Updated: Apr 4, 2021
As part of my evolving learning in life, I've met amazing people around me who helped me become the best I can be. We had a great discussion with The Stars In Me Influencer team. Our call to action was to share a few life lessons that I would tell ourselves when we were younger. I hope that a few of these thoughts are helpful and that you find your path to the life you want to have.
You are not an imposter - Why do I tell myself this? I've grown up seeing through people's responses that I didn't belong in many places. I thought that my parents adopted me for some reason or some alien from another world. Today, I believe that I was born for many great reasons. I'm different, just like any human being, and deserve to grow, learn, and share as much love and gifts I can give to the world. My proudest moment thus far is surviving this chaotic world. I'm no longer afraid to say I have achieved great things and continue to do beautiful and fun things. You belong in this world, my dear younger self. It's okay, and you are not alone. Be free of your guilt and shine as brightly as you can.
You are beautiful - This has been the most challenging recognition to accept, especially growing up, feeling that I was never good enough to show my face and be a girl and now a woman. I've been made fun of, bullied, and harassed throughout my life in various ways. I was told to wear certain clothes a certain way, speak a certain way, scolded or shut up, disrespected and insulted directly and indirectly. Today, I tell myself that I'm good enough and that it is okay to love myself as who I am with all the imperfections. I'm not perfect, and I am amazing.
Your pain and suffering matters - I am who I am today because of the many life-threatening and painful experiences that I grew to appreciate. They taught me lessons that built my resilience, patience, creativity, curiosity, persistence, bravery, heart, and soul that I have today. I'm very empathetic and very expressive. I'm brutally honest at times and caring as best as I can be combined. I give it my all when I do many things. I have a sense of urgency to take action and to do what is right when I see or experience injustice.
You are brave - So many people ask how I do so many things and defy logic that seems impossible to do in a short time. I have many contingencies in my head. I am a leader. I cannot stand not solving problems if I can help it. Oxygen, for me, is to take action and get things done. The list never ends in my mind. There is always something that needs to get resolved, completed, taken care of, or done. My drive is to keep going forward, even when it seems crazy and downright reckless. I have people around me that help me slow down, but I rarely slow down if you know me personally. I am brave because I care for many people, and I know that so many people need a voice who can take the fight for them and open up opportunities for others. So I fight, go, move, speak, write, create, and do the very best to overcome obstacles any way I can.
You are a leader - Compliments from others are still not easy for me to accept. I usually feel an awkward sense of shame, worry, and desire to hide behind the wall or barrier somewhere. I know I have been able to influence so many people around the world but still feel a bit of guilt when I realize I can lead. Despite the latter, when I see the positive outcomes of me supporting others or taking the initiative to drive, I do feel very proud of all the effort. Many of my Lean In sisters who have helped me along the way encourage me to own my successes. Whenever I engage and support many of the women's support groups and enablement initiatives, I know that my efforts and sacrifices are not a waste. I can do many things well while providing impactful changes that help others live better lives.
You deserve love and support - Life is harsh, painfully unfair, and discriminant. I continue to persist among other people. I'm thankful that I have family, friends, peers, mentors, and sponsors who support me in many of my endeavors. I am loved, cared for, given as much guidance and opportunity to give back to my community. It takes patience, empathy, open-mindedness, and a growth mindset to experience life and thrive. It's okay to ask for help. It is great to allow your heart to receive love from others. You deserve love and happiness.
Be grateful - Anytime that you feel you are about to drown, feel lost, or ready to give up, remember where you came from and how far you have gone. Be thankful for living, for having so much love and support and for inspiring others. Many people look up to you and seek your advice. You have experienced a lot in a short life span and yet have learned and shared many great lessons with others. Your husband, your children, your family, friends, coworkers, and many people support you. They are very proud of your great deeds and are there whenever you need them the most.
It is good to relax, slow down and savor the moment - You have permission to rest and not do anything more. You are a busy bee who's always running and thinking so quickly. Listen to your body and slow down. Take a break and let your mind find peace and appreciation of the present moment. Some things can wait. Don't feel guilty for saying no. You don't say "No" enough. Because life is very short, prioritize and make the time to let things be from time to time. Thank your self for taking the necessary breaks.
You are needed and wanted by so many people - You are an inspiration to others. Continue the forward route and maintain a balanced life as best as you can. It's okay not to be perfect, make mistakes, and be yourself. Your family and friends need you. There are still many good people around you that will give you love, guidance, and fun moments to experience. You make the world more exciting day by day. As somebody said, you are a thrilling puzzler, tinkerer, learner, conductor, and there is never a dull moment when you are around. Your curiosity is captivating many people. Be well, be safe, and be present.