Ten things I wish I’d known when I was a teenager – part 2

Hello – I’m back with part 2!!

Here’s the next few items from my list of things I wish I’d known as a teenager.

And an update on part 1 : I’m currently on Day 1 of my Five Day Tell-Yourself-You’re-Amazing Challenge.

And so far – wow!! I have to tell you, I’m blown away withhow fabulous I feel and what a great day I had at work. I’ve given myself timeto relax and enjoy myself too, and reminded myself that’s amazing as well,because I’m nurturing this wondrous collection of cells and molecules that havesomehow combined to make me. (If this sounds totally loopy, go back and read part1, I promise it will make more sense then :))

Now onto the next few items in my list.

2. You’re allowed to make mistakes


This was such a big realisation to me. The idea may sound obvious, but how often do we beat ourselves up for getting things wrong?

The world is a big place. So much to learn. So much to see. So many adventures to have.

And – it can be a confusing place to navigate, this big world of ours.

You are going to make mistakes.

It’s called being human. Making mistakes is a huge part of how we learn things. So – teen me – don’t beat yourself up when you do.

I’d also tell my teen self – who didn’t know any better – don’t be afraid of saying sorry. If you do something mean or stupid, just own up andapologise, the sooner the better. I’d venture to say that every single human inexistence—the Queen, the Pope, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama not excepted—has done something mean or stupid at some point in their life. It’s not that big a deal. You can say – “Gosh darn it, that was really mean of me. I’m sorry.” Or “Cor blimey – that was a stupid thing for me to say/do. I’m so sorry.” (Questionable figures of speech are optional)

It’s really that easy, teen me.

The mistakes you don’t apologise for are the ones that fester – in your own heart or in the hearts of others. And a late apology is better than none. The mistakes I regret the most are the times I’ve hurt people by things I’ve said or done—and didn’t apologise. I can’t undo those things. Someof those people I’ll probably never see again. I made mistakes. I’m human. But if I could tell my younger self: it’s okay, you can admit you made a mistake — it may have saved her, and others, a fair amount of pain.

Be open and speak from your heart. It’s powerful.

3. Having fun is not wasting time.


Do more of what you love! We only have one life, so fill it with the things that give you joy.

I’ve travelled the world and had some amazing experiences.I’ve visited the mountain gorillas in Uganda, I’ve seen wild orang-utans inBorneo, I’ve snorkelled with whale sharks in the Mexican Gulf, and watchedmoose in Yellowstone National Park. I’ve climbed mountains and explored ancientcivilisations in India, South-east Asia, Europe and Central America. I havebeen so lucky! And there’s so much more I’d like to see and do. The world is an amazing place. Home or away, I’d encourage my younger self to get out there and enjoy it!

I’ve found I get as much pleasure from the little things in life, too. Eating a delicious meal, reading a good book, watching a great TV show, listening to music, watching a butterfly flit between flowers, feeling the sun on my back.

Just find, and do, the things you love.

What did you do or see today that was magical?

4. You have the power to say no


This was a huge realisation for me. Again, it sounds obvious– not so for me. I’m a slow learner. I would say, listen to your gut. If itfeels wrong, or you feel uncomfortable with something, or you just plain don’twant to do it – you have the right to say no.

No is your friend and your protector. No is powerful.

Saying yes has power too. Say yes to the things you really want to do, even if it scares you a little. Say yes to things that help you grow, that broaden your horizons. Say yes to adventure. Say yes to fun!

5. Dream big!


When I was younger, I dreamed of living in a cottage in the country. I dreamed of seeing the world. I dreamed of maybe writing my own books someday. Guess what? I’ve done all of that.

Choose a dream that means something to you, that resonates,that thrills you, heart and soul. Those are the ones to go all out for. If youhave a dream that inspires you, you’ll find ways to work towards that dream.You’ll be open to any opportunities that can help you reach it. You can make it real.  

How exciting is that?

Click here for part 3…

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