I thought to myself that was a clever spin on it and would love to share with you all what I’ve learned in the last decade. At first glance, I thought this challenge was just another viral iteration of challenges past and I must admit that I looked at it from a very surface level like most people did. Thinking to myself about how I looked a decade ago to now. Questions that emerged as I searched through my Facebook archives, “Do I look that much younger?” “Have I gained weight?” “Did my skin age?” Now, these are all normal questions one would ask themselves but should it really be? I mean, naturally no one is exempt from aging and you never know how hard aging is going to hit you but do we deserve a medal or recognition for aging any less than someone else? Well, my first reaction, was yes, I need recognition and validation for the fact that I don’t look that much different now than I did 10 years ago, after all that was the point of the challenge. I’m happy that someone has motivated me to think about things differently by looking at this from a deeper approach. Instead of focusing on how good I look now vs. 10 years ago I want to share with you the 10 lessons and gems I’ve learned over the last decade-ish.
1.That people who are truly for you will stand the test of time
This is a big one and it resonates so loudly with me. When I think about the friends I have, my best friend Melisa comes to mind. I met her on the first day I moved into my dorm at the University of Florida in 2007. She’s the same best friend who stood by my side and signed my marriage license as I married the love of my life last October. True friends will always stand the test of time and there is no reason to go looking and searching for lost friendships. Your true supporters will be with you through the good, the bad and the ups and downs, no matter what. Some people are in your life for only a season and it’s up to us to recognize and accept that.
2.How to let go of what other’s think
Ten years ago, I was 19, about to be 20 and I would say that other people’s opinions mattered to me way more than they should. I took criticism hard and feedback even harder. I don’t know what it was but those things just mattered so much to me. Now, looking back, over the last 10 years, I’ve definitely evolved and started to not let other’s opinions or concerns change my way of thinking for the worst. I value opinions, but I don’t let them run my life. I think it just comes with time and maturing but sometimes you just have to say “I just don’t give a damn what you think” or else you will drown in the critiques and opinions of other people.
3.How to move when resistance says not to
Now, this is a recent lesson I learned by listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast. We all know that little feeling of resistance, also known as fear, that creeps up whenever we start to dream big. This fear is known as resistance and if you allow it to cripple you into not moving toward to your dream, it will. I’m starting to put this into practice now and it truly makes a tremendous difference.
4.How to use my voice
I remember earlier on in my career, one of the biggest critiques I would get is that I need to use my voice more. That feedback always stayed with me and I never forgot it. Whenever, I feel like I’m being too quiet in a meeting or I really want to say something, I just go for it without thinking about it too much.
5.How to truly love and be loved
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, even growing up! I took rom-com movies seriously! But until I met my husband, I don’t think I was truly loving and allowing myself to truly be loved. What I mean by that is we have all these preconceived notions of love and how it should be and how you should give it. I use to throw around I love you like it was nothing. Now, I understand the deep, profound nature of love and not just romantic love but also family love and friend love. When I say I love you, I truly mean it and it comes with a lot of weight. Again, this is a lesson that comes with time, understanding and experience.
6.How to take feedback
I really didn’t know that I didn’t take feedback too well until last year. I would receive feedback well in the moment but when I had time to really marinate on it I would drive myself crazy because I just never really accepted it. Of course, positive feedback is easier to receive than negative feedback but the negative (or what I consider to be negative) use to hit me like a ton of bricks. This isn’t something I can say I’ve fully overcome just yet or learned how to deal with but I’m aware of it and I’m actively trying my best to do better when receiving it.
7.How to check my ego
Over the years, I’ve read my fair share of books that speak about the Ego, which is that little voice in your head that speaks to you when you don’t want it to. If you allow your Ego to run your life it will. What I’m learning to do is to be more present. When you’re in the present moment you’re focusing on what’s actually happening and not worried about that little voice in your head. As you become more present you’re able to experience life more fully. These are things I’m working on daily, thanks, Oprah! 🙂
8.How to be selfless
Over the past 10 years I don’t think I’ve given myself enough credit but I’ve definitely learned how to be a more selfless and giving person. Growing up as an only child for about 14 years until my little brother was born, I was more on the selfish side. But going away to college and meeting so many amazing people it really just taught me how to practice being selfless and having gratitude. I didn’t realize the metamorphosis I’ve made until last year when I was going though all my wedding milestones and all the beautiful speeches I received at my bridal shower where friends and family really shared with me how appreciative they are for me. It’s a beautiful thing when you don’t even recognize you’re being selfless but others do.
9.How to be myself
Denise said this in different words on her blog post but it’s so true. It’s so easy to get caught up trying to be someone you’re not, especially on social media where you only want to show the best parts of yourself. But what I’ve learned is that people truly appreciate you the most when you’re unapologetically yourself. They value authenticity and realness. I’m on a quest to bring more realness to Instagram and you should join me! I don’t want to only share the delicious meals I cook, but I want you to see when I messed something up and it taste awful or when I feel too ugly in a selfie to post it, I want to challenge myself to post it anyway! Over the last 10 years, I’ve definitely morphed into who I am and who I’m going to be and it’s a shame to only show the best parts. I want to show all of me.
10.How to practice self care
Taking time for self care is critical. I know the term self care really only became buzzy a few years ago but it’s so real. Over the last decade I can’t say that self care was a priority but recently it has become critical. Taking time for myself and practicing being present is essential to a happy life.
What are some of your takeaways of the #10yearchallenge? Have you thought about it on a deeper level beyond just the surface of how you look? What have you learned? I want to know down below in the comments section! Chat with me 🙂