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Monday Moment: To be 16 again…

Emma Grey

I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to write up a series of profiles for a special feature that will be revealed on HerCanberra later this week. Reading through the material for this feature, both audio interviews and questionnaires, has been inspiring with one question jumping out at me in particular…

What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

I notice that question as a mum of a 16-year-old daughter and because I still have my diaries from that age.

Here are some of their answers:

  • Dream big and never give up. Every obstacle is there for a reason. It’s a blessing in disguise.
  • Don’t simply ‘exist’. Live life to the full.
  • Don’t change a thing, because then you won’t turn out to be who you are.
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. It completely changes your perspective.
  • Back yourself.
  • Never worry about being different. Ultimately it will be your greatest strength.
  • It’s important to look after yourself before other people.

Wonderful, isn’t it! It got me thinking about my own advice, and I didn’t have to think too hard, because it’s the same advice I give my kids right now.

  • It’s okay not to know where you’re going yet. Nothing is locked in.
  • Change your mind if that means staying true to yourself, and enjoy the process.
  • Dream really big. You’ll fail sometimes, and it’s best to fail fast, learn what you need and get going again, rather than to wonder and perfect and agonise about ‘getting things right’.
  • Don’t wait to feel confident enough. Courage isn’t about an absence of fear—it’s about doing things afraid, because what’s the worst that can happen?
  • Take risks. Don’t settle. Find what you love and make a lot of space for it in your life.
  • Explore. Be real. Own your differences. Listen to your heart.

And what about you? What advice would you tell yourself or your kids at 16?


Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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