How many times have you heard the saying, “if I knew then what I know now”…followed by any number of endings?
I started thinking about what advice or knowledge I would pass along to teenage girls that would save them the painful process of learning it for themselves, and came up with the following, in no particular order:
Being Shy Will Get You Nowhere.
I was painfully shy as a child and teenager, and it was only once I left school, started my first job and was forced to put myself out there that I realized most of the people who seem to have it together and exude confidence are really just better at hiding their insecurities. Next time you’re in a situation where you don’t know anyone, take a deep breath and look around. You’ll probably see someone else lurking on the sidelines looking as uncomfortable as you feel. Walk up and introduce yourself….trust me, they will be very happy that you did, and now it’s two of you against the world, not just one!
Beauty Really Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.
Don’t waste time comparing yourself to women on TV or in magazines. TV and movie actresses have a whole army of makeup and stylists helping them to look good on screen. Those women don’t look anywhere near as good in real life, and magazines air brush photos to remove every blemish, wrinkle and bulge. If you ask 10 men (not hormonal teenage boys) to point out the most beautiful woman in the room, you’ll probably get 10 different answers, and they won’t all look like supermodels. They may have a gap between their teeth, wear glasses, carry a few extra pounds, or snort when they laugh. Happiness is beautiful, intelligence is beautiful, being interested in the people you meet is beautiful. Be strong, be healthy, and be happy, and you will be beautiful, inside and out.
High School Is Not Life.
Truly….for most of us high school was the worst time of our lives. Shy, self-conscious, afraid to be different, to be ourselves. There is a great, big, beautiful world waiting for you, where you can be yourself…be whatever you can imagine, without worrying about what the “popular” crowd thinks of you. Unlike high school, where you’re trapped with the same group of kids from year to year, in the real world you get to pick who you want to have in your life!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!
Seriously…. 5 years from now no-one, most especially you, is going to care if you had a pimple on prom night, or if you got invited to the party of the year, or if you only got 95 on your exam instead of 100. Be kind to yourself….you don’t need to be perfect, just be the best you that you can be. Just you is more than enough.