To My Younger Self: 10 Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Now that I am in my 30s, it’s more clear to me that in life, we humans learn from experience, you know… the hard way.

My life has been beautiful with some ups & downs, as you can imagine. But some things I learned have been fundamental to my evolution as a person and of course, as a woman. Those lessons are the results of habits that I acquired from the beginning and have proven to be the opposite of what anyone should do if you want to be a champion of your own life, a better person every day, to evolve and growth.

These are my 10 Life Lessons: 

  1. It’s OK to be scared
    • There you are, full of expectations, young and insecure; yet, there is a spark that keeps you moving forward. Some opportunities, you just let them slip because you felt scared.
    • In life, you strive in spite of obstacles and doubt ONLY WHEN you embrace and face your fears. Think about those thoughts that are stumbling in your head; those negative vibes are distracting yourself from your possibilities and your chances to succeed.
    • Instead of succumbing to the bad influence, focus on what really matters: your intention to move towards something you want. There is not such thing as ignoring those negative feelings, you just need to discuss them, rationalise and keep moving one step at a time.
    • To really condition your mind to do greater things, be scared and challenge your fears.
    • Incorporate positive affirmations in your day-to-day, such as motivational notes in your fridge, desk or at the door. It’s good to remind yourself of what you can carry out if you set your mind to it.
  2. You will survive change
    • Us, humans, tend to gravitate towards routines. It’s true, we look forward to habits; it is in our subconscious to set up a comfort zone to feel “safe”.
    • Let’s be real, change is the most stressful yet constant aspect in our lives as human beings. SO, the quicker you accept it, the best chance to a better adaptability.
    • Because we are creatures of habits, if you make an honest evaluation of the change you are experiencing and take measures to adapt new habits that are more aligned to this new reality… you will have more success.
    • After the chaos, you will look back and think: “I survived”, “It wasn’t so bad after all”, “It’s better this way”… and so on. In the end, change will take place and you will be there, also changing and evolving.
    • There are no absolutes in life; there are experiences, new perspectives and changes in ourselves. That, my younger self, I can guarantee.
  3. You are talented and beautiful
    • It’s lunch time and you already had at least 3 to 5 moments of self-doubt and self-awareness.
    • It is great to be humble and accept that you are not perfect. But questioning your beauty or abilities, does not give to your life at all.
    • You can ask your closest friends or family and confirm that each one of them has doubts and insecurities, even though some of them could be models or the next president for all you know… you as an outsider, admire their beauty and intelligence. Why can’t they appreciate themselves? Sadly, the same applies to you.
    • And… fortunately, we live in a modern era where information is free and beauty has a price after all 🙂 So, you can and will appreciate every opportunity to learn something new and take measures to feel as beautiful as you are… remember, being unique is the new sexy … in the future.
  4. Perfection is not the key
    • What is perfection anyways? Does it exist?
    • If all humans were the same and think always alike, then, you can say we all agree on what is perfect and what not. BUT that is not the real world. We think different, act and react in multiple ways and live in constantly varying situations.
    • You can and will try to best yourself, learn from experience and from others when you can, acquire new perspectives and live by your rules knowing that perfection is just being better every day.
  5. Go ahead & explore
    • Why on earth I didn’t travel more? I should have gone in an internship to the other part of the world, explore more, learn different languages apart from English & Spanish.
    • Whenever I travel, I learn a lot, gain self-confidence, respect culture in its diverse form, and appreciate life itself: people & nature are more beautiful when you gain some perspective and a bigger sighting.
    • Those are regrets that limit your scope of view. If you didn’t travel enough, there is only one way to deal with it… you need to catch up!!
    • Set a yearly goal for your travels and experiences; build a budget and start NOW 😉
  6. Savings are important
    • Heck, life costs! How did my parents deal with everyday costs? In my school, no teacher spoke ever about budget or personal finance… nothing. My parents, well… I just remember them saying things like “don’t spend too much, money does not grow in trees”… but man, I didn’t receive a hint of adulthood within a financial perspective, at least.
    • I just, made a lot of mistakes, from student loans to credit card debts. And now, in my 30s, I am still learning best financial practices.
    • SO, when you can, save money; invest if possible, and avoid compulsive shopping at all cost. Before you spend money on something, ask yourself how it will benefit your bottom line goals.
  7. Nurture your relationships
    • There was a time when every other person was your best friend in the world. Then, came the part when you were too occupied with work and adapting to adulthood… your so called friends where in the same situation. Some of them married then divorced. Life happened and in a wink you only saw them through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but never managed to get together and share some face to face quality time. You are almost strangers now, apart from the good vibe and nostalgia of those “times”.
    • Now you are more “picky” selecting friends and sharing your information. Every now and then, you drink coffee or get together with co-workers to hang out… just, it is different now, by 10pm everyone in the table is yawning.
    • Of course, there are many benefits now, your conversations are more mature and purposeful, you learn as you interact and it’s somewhat less chaotic, there is no drama.
    • Just, keep in mind that you need to schedule some time and share moments with those friends and people around you that make you happy.
    • By now, you have certainly learned that Family is the more important aspect of your life and you’ve become grateful and mature. Now you DO share experiences and insights with your parents, you DO seek counsel and even look forward to “hang out” with them… you cherish their company and NOW you know that time with them is what keep you moving forward.
  8. Work is not everything
    • Ohh when you start to work in your profession, you almost think it’s not real or even worse, you know it is real but for some reason you need to grow rapidly no matter what; instead of taking it slow and appreciate each experience, your ambition gets the best of you.
    • Yes, now you are a successful woman in your 30s; as an experienced manager you have achieved great things and get recognition by others as a role model. But, along the way, you lost yourself, your health, your life-balance is non-existent and for some reason, you are always tired. That’s when you realised, you are burned out.
    • You start to change you habits and be more conscious of the importance of other dimensions in life.
    • Be sure, you put yourself first, your family, your loved ones and schedule your time accordingly.
    • Work is very important, but not in itself. It should be something you love, but not something you love more than yourself. Keep in mind that you are more complex than just your work.
  9. Exercise your mind & body
    • Somewhere I heard that we live only to die slowly. When you are in your 30s, you start to think like that, in the sense that there is pain where it shouldn’t be, gravity starts to show unexpectedly, and your mind changes… now you realise that your mind is more awake in the mornings. You thought that you were NOT a morning person all your life… and you start transitioning; old habits clashing with your new expectations.
    • You thought the only way of exercising was by dancing or maybe walking from here to there… you know, with a purpose other than to just exercise!!
    • You have discovered something called STRESS and got used to it; now you know that if you ignore stress you almost literally can and will explode.
    • Om, you are learning meditation, yoga and started to exercise. And, I must say that it is still very difficult to create a healthy routine when most of your life, it was not part of your plans at all. So, the earlier you start, the easiest to incorporate exercise in your life.
    • Last, but not least, you have learned that TV is not healthy at all.
    • Once upon a time, you spent almost your entire night just watching TV and nothing else mattered.
    • Today, you can assure that it is your vice and haven’t yet conquer it.
    • When you watch TV there is a moment of complete disconnection with yourself; it is like an escape from reality and that’s the reason you like it so much. Time pass and you don’t even notice.
    • Please, make a schedule and make sure that your time watching TV or bing watching shows is at a minimum.
    • Be in contact with yourself and those around you. Accept your reality with its beauty and flaws, because it is your life and you create it second by second. If you are emotionally absent, you are not pausing time, you are just losing it.
    • And time is precious as it allows you to create moments that are going to stay with you forever.