7th Seed of Hope: What would you say to your 18 year old self?
posted on Tuesday 01 Jan, 2019.
Welcome to the 7th Seed of Hope. Thank you for responding to my last Seed with your lovely thoughts and stories:-)
This Seed has “germinated” from a different place to my previous Seeds – a panel discussion which I attended earlier this year. After the event, as I turned on the key of my car and drove away, one of the questions to the panel lingered…
What would you say to your 18 year old self?
My 18 year old self was committed to a kinder world by becoming a doctor, helping others to live healthy and fulfilling lives. In 1969 our world was a different place, especially for a young woman. Despite her commitment, 18 year old Wendy was terrified to step out from the paths expected of women at that time. How could I have smoothed her path?
“Only you can choose which of the voices in your head to listen to,” I would suggest to her. “You have ‘I will never succeed’; ‘I don’t deserve’. And you have the voice that whispers ‘I can!’” Once I stopped listening to the negative voices they lost their power. Listening to the positive voices opened the path to my hopes and dreams.
“Practise the art of forgiveness,” I would advise her. Buried in self doubt, I took many years to forgive my mistakes and unkindnesses, let alone others who did not treat me kindly. One of my fellow school students specialised in creating misfortune for others, especially me it seemed at the time. Many years later when we met again, I empathised with her — life hadn’t treated her kindly. The pain of the past drained away as I hugged her.
“Embrace the tough times as golden opportunities for you to connect to your strength – your resilience. You will get through, and be stronger for it. Have the courage to open your wings of hope, and soar far above your anchors of fear to touch the joy of your potential,” I would encourage her. As I parked my car and turned off the engine, I remembered when I discovered this courage during my 50s. I was shocked to realise that I was the only person who stood in the way of my hopes and dreams. My life changed forever after that. This is the journey in my autobiography and it’s theme song.
As you reflect on this past year, and your journey to know yourself more kindly, what advice would you give to your 18 year old self? If you would like to share — with me or in conversation among the Resilient Leadership™ Community that I belong to — I’d be delighted to listen.
I Hope this Seed inspires you towards your purpose with kindness.