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Dear 16 Year Old Me

December 25, 2016

I wrote a letter to my 16 year old self and made a video about it. This is my favourite video I’ve made so far. I truly believe we are all so unkind to our previous selves. We are so unkind to our teenage self when we might have been struggling with bullying or even just our own self esteem. Perhaps you had acne or glasses or braces, perhaps you were way skinnier, or way bigger than you are now. It doesn’t matter, what’s important is to be kind to your younger self.

One of the photos I share in the video is this one:

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-16-12-18

I wanted to share the story behind that photo. I was 16 and in that photo I’m holding a meeting with 11 other girls in my year. There is this thing in England called Young Enterprise where you can start a real company and run it for a year, you elect a board of directors including the managing director.

I was chosen as the managing director and at the time, I was so shocked that I genuinely replied “Who me?” when they told me the results were unanimous and I had been chosen.

You see, I wasn’t popular… I wasn’t a geek but I certainly wasn’t cool but it was in this room where I found my voice for the first time. I was always the butt of the joke amongst the girls I lived with in my boarding house, but in this group, I was respected and people listened to me. I had final say and I had to learn to be decisive.

So this is essentially a before and after when it comes to my voice and my power. This company became my training ground. It is when I learnt I could be a leader and discovered that the confidence had been within my all along. I was often out of my comfort zone and had to step in to settle disagreements, I even had to fire someone at one point. The main memory was when I had to be physically pushed on stage to give a speech to over 500 people at the end of our fashion show that raised over £4,000 for charity. It was in front of all the girls in my school, the teachers AND their parents.

The after picture is when I chose to give a speech about confidence. The girl who hated public speaking was giving a speech about being confident?! And I chose to do that?No pushing necessary? Now that’s a #transformationtuesday I love. I think what is most obvious about these two photos is the body language. One person is happy to take up space and the other still finds it uncomfortable. Both girls were leaders, only one knew it 💪🏽

This is a really important video. Please give it a watch. And then write your own letter. It’s seriously therapeutic. And then do what I did and dig up those old photos and remember how good hearted you were, even then.

 

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