The Muse has dilligently put a series of lessons to younger self that they gathered through interviews with a lot of successful and inspiring leaders. And I really love to read and read and read these articles again and again ! As I thought about this, all these lessons took years to experience and brilliant minds to crack and draw lessons learned from. Thanks to all of amazing men and women out there who have generously passed these learning to our generations.
Joyce Kulhawik: Love Yourself—Powerfully
I look at myself and realize that if I am going to move forward, I need to dig deeper. What is the real source of my own power? I picture myself as a young woman and realize what I would say to that young woman who was so intent on being “a good girl,” doing things perfectly, making sure everything was under control and the best it could be, feeling guilty about the smallest dust-up with a friend, worried about disappointing someone. I know exactly what I would say to that young woman who felt powerful in the outer world, but burdened on the inside.
I would tell her that she is OK as she is. I would tell her that she is worthy. I would lighten her load and tell her she doesn’t have to be perfect. I would tell her to trust herself to be in the moment and not always on guard. I would tell her to breathe, and not to waste time in worry and guilt. I would tell her not to spend herself on people who make her feel “less than,” ever. I would tell her not to be afraid to fail because every experience counts and will come in handy somehow, somewhere. I would tell her to trust her honest heart and good soul.
In short, I would love her.
This I tell myself now, and anyone who will listen—to love and have faith in ourselves; this is the source of our energy, our joy, and our real power—and will lead us to speak in our true voices to the world.
Liza Donnelly – Speak Up
If I could talk to my younger self, I would say to her: speak. Don’t be afraid to let people know who you are and what you think. Your opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s.
If what you say is not heard, say it again, or say it to someone who will listen. If what you say is disagreed with, is wrong, or brings disapproval, who cares? Be proud of what you think and who you are: the world needs to hear the voices of everyone. You have a lot to share, and life is too short to wait.
Now seemingly in overdrive, I am speaking my mind in my cartoons (and elsewhere) as if trying to make up for lost time. And while speaking from the standpoint of age and experience is a good thing, I bet that if I had started younger, I would have had more practice, and be better at it. I’ll never know, but what I do know is that I left the good girl in the dust.
Joanna Barsh: Battle the Giant Squid—Fear
Fear serves, and for the most part it serves you well. But fear also limits you. Test this by remembering a moment of great challenge, when you were not at your best. Feel those unpleasant physical sensations—maybe nausea, or a rapid heart beat, or emptiness. These sensations are evidence that you’ve given in to your fear.
To take back the power, give your fear a name. Speak to it, write a letter to it, draw a picture of it—whatever you have to do to appreciate it for what it is. And as weird as this sounds, let your fear know you are in charge.
So this is what I would have liked to tell my younger self: “Joanna, you’re afraid of the people you don’t yet know—and you’re judging them to boot. Remember how great it feels to belong. Get curious about these strangers.”
Go on, explore your fear, explore what holds you b