In Happiness, Leadership, Mental Health, Self awareness by rysteinLeave a Comment

I reached out to my friends this weekend and asked them what advice they wished they had gotten growing up. Funny how a simple piece of advice can change everything isn’t it? You can probably think of at least five things someone should have told you, but did not get to hear. Below are a few of the answers I received, see if you can relate to any.

What advice do you wish you had gotten growing up?

  • Don’t be afraid to be genuine and honest. Even if not always at first, I find that people appreciate these thoughts much more.
  • Our parents are children too. They try their best, but they aren’t perfect. It took me so long to realize that they are simply teaching us what they know and have learned, they can’t know it all.
  • It’s ok to be vulnerable and broken sometimes. Life is not all rainbows and sunshine, and thats ok.
  • I would say to not be ashamed of my life experiences or missed experiences. Step further to make sure I understood that I am unique and need to operate from within myself.
  • Take┬ámore chances
  • That it’s okay to be yourself and not to live your life how others think you should.
  • Walk your own path and don’t compare yours to others.
  • Be Different


Many of the responses pertain to identity, so let’s start there. This will be part 1 of 2 in this blog series, so if you like this one, stay tuned.

As children, many of us were conditioned to “blend in” and to “not make too much noise”. I believe this stems from a predator and prey mindset. I think our parents were scared that if we were too loud or “out there” that we would get picked up and end up getting hurt. Similar to how many animals that are prey will blend in as a form of self defense. To some degree, this is true, people will try to cut you down if you stand out too much. Does that mean you should stop standing out? Absolutely not.

Let’s get one thing clear: you are not prey. If there is one piece of advice I have been given it’s this: you will die.

Now what?

The reason that I say this is that so many of us are worried about dying, here is the thing, it’s inevitable. You will die and that’s okay. What you should be more scared of is whether you are going to live or not.

One of the most powerful moments you will have is when you find out a piece of who you are. It will resonate through you like your favorite song making all your hair stand on end.

Your next question most likely is: how do I find out who I am?

Good question, friend – here is how:

  1. Try something you think you’ll like
  2. Assess if it made you feel like your best self
  3. If it did, repeat
  4. If not, try something else

Oversimplified? Very. Effective? Absolutely.

So, stop living like you are in high school. Because, it is does not matter what the prom queen is doing. Because, the only person who has to think about your decisions at the end of the day is you.

Stop worrying about what other people see and start worrying about what you see?

Because if you are not seeing a badass, we have got some work to do.

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