I would generally describe myself as an extroverted introvert – a peacemaking oldest child with obsessive compulsive tendencies (I’m fun to hang out with, I promise!).
I hate controversy, feel most comfortable when everyone is happy, and am more of a follower than a leader. It’s been a long journey, but I can finally say I am the happiest I’ve ever been and feel the most confident in my own skin.
Throughout my 31 years, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone in many situations and have tried to stretch myself both personally and professionally. Naturally, I’ve had my fair share of both successes and failures. Instead of looking back and having regrets regarding the actions I’ve taken, I have tried to learn from my mistakes in order to continue building my future.
Now that I have a daughter, I hope to steer her in a direction where she can avoid making some of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.
I want to empower her as a young woman exploring this world. I want to teach her that anything is possible, and she holds the power to create her ideal future. While I know I cannot control every move or decision she will make, I can help her in building a confident mindset to carrying her forward through her life.
Based on my personal life experiences, these are the important life lessons I want to teach my daughter.
Give Into Self-Doubt
Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
I repeat this mantra to myself almost daily. As someone who struggles with confidence, I’ve spent most of my life combating self-doubt. I think my brain is maybe just wired this way since my parents did so much to try to build my confidence. I plan to do the very same with my daughter, and my hope is that she is wired differently than her mama.
There might be moments where she doubts her capabilities, skills, or knowledge – which is natural as we all grow into adulthood. We have to build our confidence step by step, and I hope to guide her along that path. However, I never want her to doubt her self-worth – we are all enough as we are.
Care What Others Think About You
Everyone has an opinion – some people will voice them directly to your face, others will gossip behind your back. These opinions are often formed in regards to your actions, appearance, or choices. It’s almost unavoidable. But, I know now that I’ve invested way too much time and energy into caring what others think about me when it comes to both my personal and professional life.
I will do everything in my power to teach my daughter how to deflect the negative opinions of others and to use them for personal growth. In the end, opinions don’t matter as long as you are happy and healthy.
Compare Your Life to Others
With social media embedded into our everyday lives, it can be hard not to compare yourself to people you see on Instagram or Facebook. There will always be someone with more expensive clothes, a more fit physique, or a more beautiful (clean) house.
I notice myself often entertaining this unhealthy comparison game even though I have a beautiful life and am beyond happy. I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed my childhood and adolescence without the influence of social media; however, my daughter likely won’t be as lucky.
I know I will have to be vigilant to build her confidence and feelings of self-worth in this age of constant comparison.
Follow Your Dreams
This is a crucial one for me as I often have regrets related to the professional path I’ve taken.
I know that each step has brought me to where I am today and that it has all unfolded in the way it should. However, I sometimes feel like I wasted many years of my life just working a job to make ends meet when I could have been chasing my passion (which, by the way, I am still trying to identify – and that’s OK!).
From now until she’s an adult, I will tell my daughter to follow her dreams and pursue her passion. I will help her uncover what this looks like for her and encourage her even if her dreams are not reflective of what I dream for her. Life’s too short to waste time doing otherwise!
As the years go by and I get older, I’ve realized that it becomes harder to take risks. You have more responsibility, so it’s not always easy to justify an unfamiliar course.
But taking a risk doesn’t mean you have to pick up and move to Italy. Risks come in all sizes. It’s taking the action where you are unsure of the outcome that is both intimidating and exhilarating. From taking risks, you can learn your true potential – or you can learn from the failure if it doesn’t go as planned.
I want my daughter to understand the impact of taking risks but not fear them as I have in the past.
Voice Your Opinion
As a self-identified introvert, I’ve always struggled to speak my mind or voice my opinion.
With age, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up, but it certainly does not come easy to me. It’s a combination of self-doubt and fear of what others think that holds me back.
I want my daughter to learn the skills to overcome these feelings from early on – and I hope to help provide her with these tools so she always knows her voice is valid and important.