Your younger self

When you were younger, what did you want to be remembered for? Now you’re older, what do you wish you’d done? Or said? As a child we ask so many questions, but there seem to be just as many as we grow up. Have you looked back on life recently? Thought about how it currently is? 

Just this morning I woke to the thought that life was finally going the way that I wanted it to. Things were beginning to fall into place. You get that sometimes, don’t you? There’s a weird point of realisation after days, weeks, months, even years of craziness. That veil that has clouded you, lifts, and you realise your potential and abilities are greater than you ever gave yourself credit for.

I put this morning’s realisation down to an accumulation of several factors recently. Family plays a huge part when they have said, ‘You can do such and such. Why do you doubt yourself? Grab the bull by the horns’ (apt for a Taurean, I suppose!). Other times it has been people like my really good friend Susie who says, ‘You’re great at that, thanks for the advice,’ and who I can bounce ideas of at the most ridiculous hour of the day or night, and who I know will give honest feedback, not so that I necessarily improve what I’m doing, but so that it is good enough.

This week I met with a new, but already wonderfully influential friend, Sarah, who each time we meet has put my life into greater and greater perspective and made me realise how silly some of my thoughts really are. I don’t know how she has this magic power, but everything I say to her, she throws what is almost like a spanner into the works. It’s a good spanner though, and just this week, another of our conversations saw me squirming in my seat as I realised that she’d caught me in a circle of self-doubt and negating thoughts, and I had no answer but to admit that she was right. I could be and do anything that I wanted to. The only person that was stopping me, was me.

BUT (and Sarah will moan because I’ve used the word but), we all do it. We all negate ourselves. How often in a day do you heap hatred on yourself, chastising yourself for leaving the house in a state, not losing the weight you’d planned to, or you’re not a great parent, or adult? Facebook pinged as I woke this morning and the Truth Bomb Mom, who I’ll admit, I find quite funny, had posted a video exactly about it.

In the video she invites her friends around to her house and asks them some of the things that they say to themselves, which include those listed above. One mum even said that daily she tells herself that she is ‘an exaggerating, selfish liar’. Truth Bomb Mom then asks whether they would ever say those things to other people, and they all say they wouldn’t. The question is then posed. If you wouldn’t say it someone else, why say it to yourself? And that’s what I want to understand too. Why do we do it? Those times in the day when I say, ‘It won’t work. I’m not good enough to make it happen’, would I say that to someone else? Would I heck? I’m always telling others they can do things. 

What was the real clincher for me though in the video was when Truth Bomb Mom revealed a photograph of the ladies she is talking to when they were children and asked them if they would say those things to them. It is quite a shocking thing. Those cruel remarks that you wouldn’t dare say to another human being, or a child, you are happy to say to yourself. Why?

Why do you deserve to hear that? You don’t. Nobody does. Often, we beat ourselves up more than other people beat us up. We all have such wonderful talents that we should accept ourselves for them and shout them from the rooftops. These may not be the talents you thought you would have when you were smaller, but you have them now, and should make good use of them. Many of your talents are learnt from others, you’re no doubt thankful, but you’ve probably put your own magnificent spin on them.

Take Isaac Newton, born this day in 1643. He developed Calculus, prism studies, the Three Laws of Motion, and Universal Gravitation theory. He did great things, but is quoted as saying: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’.

Those giants were people who had gone before and done great things. People will have gone before you and done great things, but ultimately, others will come after you and think you have done great things, but you must believe it in yourself if those great things are to come to fruition. 

And so I return to my opener of this article and ask you again. When you were younger, what did you want to be remembered for? Now you’re older, what do you wish you’d done? Or said? Have you looked back on life recently? Thought about how it currently is? How, from where you are right at this moment, will you move forward and ensure you are remembered for great things? How will you use positive words to enhance your life? If you want your life to be better, you are the person to change it. The simplest action to start with is to change ‘can’t’ to ‘can’, ‘won’t’ to ‘will’, and cancel out the words ‘but’, ‘however’, and similar words that only act as propellants to thinking space for more excuses.

Oh, and I mentioned Susie tells me when things are good enough. Remember that. You don’t have to be fantastic. You can be good enough. That’s all that really matters.

Have a great week you wonderfully talented and brilliant person!

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