Advice to My Sixteen Year Old Self

There are so many choices we make everyday, some seem minimal and others feel very monument. Door after door opens and we have to decide to go through it or close it. When we are faced with these choices we never truly know the long term impact of our decision, but we have two decide anyway because not making a decision is making a decision.

I was asked recently what advice would I give my sixteen year old self? I thought about it and realized it would be something to do with making choices…you can do anything you want to do and be a success, so choose wisely. Figure out what you want and make choices that support that desire.

In the people I professionally coach many of them suffer from the pain of not truly knowing that they want. They wander to and fro doing what they think is expected of them, never embracing or daring to say out loud what they truly want out of life. Their fear is that people won’t understand, or they will laugh, or they will fail at what they want to do. So they continue down their current path feeling frustrated, unfulfilled and doing what they think is expected by others.

There will always be people in our lives telling us what they think we should do. They somehow become the voice in our head. Their criticism, judgement, expectations and status somehow become the thoughts that urge us forward. The happiest and most fulfilled people I know are the ones who have learned to turn off those voices and listen to their own inner self. They no longer meander through the crowd doing what everyone else is doing; they walk their own path, make their own choices, and are content in being who they know they always wanted to be. They make their life choices on what they want and what allows them to serve the world using their unique skills and abilities.

To my sixteen year old self I would say stop worrying about what other people are doing, about what other people think. Be true to your ideas, your dreams, your choices and make sure you chase what you want no matter what anyone else thinks. A life full of those choices will be one without regret for things undone.

It is never too late to make a change, make a choice, to decide to go through a new door or spruce up an old door. It’s your life and you are the only one who can live it to it’s fullest potential. So next time you are about to turn the handle of another life changing door, think about what YOU want and make sure the way you travel forward supports your dream.

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