We all have heard the question…
“What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?”
But have you ever truly stopped to think about what your answer would be? There are so many things that we “live and learn” while growing up. I partly wish I could go back and tell myself to let my bangs grow out and to stop wearing blue eyeliner. Yet, if you had one chance to send a little message in a bottle back in time what would you say?
I asked several of my Miss USA sister’s this question and here is what they had to say:
If I could talk to my younger self, I’d tell her how relax, be present and enjoy the moment. I feel like I’ve always looked ahead at what’s to come… whether it be graduating high school and entering college, graduating college and entering the work force, moving to Miami to pursue modeling, becoming Miss USA, giving up the title and moving to Los Angeles, getting married, you name it! Once I had achieved one thing, my eye was set on the next. It’s great to have goals but I wish I had spent more time enjoying each stage and not worrying so much about hurrying the next stage along. Now that I have a baby, it sorta forces you to stay super present and take every day (sometimes every minute of each day) one at a time. – Shandi Finnessy, Miss USA 2004
That sensitivity that you feel will become your greatest gift. As much as it brings you pain, it will also become a source of light. It is through this very pain that you will be able to create art. – Olivia Jordan, Miss USA 2015 (Read her full letter here)
Is is very important for young women to understand their worth and where it comes from. I am convinced that if I understood this concept when growing up I would have avoided a lot of mistakes. I was continually channeling my worth into things, accomplishments, and people. The process was exhausting and unfulfilling. It wasn’t until I understood my worth in Christ that I found the peace and acceptance I was searching for. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 2:10 when we are referred to as God’s Masterpiece. I think that if young women can recognize and grasp this concept at a young age it would drastically change how we view ourselves. – Ashley (Durham) Booth, Miss Tennessee 2011 Read her blog Arising Arrows here.
Never let someone’s mean words get the best of you. Just remain kind, confident, & strong and things will work out in the end. When I was younger, I had horrific buck teeth and kids would make fun of me and call me Spongebob. Now I am a former Miss New Jersey USA. – Jessielyn Palumbo, Miss New Jersey USA 2016
Dress for yourself, not for the man. Wear what makes you feel good and happy. My first boyfriend always wanted me looking modest. After that relationship ended, I wanted to show off my rockin’ bod and wear things for myself! – Whitney Sharpe, Miss Massachusetts USA 2016 and Looking Sharpe Blogger
Perspective is everything. Look at the big picture. Is what’s bothering you today going to matter in 5 years? Probably not. So don’t let the small stuff get to you. You’re too good to let your anxieties bog you down.
Don’t feel foolish for making mistakes. You’re going to make even more as you get older, and it’s okay. You learn from each of your failures – whether you realize it or not.
He’s not as cool and perfect as you think. Your friends know this. Your mom knows this. You will realize this when you’re older. Don’t put him above yourself, your friends, or your family. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Finally, Go away to college. You need to grow up. Nothing bad will happen; in fact, it will be an incredible experience and will be a huge catalyst as to who you will be in the future. Find what makes you tick. – Alissa Morrison, Miss Iowa USA 2016
Own your actions and words. It’s immature to say or do things you don’t mean maybe to fit in or just out of anger. We don’t realize our words have weight and when used the right way they can be very powerful! The words you say and things you do become who you are. – Alexandra Vorontsova – Miss Delaware USA 2016
Do not let peoples opinions of you change how you think about yourself. Stay grounded in who you are and above all be confident and love your imperfections. – Halley Maas, Miss North Dakota USA 2016
My best piece of advice is partly inspired by a quote of my favorite celebrity.
You are your biggest obstacle in achieving your biggest dream. Like Viola Davis once said, “you can’t trade in your dream for another dream.” Once you know what you want to do or be, create a plan and just go for it! – Theresa Agonia, Miss Rhode Island USA 2016
I would say to not let people run over you. Friends, co-workers, and boyfriends took advantage of my kindness. I never had the backbone to stand up for myself until it was too late. I would take it very personally when someone was mean to me. I figured if I was loving and caring to others I would receive that in return, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes people will act mean to others out of insecurity, jealousy, or maybe they have greater issues they are dealing with. I have learned to not take it personally and choose my relationships wisely. I would rather have a handful of quality friends than a quantity of friends who use and abuse me. – Sarah Newkirk, Miss Ohio USA 2015
As cliche as it sounds, just be yourself. God made you as you are for a reason! When you compare yourself to others you will become closed off and it shows. I learned this the hard way while competing by trying to act older because I knew I was the youngest contestant. Thankfully my director sat me down and told me I had gotten this far for a reason and to just be myself. It finally clicked by the telecast and I truly attribute that to making the Top 5. Soak every experience in and JUST. BE. YOU! – Maria Montgomery, Miss Kentucky 2009
As for me,
I would have to tell myself that it is OK to fail. You are not going to be perfect all the time and you are going to face a lot of heartbreak and disappointment. Do not let this stop you. You will cry, feel less than, and lonely BUT…. one day, when you finally get to where you are going, you will look back and understand how worth it the journey was. You will be proud of the strong woman who you have become and you will share your experiences in hopes of encouraging other young women. Keep on keeping on… the hard work is worth it!
I hope this post provided all of you with some Monday Motivation. Let me know your experiences and thoughts in the comments! If you enjoyed reading this article or know someone who could use a little encouragement please share it with your friends!