In my most recent book, SoSueMe What Happened Next, I wrote quite a bit about life lessons, and the various things I wish I had known years earlier!
Last October, I turned 30, and it got me thinking about what my twenties had taught me, the experiences I found most valuable and how each moment, whether it be good or bad, led to me being where I am today.
The road to SoSueMe was not a smooth one, let me tell you that! There were times when I was unemployed, and deeply unhappy about my situation in life. I remember a point when I felt like a failure in comparison to my friends because they were all off doing college courses and I had just failed mine! (God, I hated that course, but still I didn’t want to fail it!) At the time, it was a horrible experience, but looking back now, I can totally see how all the dots joined up in the end!
Anyway, last Friday’s announcement was another proud milestone for me, and it got me thinking again about how far the blog had come, and how if it hadn’t been for the crappy moments, SoSueMe probably wouldn’t be here today!
So, with that in mind, I decided to share just a select few of my life lessons in the hope that they will help any reader going through a difficult time.
1/ Make Mistakes
I have made plenty of mistakes, literally plenty! Here’s the thing though, I don’t regret any of them! Mistakes are essential. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn, and if you aren’t learning, then you aren’t progressing. Mistakes are vital.
Mark Zuckerberg lives his life by a great philosophy, “Move fast and break things.”
That’s such a great belief to have! If you have a goal, approach it at full speed. So what if you make a mistake along the way?
Mistakes are a sure sign that you’re being innovative and taking risks. If however, you start to dwell on your mistakes, well then that’s when you have a problem on your hands. Instead, dwell on what the experience taught you and then promptly move on to the next one!
2/ Take risks … the future will take care of itself!
This is one of the most important life lessons I have learned. If you want to make it big, then you have to just go for it. I took a huge risk in 2013 when I left a full-time job to pursue my dream of turning SoSueMe into a business.
I went from a guaranteed salary of €2,000 a month to not knowing if I was even going to make €200 the next month. Not good for the aul stress levels, but fortunately I had prepared for this career jump well in advance. I saved a good bit of money during for the months prior to my resignation, so that I would have a financial cushion to fall back on in case the blogging didn’t work out. There’s a difference between a reckless risk and a calculated one. Rushing into something without any prior planning is a disaster waiting to happen – think things through, plan ahead, look at any obstacles that could arise, and then take the leap. It isn’t half as scary when you have your journey mapped out before you. If I didn’t take a risk in 2013, SoSueMe would not have blossomed as much as it did.
Sometimes, you just need to make a big change in order to really feel the pay off.
3/ It’s ok to not know everything!
No really, it’s ok not to know everything!
When I first started blogging, I hadn’t a clue what to do. What I did have was a truck load of enthusiasm and passion for all things beauty and fashion related. I lived and breathed it! I didn’t care if I was the only one reading my blog, I just wanted to blog! That’s why SoSueMe became a success. I literally loved what I was doing.
I wasn’t afraid to trip up. If you wait for everything to be 100% perfect, then you will never get anything done.
If you are knowledgeable about a subject and have the belief that you can excel, then I say go for it! If you’re passionate about what you are doing and open to all the possibilities, then only good things can come your way!
Having your heart broken is like a rite of passage into adulthood. Every girl has experienced it, every girl has been hurt by it, but you know what? Every girl gets over it!
I have been in love three times; I have been cheated on and have had my heart ripped to shreds, but those experiences taught me some valuable things about myself. Around the time of one of my heartbreaks, I had also just been made redundant from my job, so it was such a low time for me, but I realised that if I could handle that, I could handle anything. The next relationship I was in after that, I just figured well if this doesn’t work out, then I know I’ll be able to handle it!
Hard times make you realise your own strength. On that note, never EVER stay with a guy who doesn’t realise how lucky he is to have you. There are plenty of guys out there who will look at you like you’re magic, so never stay in a relationship that is making you unhappy. Respect your self enough to know when to walk. Trust me, as clichéd as it sounds, the right guy really is out there. From the moment I started going out with Dylan, I was introduced to a whole new level of happiness that I didn’t realise was possible. I could totally see why it never worked out with anyone else before that. What’s for you won’t pass you, and I for one, have always firmly believed in that!
5/ Live for yourself
I used to care far too much about what people thought of me and what they said about me. You can’t be always trying to please someone else. You have to do what is right for yourself first.
Those who genuinely care and love you, will stick around, and those who don’t can jog on! On that note, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself either. You’re not a doormat, and don’t allow anyone to treat you as such.
I was never a naturally confident girl. I was confident around friends and when talking to people, but when it came to my own inner-self esteem, I always lacked.
It’s only in the last couple of years that I came to realise that if I didn’t develop a strong sense of self-belief and self-confidence, I would be swallowed up by the world. I achieved a thick skin by putting myself out there, and learning how to react differently to negative comments or remarks that knocked me. I would try and find something constructive within the comment, and if I couldn’t, well then I deleted it from both the site and my mind. Confidence is not something you can really explain, it’s more of an inner feeling. This is why people tend to like being around those who exude confidence. They are who they are and they don’t apologise for it.
7/ Leave the past in the past
I recently read a quote that went, “people are never truly happy because they always believe that their past is better than their present and that their future won’t be as good as their past.”
People always view their past through rose tinted glasses. We always think of it as having been better than it was. Some of us see it as being worse than it was. Well if you fall into either category of people, resolve to change right now!! No one has a flawless past, not even saints, so stop being so hard on yourself! You can’t move forward if you are preoccupied by your past. Leave it behind you and focus on the road ahead.
What life lesson would you share with your younger self?