18 Things I've Learned In 18 Years

I turned 18 just over a week ago and looking back at my life, I'm so happy with what I have achieved so far and everything I've learnt. So today I thought I'd share with you the biggest life lessons I've learned in my 18 years.

1. Everything happens for a reason

There is beauty in believing that there is a reason why things don’t go according to plan. Everything happening to you today has a purpose because it turns you into the person you are becoming.

2. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything

Yes this is a quote from Back To The Future, but it's one of my quotes of all time. You can definitely do anything you set your mind to. It takes action, perseverance, hard work and most likely getting out of your comfort zone, but nothing worth having comes easy in life.

3. You can't please everyone

Not everyone is going to like you or what you do, and that's okay. One reason why you absolutely shouldn't listen to the opinion of other people is because you should trust your intuition. You should trust who you are and why you're doing the things that you're doing. It's better to be true to yourself, then spending time trying to please others.

4. You don't to prove yourself to anyone

"The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away."

6. It's okay to make mistakes

As Hannah Montana would say, nobody's perfect.

7. Ask for help when you need it

Needing help is not a sign of weakness. No one is going to think any less of you for wanting help.

8. Don't take anything for granted

No matter where you are in life, you are blessed to be there. If you take something for granted, you assume you will always have it, when that's not always the case. Even when times are hard, there is always something to be thankful for.

9. Follow your gut

Do what you want to do, and not what others want you to do. If you have a goal, go for it!

10. Know the difference between a real friendship and a toxic one

When I was about 16, I was in a quite a toxic friendship group with some fellow theatre fans, and when I tell you I was so much more happier when the friendship ended, I really mean it. In a toxic friendship, you never feel support or compassion. You feel minimized when they brush off your problems or ignored / left out all the time. For me the people I was friends with were manipulative and to be honest just darn right rude, and looking back I'm annoyed I didn't realise it sooner. Don't feel bad for cutting off a friendship you don't feel happy in. Block them, cut all contact and reach out to someone you trust. I guarantee you will be much happier afterwards.

11. Never give up

You won't succeed at everything. Failing is okay and only makes you stronger. We all learn from our mistakes and if you want something, keep working for it.

12. Being shy doesn't make you weaker

This is one I really stand by as someone who is naturally shy. I'm definitely not the shyest person out there as if you came up to me I would happily start a conversation, and I'm probably the most talkative within my friendship group, but I never liked being picked to answer a question in class, and I was never one to raise my hand or volunteer. I still get nervous to answer the phone to anyone that isn't my closet friends or family, and I still get nervous to answer the door, and right now I'm currently job hunting and thought of an interview scares the absolute crap out of me. However, I think people underestimate those who are shy. I know for me personally as a performer who is quite shy, it was always hard for me to show my true potential in lessons as I'd just feel awkward in front of my peers. But being on stage in front of an audience would always make me perform at my best. You do not have to be loud and outgoing to succeed. Introversion is being in touch with your mind, and I’d much rather be connected with my mind than anything else The thing is not to 'overcome' shyness, but to accept it and develop the skills to manage it.

13. People change

You are going to change so much throughout your life without even realising it. The person you are today may be completely different to who you were a year ago, and that's okay.

14. It's okay to put yourself first sometimes

Self-care is so important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. If you need to take a day or two for yourself, do it.

15. Kindness is so important

Being kind to others is so easy. Simple acts of kindness go a long way. One of the first things wise learn in school is to treat others as you want to be treated, and it really is as simple as that. We all have a different story to tell, and different battles to fight, so just be kind.

16. Treat yourself

You need to reward yourself every now and again. Buy yourself that cake, buy those shoes you've always wanted, treat yourself!!

17. Be who you want to be

Never let anyone tell you who you should be or what you should do with your life. Don't change for anyone. Your life, your decision!

18. Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm

To set yourself on fire is a metaphor for sacrificing yourself or to diminish your self worth for the sake of others. Do you tremble at the thought of saying no to someone or something do you allow others to treat you poorly? Once you realize that you have been setting yourself on fire to keep others warm, stop! Put forth an action plan that will include valuing yourself more and the wishes of others less.

Mia x