These 29 things I wish I knew sooner in life have been transformative, eye-opening, empowering, insightful, enriching, enlightening, awakening, mind-expanding, and thought-provoking. Phew! That’s quite a list, but all so true!
Life has an uncanny way of teaching us its most profound lessons through experience. I think that’s sometimes the way it’s supposed to be, but it seems almost paradoxical.
As we navigate the complex web of relationships, careers, family, and personal growth in our journey of life, we often find ourselves reflecting on what we wish we had known earlier in life.
However, hindsight offers a unique perspective on things and illuminates valuable insights that can only transform our journey going forward.
In this article, we are going to examine a collection of life’s hidden gems, revealing 29 things I wish I knew sooner in life. These are simple truths and powerful revelations that, had they been unveiled to me earlier, may have shaped my path with even greater wisdom, clarity, and fulfillment.
I hope you’ll reflect on these words of wisdom and maybe let them help shape your personal growth and life journey — regardless of your age or stage of life.
Things I Wish I Knew Sooner in Life
There are lots of things I wish I knew when I was younger. Maybe I would have made different decisions, or I would have taken better care of myself, or maybe I would even be a different person today.
But that’s not how life works! We learn as we go along, right?
Each of these lessons has played an important role in shaping the person I am today.
So let’s embark on this journey together. Hopefully my words will inspire you to live your life with more purpose, wisdom, confidence, and intention. These revelations have empowered me on my personal growth journey — I hope they empower you, too! (I have put an * next to my all-time favorites!)
1. You don’t have to explain yourself.
As Queen Elizabeth used to say, “Never complain, never explain.” It keeps everything simpler and avoids unnecessary conflict. Don’t waste your time and energy explaining something that people may or may not believe anyway.
2. Trust that the truth will always be revealed.
When you find yourself in a situation where someone is tarnishing your name, you should weigh the benefits of wasting energy on argument and defensiveness. Save your words and your mental anguish — let it go and trust that the truth will come out in the end. Truth is effortless.
*3. It’s okay to not be okay — just don’t stay there.
We all have bad days and tough times in our lives. It’s a normal part of life. So indulge yourself in your misery — feel all your feelings — but don’t stay there. Nurture your mental and physical well-being so you can move on and find joy again.
4. There is no place in life for toxic people or situations.
You know that person who brings unnecessary drama to your life on a daily basis. Or that situation where you want to say “NO” but you always end up saying “YES” even though it does not bring you joy. Ask yourself, “What am I getting out of these toxic situations?” It’s time to reflect and eliminate!
5. Just because everyone else thinks it’s true doesn’t make it true.
Always trust your own judgment and seek evidence before accepting popular opinions. Truth is not determined by consensus, but by critical thinking and examination. Empower yourself to discover the truth.
6. Don’t burn bridges — you never know when you’ll need to go back over that bridge.
It’s never a good idea to burn bridges because life has a way of surprising you. You never know when your circumstances might change, making it necessary to revisit old connections or opportunities you thought were behind you.
7. Not everyone needs to be your best friend.
Don’t confuse genuine friendships with convenient friendships. It’s okay to have a diverse range of friendships — from acquaintances to close confidants and best friends — because each person adds their own unique value and role in your life. But take your time making friends and choose your best friends wisely. Don’t trust just anyone with your secrets:)
8. Real friends last a lifetime.
Real friends who truly matter will stand the test of time. Cultivate and cherish those deep, meaningful connections because they have the potential to last a lifetime and bring immeasurable joy and support.
9. Don’t trust someone’s words if their actions don’t align.
Actions reveal true intentions and character, while words can be easily manipulated or insincere. Sometimes we want to believe the words so badly. but actions are the more reliable indicator of trustworthiness.
*10. Your peace of mind is a priority.
Your mental health is more important than letting someone down or other peoples’ opinion. Your career, money, the event you said you would attend, your partner’s mood swings, your family’s expectations — all of it needs to come second to your peace of mind.
*11. Follow your heart.
Attach yourself to a mission, a vision for the future, and a set of values. Live your dream and stand up for your beliefs. This is the best way to avoid getting attached to something that isn’t right for you. Follow your heart — follow your dreams:)
12. You can fix most of your problems just by fixing your thoughts.
Most of the time, the problem isn’t the problem. The way you think about the problem is the problem. Problems feed off worry. Develop a growth mindset and look at the problem through a different lens. Believe that everything is figureoutable.
13. Missing something doesn’t mean you need it back.
Sometimes the absence of something can lead to personal growth, new opportunities, or the realization that you’re better off without it. You may want it back but it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And yes, as hard as it is to understand, this applies to relationships too.
14. Whenever you feel like you’re losing yourself, spend more time with yourself.
Spending less time with other people means you will have more time to reflect and get to know yourself better. Self-awareness is a great asset to your personal growth journey. Spending more time alone also gives you an opportunity to focus on the importance of self care.
*15. It’s easy to be KIND.
A simple SMILE can often make someone’s day! And as someone much smarter than me has said, KINDNESS IS FREE. A person who spreads kindness through the universe will get in back tenfold.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Help You Always Choose Kindness
16. Saying NO isn’t selfish.
Saying NO to something doesn’t make you a selfish person. It means you are making a decision that is in your best interest and will preserve your energy for something that is more meaningful to you. It is a simple way of living your life with intention.
17. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people.
Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you cultivate meaningful relationships that enrich your life. It will also provide an uplifting and supportive environment that fosters personal growth, inspires shared goals, and reinforces a positive mindset.
18. Failure is a normal part of growth.
It is often hard to understand and believe in the moment, but you must bring yourself to trust that failure is a normal, and often necessary, part of growth. In fact, embracing failure and rejection is an important stepping stone to success.
19. Active listening is the greatest form of communication.
Active listening is crucial in communication because it shows genuine interest and respect for the speaker, enhancing understanding and building stronger connections. By fully engaging in active listening, you can engage in more effective and meaningful conversations.
*20. Don’t worry about what others think.
Not worrying about what others think allows you to prioritize your own happiness, authenticity, and personal growth. It liberates you from the burden of seeking external validation and empowers you to make choices that are aligned with your values and aspirations. Embrace your imperfections and forget what other people think.
*21. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in twenty years?“
Is this problem worth fighting over? Is it worth the energy I’m going to expend to solve this problem? If the answer is a resounding NO, then let it go. I used this strategy a lot with my children when they didn’t make a good decision in their teenage years.
22. Everything is going to be okay.
Even though there are times when you feel like things will never be better again, you need to remember that you have made it through 100% of your worst days so far. You always do. Life will go on and things will get better.
23. Step out of your comfort zone now and then.
Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to embrace new experiences, overcome fears, and discover untapped potential. By pushing beyond familiar boundaries (and stepping outside of your box), you expand your skills, broaden your perspective, and cultivate resilience, leading to increased confidence.
*24. An attitude of gratitude can change your life.
I have learned the importance of gratitude in my own personal growth journey. Having a heart of gratitude can transform your life by shifting focus towards appreciating the present moment and recognizing the abundance that surrounds you.
Gratitude leads to increased happiness, resilience, and overall well-being. It cultivates a positive mindset, fosters deeper relationships, and encourages a greater sense of contentment and fulfillment. You will see gratitude mentioned in many of my articles here on Sassy Sister Stuff.
25. Set boundaries and keep them.
Setting and maintaining boundaries is essential for healthy relationships and personal wellness. It establishes clear expectations, protects your emotional and physical health, and fosters self-respect. By communicating and enforcing boundaries, you create a foundation of respect, balance, and mutual understanding with others.
26. Personal development is a lifelong process.
Embrace growth as a life-long learner and challenge yourself to move outside of your comfort zone. You’ll discover new experiences, activities, and lots of people who are waiting to meet you!
27. Cherish the present moment.
Forget about the unimportant things in life. The present moment is what’s truly important. Live a life of mindfulness. Look for the joy in each moment. Don’t just exist in the present moment — cherish every moment of it!
Related Article: 12 Benefits of Mindfulness: Mind, Body, and Soul
28. Live each day with curiosity.
It’s a mindset that keeps you young and open to new possibilities. Be curious about the animals, the breeze across your face, and why Old Faithful erupts approximately every 92 minutes.
*29. Growing old is a blessing.
Not everyone is given the opportunity to grow old. I have lost too many people too soon. I often remind people, “Growing old is better than the alternative.”
Final Thoughts: Things I wish I Knew Sooner in Life
These 29 things I wish I knew sooner in life have helped me find peace of mind and happiness today. While I may not have all the answers, these insights have become guiding principles, reminding me to cherish the present, embrace growth, and approach each day with gratitude and a spirit of curiosity.
Today I understand the power of self-discovery and self-awareness, the importance of embracing imperfections, and the significance of cultivating meaningful relationships. From the value of self-care to the pursuit of lifelong learning, each lesson has shaped my perspective and allowed me to navigate life’s challenges with greater resilience and contentment.
I hope you are able to use these things I wish I knew sooner in life as guiding principles to help you in your ongoing personal growth journey through life. I share them from the bottom of my heart:)
You may also be interested in these related articles:
- Personal Growth for Women over 50: Unleash Your Potential
- What is Personal Growth and Why Does It Matter?
- Why Is Personal Development Important?
- A Letter To My Younger Self
Love to ALL! ~ Susan