Things I Wish My Younger Self Knew- Lesson 2
Life is full of experiences; as we go through them, they create the wisdom we carry into our later years. We can then share the wisdom with our children and the younger generations.
When I was 12, I tried out for my middle school cheer team. For days, my friend and I practiced the routine. Finally, I had it down to perfection and was ready for tryouts.
The next day, I stepped into the gym with a pit in my stomach. I nervously eyed the coaches sitting at the table, ready to see and critique our performance.
1-2-3… and instantly, my mind went blank. My arms raised when they should have gone down. I kicked my legs when they should have stayed still. I jumped up instead of squatting down. My timing was off. My moves were incorrect. I had completely forgotten everything I had been practicing the days and weeks before.
Embarrassment set in. Humiliation came over me. My face reddened, and the tears fell as I knew my try-out was a failure. When it was over, I walked out of the gym, ultimately defeated.
The next day, after school, they posted the results in front of the gym. My name did not appear on the list. Even though I knew my performance was terrible, I still hoped that there was a slight chance I could make the team.
I was devastated when I realized that not only did I not make it, but all my friends did!
I remember calling my mom from the pay phone, crying hysterically. To my 12-year-old self, it was the end of the world. I chose not to listen to her encouragement and wise words but rather sink into my self-pity.
This defining moment shaped my future self confidence and belief in myself.
Never again did I try out for cheer and continue with dance. I became convinced that I was not worthy of those things. I did not understand that failure was part of the process. That when we fall, we should get back up and try again.
I now reflect on the lessons I learned from that experience and what I would share with my younger self.
Letter to my Younger Self
Dear Younger Self,
Failure is part of life. There will be disappointments throughout life. But you must pick yourself up and try again.
Don’t give up. Practice harder when something is difficult and keep moving forward.
Do not let one defeat set you back. You are much more worthy than a single failure.
Life is full of disappointments, but do not let them define you!
You are wonderfully made! God made you to do amazing things.
Keep persevering and attempting new things. Keep working at getting better at something you love. Seek help to achieve what you want to accomplish.
Learn from failure and reflect on how you can do better. But please do not let your thoughts and emotions create a prison of fear for you. Do not let them limit you and make you feel like what you want is unattainable or unachievable.
Keep trying. Do not listen to the negative voices in your head. You can do great things, but it may take time. Time to get better. Time to learn and grow.
You have excellent potential, and you need to trust in it. Do not let one setback stop you from moving forward.