Perspective – Advice to Our Younger Selves

Often times you hear someone being asked what advice they would give to their younger selves.  I thought it would be an interesting exercise to ask the Perspectives Team what advice they would give to themselves.  In considering my own answer I realized that the advice that I would give to my younger self is the advice that I need to continue to live and follow still today.

I polled one representative from each age decade to see how they weighed in. Are we more alike or are we polar opposites?  Come with me to find out.

Caroline's younger self 2011

“If I were to give some advice to my younger self, I think it would be to not sit in a W because that now makes it harder for me to stay turned out in ballet.  It took me a really long time to learn to sit criss cross applesauce.”  ~ Caroline 10’s

Cristina younger self

“Given that I’ve only taken 20+ trips around the sun, I realize that I may not have the resume suited for lending advice. But time is a funny thing, and while I may not have more time than most, I’ve had many experiences that have helped me grow and evolve to the person standing in my shoes today. So, with that, here it goes….

Cristina, you’ll like yourself a lot at 29, and you’ll definitely be proud of who you are in this moment. I don’t really have any advice for you perse, but I will leave you with just three things; One, just start no matter what. Two, remember “everything you can imagine is real”. And three, ask your parents for fake glasses that actually HAVE lenses in them. Lensless glasses really just defeats the purpose.  🙂 That’s it. Love you little Cristina. I’m still working on making all of your dreams and wishes come true. Just know that you are who I continue to strive to be. ~ Cristina 20’s (

JOberholtzer throwback

“Let go of your pride. There will always be someone better and more successful than you. Life isn’t a competition. Your pride can prevent you from experiencing some of life’s great joys. Don’t let it stop you from living your life and loving others for living theirs and enjoying their successes.” ~ Jackie O. 30s

JSphar throwback

“Advice I would give to a younger me…

I would tell her how important it is to listen to her gut instinct when she feels it. I have realized that it is, very often, spot on. (This is something I still struggle with and need to remind myself of now!) I would tell her to stop worrying so much about what other people think because in the grand scheme of things, being kind and focusing on being a good friend, person, wife, mother, and daughter is all that really matters.

I would actually tell the youngest version of myself that she has anxiety and that she needs to forgive herself for having those anxious feelings. That many other people have it too, it’s an actual thing and she’s not the only one who is weird or insecure. I would remind her to try as much as possible to live in the moment and really appreciate what she has right now.  Oh, and I would tell her to STOP laying out in the sun.” ~Jen 40s

senior pic

“I would advise my younger self to enjoy the present.  Don’t worry about the past or fret about the future.  It only squanders the moment that you are in.  Life is always moving and if your head is in the past or future too long, you miss the present completely.  Life has a way of working out for the good if you just trust in your path and have patience when everything seems to be at a standstill.  Like jumping onto a moving carousel, sometimes you have to stand still for a moment to get yourself on the moving ride at the right time and in the right place.”  ~Jennifer 50’s ish (I’ll be 50 in January 🙂 )

BMazzone throwback

“Unsolicited advice is criticism. So, younger self, I will not impart advice. I will tell you what you will experience. I also hope that when this 62 year old reaches 90 she will be as blessed by this journey we call life.

You will be fine. Life will surprise you and disappoint you, but always you will benefit from either experience. Hard times will reveal your strength, your heart, and your true friends. You are blessed with many loving people in your life, starting with your family. You will never be alone because of your faith. You will be supported and loved by an amazing husband.

You will have a beautiful, loving, and talented daughter who is the joy of your heart. Your son in-law is the son you never had and is perfect for your daughter. And at this point you are head over heals in love with your granddaughter who named you Yaya.

Although you will make many mistakes they have not turned into regrets. You will count your blessings, use your talents and gifts and try to love and bring peace along the way.

So, enjoy this blessed and wonderful journey. You will be more than fine.” ~ Barbara 60s

Peggy younger self

“I am thinking of my grade school years. I was quite bashful and only felt comfortable with certain kids in my class. I tried to teach myself to be more out going and to make more friends. By the time I got to high school I had made many more friends and, even to this day, I have so many dear friends. I went to a four year college studying to be a nurse. I quit college to marry my husband of 51 years; the best advice I ever gave myself.”  ~Peggy 70’s

dad and mom engagement

“I have endless advice to give a younger self. Much is related to stupid stuff that I would learn shortly after I did that I’d never to do that again. Other things were harder to change like weight, raising kids, and the big ones, worry and fear.

Looking back at old photos of myself, I realize that I wasn’t fat at all. I really looked pretty good. I should have been realistic and never tried extreme diets that never had long lasting positive results and only left me with a lifetime of misery. While raising my children I was always hoping and praying that they would grow up to be happy productive adults. Some days I was blissfully happy at their progress. Other days I was sure they would never get along and would hate one another. I would now tell myself to chill out and be patient; that all will be well. That’s 20/20 hindsight talking.

Fear and worry is an on going trial. FEAR, an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, and worry go hand and hand.  I’d advise myself to give it to God to handle in His own time. Definitely not easy….I seem to want to hold on a tad.  Surrendering myself was and is even now a work in progress.”  ~Temple 80s


In reading the responses from each participant, it was clear that each answer was to correct something that may still impact us today.  Themes of patience and advice to live in the moment also were reoccurring.  I also found it comforting that, like me, the others felt that they still needed to remind themselves now of the advice they would give to their younger selves.

We are heading into the New Year shortly.  As I’ve established previously in my January 19, 2017 post “Resolutions”, I don’t do resolutions.  But having gone through the exercise, I think one goal for the new year might just be to try to live my advice now.  Take the time to consider your own advice to your younger self.  Join in the conversation and add your advice in the comments.