10 Things You Wish You Could Tell Your Former Self

10 Things You Wish You Could Tell Your Former Self

“With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” ~ Queen Elizabeth II

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back and have a pep-talk with your former self—the self that thought she had it all together and was ready to face the world?

If only we could hit the rewind button and share a few bits of timely wisdom with our younger selves! Here are 10 things you may wish you could tell your former self, if only you had the chance.

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  • 1. The Worry Isn’t Worth It

    The clouds of worry that constantly hover over our finances, relationships, and work, can obstruct our view of God’s wonderful capabilities.

    Perhaps, if we could go back and tell ourselves that no matter what the circumstance, God’s got it covered, we could have been spared many days and weeks of unnecessary worry.

    “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Luke 12:22-25 NKJV)

    (For more about turning every worry into prayer, check out my book, Prayer Worrier)

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  • 2. Accept Failure and Suffering as Part of Life

    We don’t generally deal well with failure, do we? Most of us try to avoid it at all cost. However, Romans 5:1-5 tells us to “rejoice” in trials and tribulations, knowing that they will produce in us perseverance, character, and hope.

    If we could go back and train ourselves to accept failure as a part of life, perhaps we would have been able to move forward more easily, in strength and perseverance instead of self-pity and defeat.

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  • 3. Popularity is Overrated and Even Dangerous

    To be liked, included, and accepted is a desire that seems to be hardwired into almost every human being on the planet. But, if we could encourage our former selves to focus solely on being who God created us to be, perhaps our constant striving to “fit in” wouldn’t have been much of an issue at all. When popularity is no longer our priority, we can focus on doing good kingdom work.

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  • 4. You Were Designed as a Specific Part of the Body of Christ

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I was a foot instead of a hand, or an eye instead of an ear, within the body of Christ.

    But if I could, I would encourage my former self to focus on the specific role that God assigned to me. For when each part works together for His glory, amazing things can happen! (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

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  • 5. There is More to the World than Yourself

    Sometimes, I think people are similar to ants, scurrying around an anthill. So focused on working, gathering, and building our lives, we forget there is a great big world around us.

    By instilling in my former self more of a heavenly mindset, I could have widened my perspective to live each day with eternity in mind. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

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  • 6. You Cannot be Everything to Everybody All of the Time

    This is, perhaps, one of the most important things I would have told my former self. Feeling responsible for everyone and everything all of the time is a huge burden to bear!

    Only Jesus holds everything together by the power of His word. (Hebrews 1:3) Perhaps, if I would have realized that sooner, I could have been spared the burden of over responsibility and pressure to over achieve.

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  • 7. Financial Peace is Much More Important than a Fat Bank Account

    So many of us have struggled to maintain a healthy view of our finances. Unhealthy habits may have been formed at a young age and continued well into adulthood.

    If I could, I would go back and prepare myself to handle money within the context of God’s loving provision. I would commit to taking good care of every asset He’d given me, knowing that He was Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider. (Philippians 4:19)

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  • 8. There is More to Physical Health than a Skinny Body

    Body image has been a constant battle for most people I know. We’ve struggled to exercise, eat right, and look as the world says we should look.

    By letting my former self know that true health, inside and out, is much more important than being thin, I might have viewed my body as the temple of the Holy Sprit and taken action to care for it accordingly. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

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  • 9. Communion with God is the Key to a Life of Joy

    I used to wonder what it meant to “pray without ceasing.” Then, as I got older, I began to pray about everything—big and small. I realized that communion with God was the sustenance of everything in my life. That kind of communion equips us with an underlying peace that cannot be moved. If only my former self would have know that! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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  • 10. Be Still and Know that He is God

    I can’t remember any part of my former self that actually embraced “stillness.” The need to go, go, go, seemed to be hardwired in me and everyone around me.

    If I could, I would encourage my former self to be quiet, to wait on God, and to listen for His still, small voice. I can only imagine the amazing things that might have been revealed during those times of intimacy with the Lord!

    No matter what we wish we could tell our former selves, the truth is, all we have is now. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow or even the next hour. So, let’s remember these truths as we move forward, knowing that He who began a good work in us will complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

    Gracious God, thank You for being so full of grace and mercy. Thank you for times of growth and maturity when we learn lessons of faith and life. Continue to guide us, Lord, in all truth, until we are settled in You—our strength and our Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    Jennifer Waddle is best known for offering Biblical encouragement for women in the trenches of life. She is the author of several books on Amazon, including Prayer Worrier: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer. She is also a contributor for GotQuestions.org and WomensMinistryTools.com. She resides with her family near the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain—her favorite place on earth.

    You can connect with her at www.jenniferwaddleonline.comor check out her books on Amazon