Have you ever thought about this question? In all honesty, it had never crossed my mind at all until I started writing my new book, “Help! I'm a Tween-ager - A Girl’s Guide to Puberty”. I asked a lot of my friends to supply quotes and advice that they would give themselves at 12 years old. After all we know ourselves better than anyone and now we have a lot more life experience to draw on thanks to being around for a lot more years than we probably care to acknowledge. I've placed these quotes and advice throughout the book in the hopes that these little gems will stick in the minds of our younger ones and help them as they navigate some rough waters ahead.
As much as I feel that what happened in your past, good or bad, is the foundation of who you are today; as much as I believe everything happens for a reason; if I had the chance to go back and give one piece of advice to myself it would be this:
“Don't worry about the haters because there are kind people everywhere, follow your instincts because they are usually right. People will inevitably come and go in your life, every one for a reason, to love you, to teach you or experience life with you. Love yourself enough to be surrounded by supportive friends and be that to them”.
Most of the replies that I received for the book were along the same lines:
“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers and then there will be you, proving them wrong.”
“How haters treat you says more about them as a person”
“Surround yourself with kind positive people, your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive, keep it tight. Quality over quantity.. Always!”
“Don't listen or be accompany to nastiness, be yourself and don't change for anyone else”
I find it so interesting and valuable that these grown women all want to tell themselves the same thing. Mostly, that we felt so self-conscious and awkward about being ourselves and that we were so busy just wanting to be accepted, be liked and fit in. Now as grown women, one of the first things we want to tell our younger selves is to have the confidence to be ourselves. Have the confidence to try new things and don’t allow yourself to be defined by how you are treated by people struggling with their own issues within themselves.
I want my kids to grow up being who they are, being kind, following their gut and not basing their decisions on self-consciousness or for the sake of fitting in and popularity. At the end of the day we are who we are and if we can help our kids embrace that and accept it at a younger age they will know that it’s more important to empower and embrace one another, support and hold each other up.