A couple weeks ago I was working on a Friday afternoon and decided to do what so many of us do....check Facebook.
Instead of scrolling through my feed and seeing what my friends were up to - I saw a live video of Will Ferrell giving the commencement speech at my alma mater - The University of Southern California.
Will Ferrell holds a special place in my heart because he was a permanent fixture at USC back when I attended during the school's football "glory days." Oh, and he was in Old School, but I digress...
I was immediately captivated by his speech as he talked about his early days of comedy and how a certain professor at USC inspired him to keep trying to make people laugh.
I thought back to my graduation day.
My mind raced to the 22-year old girl who was scared and excited about the future, which included moving to New York City and teaching 2nd grade through Teach for America.
I then thought about my freshman year of college when I heavily doubted myself, stressed about every paper and had a heavy case of imposter syndrome a.k.a "I'm not smart enough to be here."
"If only I knew then what I know now," I thought to myself.
I wouldn't have studied so hard (my nickname in the dorms was "Library").
I would have believed in myself.
I wouldn't have worn tube tops.
The classic question "What would you tell your younger self?" definitely applies. There's always wisdom that comes in time.
But I actually wondered what my younger self would say if she met the woman I am now.
My younger self would probably be impressed by my courage, strength and even the way I've handled life's so called mistakes and mishaps.
My life certainly hasn't turned out *exactly* as I planned. Thank goodness. But part of the ride is getting to learn about myself through the twists and turns.
I bet you have something you've gone through, something you didn't expect to happen and while you may have stumbled through it, you came out stronger on the other side.
I want you to try something:
Picture yourself 10 years ago - what were you worried about and what were you feeling? What were your hopes and fears?
Now picture your younger self meeting the person you are now. What would she say? What would she want to know? Would she be impressed and proud?
It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and get caught up in feeling like we haven't accomplished everything we've wanted.
But I'm guessing your younger self would be impressed by the way you've handled what life has thrown at you, even if things haven't turned out exactly as planned.
To deepen this exercise, take out a piece of paper or write an email to yourself with at least 3 things your younger self would be impressed by.
Here's what I came up with:
1) Moving to New York City
2) Learning about myself through break-ups and heartaches
3) Believing in myself even when I felt scared
Maybe you don't give yourself enough credit and maybe you lose perspective from time to time. It's bound to happen when we focus on setting goals, achieving things and moving forward.
There's real power that comes from appreciating how you've grown.
FYI, Will shared that his biggest accomplishment is his marriage of 16 years to his wife Viveca and his beautiful three children.
You get to decide your factors for success and happiness.
Thank you to Will Ferrell for the beautiful reminder. And Fight On :)
What are the three things your younger self would be impressed by? Get specific and remember what you were like 10 years ago. Write in the comments below and share this post with a friend who may need a perspective shift!