What would you tell your younger self? Here 10 women discuss what they would have loved to have known, advice that can still apply now!
“My advice to my younger self is threefold. First, stay brave. Bottle some of that youthful fearlessness and keep it with you. It’s fun being brave, but it gets harder as you get older. Second, keep people who make you laugh close by. They make everything feel lighter and brighter. And third, don’t panic. Things do have a way of working themselves out. Often in ways you couldn’t have predicted” Caroline Gordon, Partner/Head of Health at WA Communications
“3 top tips which I’d love to tell my younger self 1. Life is messy and doesn’t go to plan – that’s ok! Be prepared to adapt and change and learn along the way. 2. focus on what’s within your control – if you can’t influence it, don’t worry about it. 3. don’t waste energy and time comparing yourself to others, it will only enhance feelings of ‘not good enough’. Instead, appreciate your strengths, what makes you who you are, and believe in yourself. Your mind believes what you tell it, so if you can reinforce positive thoughts through daily practice and meditation, it will help you change your mindset” Lou Hughes, Group General Counsel at The Blair Partnership
“Be patient, always keep learning, be strong, be determined, be nice, work hard, be passionate, be creative and find the joy in the smallest things.” Chef/Owner of Emily Scott, Watergate Bay and first woman to cook for leaders of the western worlds at the G8 summit
“Recognise that you (I) have often subconsciously made decisions about something but then spend so much time still deliberating about it. Instead listen to your instinct earlier and waste less time putting possible hurdles in the way” Sally Bretton, actor
“a) be yourself – whatever you do, do it authentically and don’t try to be someone else (and don’t underestimate how powerful that can be to women coming up behind you) and b) “go for it”, whatever “it” is, and don’t self-limit. I think that many of us, as women, often think of all the reasons why we’re not qualified for something, and hold ourselves back, but there’s a whole world of opportunity out there. So dream big! And finally c), find a mentor or support network to help you – everyone can use a little help now and then! Corin Robertson, Director General, FCO
“Remember that your life is not a checklist of milestones to be ticked off a list. it will look different to other people and that is completely fine. Doing things in your own way on your own schedule does not make it wrong. b) Trust your gut in every situation, if it feels off it probably is! c) Almost everything is achievable, could you be standing in your own way? d) Growth, personal or professional is always awkward, and sometimes painful, but hang on in there e) When you’re afraid of a new challenge ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen.” Antonia Toomey, Founder of “Tailor Made Living”
“I would tell my 25 year old self: “well done for keeping going with Pilates. It may be an annoying commitment and you may hate exercise in every form, but having that strong core is going to allow your (“morbidly obese”) body to thrive through two “geriatric” pregnancies and give you everything you ever wanted from life – the two most amazing and perfect children” Josephine Green, celebrity PA
“What would I tell my 25 year old self?”
I would tell her not to fear change, and to have greater faith in her ability to survive, thrive and be agile when things deviated from the anticipated course.
I would also tell her to enjoy her body more, to recognise its strength and capabilities, and to stop comparing it. (If myself in 20 years could come back and tell me the same thing, now, that would be great too)
I would advise her to set boundaries earlier, and not to tolerate bad behaviour – how much time she could save and invest in more worthwhile activities!
And on that note, I would suggest she overthink less, too.
I would advise her to take a breath and not to react so quickly, or with such fire, because nobody’s first reaction to challenge is their best.
She should travel more, too – spend the money on long-haul flights to far flung, exciting countries, rather than on beer and nice tops to go with bootcut jeans, because she’ll donate so many of them to charity in a few years’ time.
Otherwise, I would tell her, she’s doing a pretty good job, and if she carries on the way she is, it will all work out fine.
Cathy Walker, Head of Education Development, Girls’ Day School Trust
“As long as you focus on what really matters to you, everything else will take care of itself” Joslyn Thomson Rule, Peloton Instructor, author, mentor
“You’re going to be okay. Your life will change completely in your 40’s and the journey will be hard but it will be totally worth it. But remember to focus on stuff that can make a difference. Helping people and making a difference to their lives is a value that will ultimately fulfil your life and make you proud.” Pamela Marshall, Aesthetician and Founder Mortar and Milk