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What I Would Tell My 20-Something Self!

ChristineHasslerI’m writing this blog after facilitating a retreat for YPO where most of the participants were 20-somethings.  I was inspired by their strong intentions to be successful in all aspects of their lives. I was also touched by the incredible amount of pressure, expectations, confusion, and anxiety that they were experiencing. Embarking on the decade where they feel like they have to “figure it all out” felt incredibly overwhelming to them.

I totally get it…because that is how I felt in my twenties. I believed that I was supposed to have a plan for my entire life and put an extraordinary amount of pressure on myself.  I was able to create a lot of external results, but it cost me a lot of joy, peace, play, and presence during my twenties.

As I taught and guided them this weekend, I also reflected upon my own 20-something experience, which was a very challenging decade for me.  As I look back with gratitude and compassion, there are many things I want to tell my 20-something self. Here are some of the things I would say to her:

Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Be gentle. Speak to yourself in more loving and encouraging ways. Your inner dialogue is the most powerful voice you hear. Turn down the volume of the critic so the voice of your inner knowing gets louder.

Smile. A lot.

You are doing the best you can. Always looking for ways to be more, better or different is NOT the formula for success. You think it is motivating you to create results, but it is completely exhausting. Look for what inspires you rather than what drives you. Allow your curiosity to lead you.

You know that guy you are obsessed about getting to like you? In five years you won’t even remember his name.

You know that job you are devastated about not getting? There is a way better opportunity coming around soon.

Don’t wait for fear to go away before you go after something you want. Being scared is natural. You’ll become more courageous each time you feel fear and do it anyway.

Stop comparing yourself to others, it is preventing you from seeing and discovering your own unique gifts and what you are here to express to the world. Know that the qualities you admire in others are the qualities you need to recognize and nurture inside yourself.

Your parents are people too with issues and triggers. They are getting used to having an adult child just as you are getting used to being an adult.

You are going to get over your heartbreak. I know it feels so painful right now. Cry all your tears, get it out, and then let it go. Take the lessons you learned and move forward. You will love and be loved again. And you will be so grateful for your heartache because it taught you so much about love.

Take leaps of faith – even when you don’t know where you are going to land. You are going to develop so much courage and trust in yourself as you take risks.  It’s okay not to be 100% sure…51% sure is enough to take the leap.

Be of service. Have a generous heart. That is how you make a difference in the world.

Enjoy your body. Stop obsessing about it. Stop trying to make it into some perfect image of what you think it should be. You look fantastic, take lots of pictures and wear bikinis more often.

“No” is a complete sentence. You don’t need to follow it with justifications and apologies.

The decisions you are making are not all forever decisions. I know you feel so much pressure to figure it all out right now and everything feels like a major decision. It’s not. Choose what feels the best for RIGHT NOW and trust you will learn from each choice you make.

You will find your passion and purpose. Everything that you are going through now is a piece of the puzzle. Just because you don’t know how the puzzle comes together yet doesn’t mean it’s not being assembled.

Sometimes figuring out what you want is a process of elimination. Let yourself experiment and try different things. It’s okay to change your mind, and the only way you’ll know if something is a fit is if you try it.

Cultivate your friendships. They will become the family you get to choose. Find friends who will grow with you and let go of the friendships that have reached their expiration date.

List the things you are grateful for every day.

Nurture your relationship with a Higher Power. Spend time in the silence and get to know The Divine. You are not separate.

What other people think of you is none of your business. People are always going to judge you. So what!?! It’s impossible to please everyone or be liked by everyone.  Be you, the real you, not the version you think you need to be for others.

You are enough. You are perfect just the way you are.

Ask for help and support. You do not have to figure everything out on you own, and you are not supposed to have everything figured out right now.  It’s okay not to know how, what, when, where and why.

Take compliments.

You are doing the best you can.  And so is everyone else.

ENJOY the moment.  Your mind is always in the future. Stop living in when/then’s.  Be here now and have FUN.  This is a time in your life where you can be a bit selfish and focus on what makes you happy.

Forgive. Yourself and anyone else you are holding judgments against.

You are not alone. So many other people feel the same way you do. Be willing to be vulnerable.

Rejection is God’s Protection. You can’t always get what you want but you do always get what you need – just not in the form or on the timeline you may have expected.

Each step is moving you forward, even if you feel like you are moving backward.

Breathe. Slow down. Take your time.  It all works out. Your dreams come true and there are magical surprises is store. Life is amazing now and it gets even better!!!

You are loved. I love you.

From your 30-something Self,

Christine

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p.s. Join me TONIGHT (2/19) live in L.A. or via livestream for my next women’s coaching group on Love & Relationships. I’ll be teaching about the 4 different types of relationships, the biggest mistake you could be making in your relationships (or what is keeping you from having one!), and some tips for getting more of the love you want.  Go here for more info.

Christine Hassler is an author, speaker, life coach and spiritual counselor dedicated to helping people answer the questions who am I, what do I want and how do I get it?  You can check out her website here: http://www.christinehassler.com/

 

  • Jelena Zivanovic

    Beautiful beautiful text Christine!! This is the best morning inspiration we can get today!!!!
    Warm regards!!!

  • Sindhujaa Kumar

    I’m 24… and you spoke STRAIGHT to me :/
    Needed to hear what you said!
    Thanks!

  • Sarahmillinor

    Awesome!  I felt like I was reading it to my former self! :)

  • http://twitter.com/heatherwaxman Heather Waxman

    THANK YOU! Totally needed this post this AM. I”m 23 and definitely can relate to the self-growth anecdotes you awesomely (is that a word) laid out here. You’re amazing, Christine!

  • Jjl089

    Thank you Christine. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.  Sending my love and thanks to you!!!

  • Christina Tarantola06

    I am speechless. You truly hit on everything that I have been thinking about! I am so gung-ho on finding my purpose in life, exhausting myself to figure it all out. This was so helpful!!!!

  • CecilieSadolin

    Wonderful, thank you so much:) From a 25 year old Dane…… <3

  • Jarrodbuchanan92

    “Turn down the volume of the critic so the voice of your inner knowing gets louder.” my name is Jarrod Buchanan, and this was the loudest out of everything you said. my goal is to look at whatever is right, productive, and inspirationally motivating so that my feet start moving and get directions. childlike heart that I grew up with is what I try to follow so that the man in me can remember who he still is. my Belief about Who I am is what I will Become, so now and again I doing my best to understand where I stand and to step outside my own box and think about who I am and which way to go. thank you for your record of such an important thought!

  • http://www.twitter.com/emabaksa Ema

    Thank you so much for this blog and those words. I am 22 years old and today I failed one of my exams and your words are so healing. I felt like every word you wrote and I read was directly for me. A huge THANK YOU.

  • Crholder

    Incredible! I’m 29 lol but I don’t think I will ever outgrow the things you said. Thank you so much!

  • Cgseward

    This blog came at the perfect time! I’m 28 and can relate to everything you said. As a teacher, I always say…I’m going to teach my students what my teachers didn’t teach me or what I didn’t pay attention to. This blog is the retrospective. Thank you for teaching (reminding) me!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Hassler/505581166 Christine Hassler

       And thank YOU for passing it on to your students

  • Matea

    love love love for you, thank you Christine :)

  • Dancewme

    I am 64 and I need to follow these recommendations.  Thank you!

  • Vapmenenberg

    I am WAY past the 20′s and continue to battle with life…lots of old negative history, these sort of “reminders” never age and are not age related.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Hassler/505581166 Christine Hassler

       As a 30 something – I agree!! It was nice to remind myself as I wrote it

  • http://thejourneytolearnacceptance.blogspot.com/ Nina

    As a 25-year-old, I see so much truth and wisdom in this. Thank you for sharing. We do get caught up in our lives, and we need to remember to choose love; to love ourselves and everyone around us. Thank you for this!

    Much love,
    Nina
    http://thejourneytolearnacceptance.blogspot.com

  • Alexa

    Turning 24 in a month, overwhelmed by how much I haven’t accomplished. The same realization caused my now-ex of the same age to leave me in search of “himself”.

    In short, I needed this. Thankyou so much.

  • Fabulouslifeinternational

    TThis was music to my ears. I would have love to hear this in my 20′s. Thank you so much for sharing I’m going to use this message to remind my 30something self of how beautiful life is and my 40′s are going to be Fabulous!

  • Erin

    As a 22 year old, I am SO thankful I was led to read this this morning. I’m writing excerpts down to be reminded more often of the blessings on this wonderful journey. Thank you for such powerful and inspiring words!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Hassler/505581166 Christine Hassler

       So glad it helped Erin – You have PLENTY of time…deep breaths :)

  • yani

    thank you! this means a lot!

  • Victoria

    Thanks for sharing.

  • K Patino

    Thank you for this Christine, this meant everything to me

  • Scott

    I’m 23, a college grad, working full time, and put so much pressure on myself EVERYDAY! Thank you Christine for this wonderful blog. I think I will write these down on notecards and look at them each day.

  • Michaela

    Yes – in agreement with all the other 20-somethings who have commented… thank you, thank you and thank you again. I so needed this today. And plan on rereading daily to remind myself of all this greatness. 

    - a 24-year-old

  • Cathy

    Beautiful!  I wish I had told myself these things!

  • Madisonabraham

    Thank you for this! I am turning twenty one this week, graduating this year, and trying to figure out the rest of my life! After my first major bad breakup fresh under my belt and moving out for the first time, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.  I’m just ready for light, love, and success in my future for 2013!

    M

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaylle.tedesco Kaylle Tedesco

    I think its totally awesome that all of you early 20′s are on here gaining new perspectives on how to live life more fully.  I can tell you that I started my new journey when I was about 22 and it took about 3-4 years to find this inner knowing that Christine talks about.  I’m now 27 and I realized what finding my purpose meant.  It means living everyday honoring the creation that I am, surrending to situations I want to control, and knowing that every challenge I am presented with is there to help me step into the person I’m meant to be for the world.

    We learn by experience what feel good to us and what doesn’t.  Use your heart’s compass and you’ll be exactly where your meant to be.

  • Jasmine Jove

    Reading this at 25, you’ve pretty much nailed what obstacles I have come to peace with, what I’m still working on, & knowledge I’ve never thought to realize. Truly inspirational, especially when it can get frustrating. You have beat me to the punch as I’ve already started a private journal of what I remind myself about my self discovery. Great post!

  • http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/ Sarah Noel

    I totally agree!  I’m 35 now and think back to my 20s.  Boy, I thought I knew it all then!  I remember  (and I actually reread my journals from that time in my life to remind myself)  thinking I’d be ready to get married by the time I’m 23 or 24.  It would be right after college, so it was the next step.  Right?  Well, that time came and went and I was NOT ready to get married.  At all.  I’m 35, and honestly still not sure I’m ready for marriage.  Of course this could be b/c I haven’t met the right person yet… but I THOUGHT I met him a few times in my 20s and it turned out I was wrong. 

    In my 20s I didn’t respect myself enough.  I’m learning to do that now. 

    I’m now convinced that the 20s is the time to figure out who YOU are, as an individual.  It’s the time to do what you want, as much as you possibly can.  Don’t rush into anything.  Don’t do anything b/c you feel like you “have” to or are expected to.  What do YOU want? 
    You may think you know, so you may try something (a job, a relationship, anything) only to discover it’s not actually what you want after all.  That’s OK!!! 

    Life is about trial and error.  TRY new things!  DO what speaks to you! 

    There’s no hurry.  You DON’T “have” to do anything by a certain time or age. 
    The 30s are loads of fun too!!  The 30s are NOT old… contrary to what you think now, in your 20s.  ;)   I’m actually having more fun and enjoying life more now, at the age of 35, than I did at 25.  I’m definitely more ME now than I’ve ever been, and that feels great!  I look forward to the years to come!  :) 

    Sarah
    http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/2013/02/cast-off-your-labels.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Hassler/505581166 Christine Hassler

       AMEN!

  • Phil

    I was just sitting here feeling a little depressed because I don’t know where my life is going and I’ve held this fear of expressing my creative talents because of not feeling good enough and fear of rejection.  Your message just lifted me up and I have to learn not to be so hard on myself and so cautious and fearful of new things and new people.  Thank you for writing this.

  • Erin Nicole

    Thank you, loved this one

  • Abigail

    I’m 18 and this was EXACTLY what I needed today.  Great reminders, I’m so thankful for this post.

  • Lynda Hanna

    This is so beautiful.  Thank you Christine for your honesty and vulnerability.  I turned 30 last October and I can relate to feeling like I had to be this or that throughout my 20s.  I tried to conform to what everyone wanted and it was exhausting!  I had many disappointments, losses both professionally and personally, and yet I also married my best friend, earned two degrees, and started my own business after finding myself unemployed.  The greatest lesson that I learned in my 20s is that failure can propel you into the right direction.  I heard a quote once that said, “Make plans but hold them loosely.”  Life is an adventure and learning, growing, and overcoming obstacles is what makes it exciting.  Oh, and there’s no such thing as “arriving.”  Life and people are way too complex to figure out.  The only choices you can ever really control are your own.  Be blessed.   :  )

  • Andrea

    Beautifully said. I am just 27 and very guilty of trying to fit a mold I thought I had to… I wish I forgave myself in my early 20s. Though I have no regrets, I was always thinking about the next step and putting pressure on myself to have it all perfectly articulated – rather than living in the moment. I catch myself in my old behaviours every now and again, but forgive myself and move on.
    Smile and be good to yourself. Life is beautiful :)

  • Allison

    Wow! Could not of come at a better time. Thank you, Christine. I just am recently 20 and will carry this with me through my journey. Love and thanks- Allison

  • Smhawkins22

    Thank you for posting this, as a 22 year old, I needed some encouragement in a time where craziness and confusion is the norm. 

  • Pixie

    Wow! Thank you!! I’m 25 and feeling almost everything you said…this is exactly what I needed this morning!! Have a lovely day TDL-ers! :) xx

  • Jiggyboy420

    Wow another eye opening article that counts! Saving out of some furture self-respect I mat need

  • Guest

    I’m 27 and I get all that you wrote and I so agree with you :) But, I have a question.. In last few months, I’m very unhappy that I don’t have that special someone.. I’m single for almost 3 years.  In those 3 years that I’m single, I’ve done so much for myself! I learned to live my life the way I wanted (and not feel guilt because of that), I started to ADORE myself ;) etc.. But now, I so much want to love that special someone and be loved.. It drives me crazy!! So, my question is – what to do? How to be patient with waiting on the right relationship? Thank you! :)

  • AKILAHNOEL

    THANK YOU >>> I will be printing this out and putting it upon my wall

  • Guest

    …or your 40-something self!   Thank you.

  • kristyn

    great food for thought!

  • http://twitter.com/ImStephRamos Stephanie Ramos

    Turned 25 a couple months ago and sometimes I think that I have a really good grasp on life and I feel confident in myself… sometimes at least. Lately I’ve been struggling and reading this not only brought me to tears but helped me so much. THANK YOU!!

  • Joel

    Truth! Christine….what an amazing read! Thank you! I’m 41 now…and as I read through the things you’d like to say to your younger self…all I can think of is how applicable these things are to anybody at any age! Nuggest of wisdom for  how to live happier, healthier and more spirtually aligned. 

  • http://joannemstein.com/ JoAnne Stein

    What a great post!  It seems we label ages and decades in our lives as “this is the time for/to be” and get caught up in that.  There is no set age or time that defines all people.  Everyone is unique and we have to listen to ourselves and follow our hearts, no matter what our age.  I’m 27 now and I feel like this is finally sinking in for me and I feel so much more relaxed now because of it. Instead of judging our age and where we think we “should” be in life, we can just let go and be who we are and not get hung up on something that’s just a number and not who we are on the deepest level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexandra-Glorioso/10025811 Alexandra Glorioso

    From a twenty-five year old, this is exactly what I needed today. Thank you, Christine!

  • Gabby

    As a 19 year old girl, who is turning 20 soon, I totally needed to read this!! I was VERY anxious about turning 20 because I thought it means that I am no longer a kid and that I have to grow up and have everything figured out, but your article definitely made me feel much better, thank you! Also, I thought that this is supposed to be the “prime time” of my life and it’s going to waste…it’s nice to know that life can be even better in your 30s. In fact, life was just getting too stressful and depressing for me, that I just had to skip my two classes at school today for my own sanity, which I ever so rarely do. I just felt so trapped because I CONSTANTLY worry about the future, so, following the advice of my Dad, I took the time to just enjoy the moment. It was fun to be a bit rebellious and not get caught up in the pre-med intensity :)