A Letter to My Younger Self
A couple of years ago, a good friend named Marcella Allison (who happened to be named AWAI’s 2018 Copywriter of the Year at our recent Bootcamp!), invited me to participate in an event she was holding to empower and pay it forward to other copywriters, marketers, and entrepreneurs in our industry …
I was to write a letter to my younger self with a piece of advice I wished I could go back and tell her, and then read it to the group.
What helped me get ahead, what got in my way, and what really mattered?
The idea was inspired by the famous Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, and I was flattered to be asked to participate.
But looking back now, I realize the experience of writing the letter was wildly rewarding to me personally.
These days, many of us are way too hard on ourselves …
We struggle to do everything “right” and be our best … as children, parents, partners, writers, employees …
And we focus on what we haven’t yet achieved, rather than celebrating all that we have already accomplished in life.
Maybe you can relate?
As a writer, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re not doing well … and the next rung in front of you …
Getting your first client, making the jump to the next income level, mastering a new skill, adding another revenue stream, crushing a control … there will always be another rung no matter how far you climb.
And while I’m a big believer in pushing forward to always grab the next rung on the ladder, I now know from experience that pausing for a minute, and looking down the ladder you’ve already climbed, can be extremely motivating.
So today, I’d like to invite you to write your own letter to your younger self …
What would you tell him or her today that would provide comfort and encouragement on the journey ahead?
I’ve pasted my letter below …
And if you’d like to share yours with me, I invite you to send it to me here.
Just remember, when it comes to the writer’s life, there is no “finish line” — and there will always be another goal in front of you …
So schedule in those moments to take a break … reflect on how far you’ve come … and then get back to work! ;)
A Letter to My Younger Self …
You’re going to be successful. Relax!
I realize the world feels so big and the path in front of you seems overwhelming at times. So I’d like to give you some guidance on how to make that journey more enjoyable.
To start, know that early on, you won’t actually know as much as you think you know. It’s going to be a humbling experience after college. But when you figure that out, your real learning will begin.
Surround yourself with smart people. You will have many incredible mentors along the way — be open to every opportunity to learn. Just don’t let your ego get in the way. You don’t have to know it all. And you won’t! So use this time to learn.
Next, be brave …
The best things in life will make you feel like you’re going to throw up. Literally! But I promise they’re worth it. Go ahead and walk through every door that opens. And feast your heart on what it craves.
And finally, practice self-care … both physically and emotionally.
I know you like to burn the candle at both ends, and are proud of your “first in-last out” way of working, but it will come at a cost.
It may seem counterintuitive right now, but the more you can focus on what your body needs … rest, water, sleep … the faster you’ll move forward and the more successful you will be. Remember to BREATHE.
And while yes, being a perfectionist and a strong competitor will serve you well …
Life will be far easier if you remind yourself at every turn that you’re doing the best you can. And sometimes — most times — that will have to be good enough.
You are good enough.
What advice would you give your younger self? Let us know in the comments below!