retirement community over the past year.

Here’s something I can guarantee. When you are over 80, you are going to look back at this time and wish you had appreciated the body you have right now!

So many women kind of give up on their bodies. If it’s not as thin as you want or it has wrinkles, you might be using that as an excuse to give up on it.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. You could be looking at several decades more of life. I promise you that you will just want a body that works. Looks will be less important than having a fully functional body.

In your eighties or nineties, no one cares about looks or how much money they have like they did in the past. But a functioning body is hot stuff! A fully functional brain is also quite attractive.  

Savor the Small Things

What are the memories that make you smile or make you sad when you think about them and miss them? 

I think about the sounds of my children playing, going on family vacations, favorite coffee shops over the years. Even now I love to go through the pictures on my phone and think about all the moments I share with family and friends.

Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up on what is not like we want that we forget to appreciate everything that is special to us.

I try to spend time each day in gratitude about what is good in my life. Hugs from my granddaughters. Fun dinners with my son and daughter-in-law. Eating homemade sushi made by my son-in-law. Walks in my neighborhood. My little garden. My comfy bed.

Learn to Feel Uncomfortable

No one has a life where they feel great all the time. We all move through lots of feelings throughout the day.

One of the things that holds women back from enjoying life though, is that they fervently try to prevent feeling certain things.

We actively avoid feeling things such as: embarrassment, jealousy, disappointment, awkwardness, insecure…

The problem with this is that we avoid activities that we want to do because we don’t want to feel those kinds of things.

Instead, you get to feel left out, left behind, small, constricted, boxed in, misunderstood, invisible, or frustrated.

Get it? You are going to feel uncomfortable or negative feelings no matter what!

In my opinion, it makes more sense to feel uncomfortable by living a life aligned with your values and desires to create meaning in your life.

Get Help Earlier

In a recent Midlife Spotlight podcast, Kate and I were talking about how in our past marriages we both had felt bad for a long time.

Both of us had accepted feeling bad as part of our lives.

We didn’t even know it could be different.

This is an example of feeling uncomfortable but it not being helpful because we just let it go on for years. It didn’t save our marriages, and everyone involved suffered more than necessary.

There is a huge difference between a chronic soul-crushing situation and feeling some short-term fear or other uncomfortable feeling.

It’s not okay to feel bad all the time even if you think it’s for a good cause. You feeling terrible about anything for a long time just isn’t good for you.

I do some body work in coaching sessions so that the women I work with can feel how emotions feel in their body.

They are shocked when they feel the effect that chronic stress, overwork, trying to keep up, hating their bodies, and fearing food has on their bodies.

Chronic feeling bad takes its toll on your physical body!

Whether it is therapy, life-coaching, or some other form of help, I recommend sooner rather than later.

Learn how to feel uncomfortable in the short-term so that you can have a more satisfying life in the long-term.

Your future you will thank you!

Succeed Now with Advice from Your Younger Self

We often look at the past with regret or wishing we could have done better. Instead, when we look for the lessons from the past, we can use that to make our midlife and beyond even better.

The truth is, we couldn’t know what we didn’t know back then. Perfection doesn’t exist and never would have. 

But when you can appreciate the past for what it was and what you learned, you can move forward tomorrow with confidence and appreciation for who you are now and who you are becoming.

Remember, one of these days, you’ll look back on this time and it can either be with regret or appreciation.

I vote appreciation

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I'm a certified life and weight loss coach who helps women feel better and get the most out of their lives! The process of life coaching teaches you to love yourself and gain self confidence in a safe effective way.

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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life coach, I can help you create a life you love. Visit my life coaching page here.