Life teaches the best lessons, doesn’t it? Yet, there is always something that we wished we would have known earlier in life. What if we could go back in time and teach all those priceless lessons to ourselves? That would be amazing!
On that note, here are some of the things that Su and Ta would have liked to tell to their younger selves. Read on and let us know if you relate to these.
You are enough:
If I could talk to myself when I was as young as 20 or 21 years of age, I would just tell myself to stop the self-doubt and just believe that things will be ok, says Sujata. “You don’t have to keep fighting with yourself and keep comparing yourself with others all the time. You are smart. You will do good”, Is what she wants to emphasise to her past-self. Your voice matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Taniya says that she used to keep her opinions to herself and hardly speak out when she was younger. It became a habit for her to suppress her own voice and tell herself that her opinions did not really matter.
She says, “I was already an adult when I realised that I was not speaking out for myself. It took a lot of effort to start speaking out what was on my mind and convince myself that my opinions did matter. I raised my voice for the first time in engineering college against the silly dress code that our seniors imposed on us even when it was not an official rule of the college. After a battle of 6 months, things changed.”
She says that she realised how even a single voice had the power to bring about change and has never looked back after that. She wants to tell her younger self to assert this power and have no doubt about speaking out.
Never shy away from asking questions:
Su says, “I think I tried to show the world that I was very smart all the time. I never used to ask any doubts that I had in mind because I didn’t want to sound foolish. I just wanted to be known for being sorted in my head.”
This, she says, made her lose valuable insights from people and definitely slowed down her progress. So, she would advice her younger self to never be afraid to ask questions because each of these questions could be a doorway to so much of learning.
Respect your own pace. It’s okay to do so:
Taniya says she used to over-commit when she was younger and try to make an impossible to-do list and follow through. She says she pushed herself too much and went all out when she was in IIM Lucknow.
Even after she started working, she would try to squeeze in meetings, working as a strategy consultant, building Suta, and then more meetings without considering her physical or mental health, she says.
She wants to tell her younger self to breathe and find a pace that lets her work peacefully instead of burning out.
Be vulnerable, be unapologetically you:
Sujata says that when she moved to Delhi first for her higher education, she had made assumptions about the city and people around her and changed who she was to suit that. She says that she thought her classmates were much smarter and was overwhelmed by suddenly having to live alone and all this was scary for her.
“I put up this pretense that I was very strong and did not let my vulnerability come out. I did not even share my fears or feeling with my parents because I was the elder daughter and people used to look up to me as an example”, she says.She feels that if she had reached out to her family, or just accepted who she really was instead of trying to change herself, she could have been happier at that time.
So, she says to her younger self, “Be more open. It is okay to be vulnerable. You don’t have to put on a strong face at the cost of losing your happiness.”
You don’t have to follow the herd:
Taniya says that when she was younger, she usually went with what most people around her said. She says that until a point of time she had forgotten that she could have her own take on things and she did not necessarily have to follow what was laid out in front of her. She says, “I want to tell myself that it is ok to disagree. Discussions are healthy and you don’t always have to follow the herd if you don’t want to.”
You can always afford to have fun:
Su says that she would tell her younger self to not take life too seriously and have a little more fun. She says, “I used to take it upon myself to always think about what the future would be and I would burden myself with so many things that weren’t even my reality at that time. These were things that I just imagined in my head and worried about.”
Sujata emphasizes that more than any other advice, she would just ask herself to let go of the worries and enjoy the moment without over-thinking because what has to happen will anyway happen but the present moment is the most beautiful always.