5 Things I Wish Every Girl Could Know

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Of course, hindsight is twenty-twenty. We all learn as we grow. But it’s nice to learn from the mistakes and lessons of those who came before us. I wish I could have known certain important truths when I was a young girl. They might have made the journey easier, or at least less painful.

Here are the top 5 things I wish every girl could know as they make their journey into womanhood. All the “older” girls reading could benefit from this advice, too (wink, wink).

Perfection Does Not Exist

I was a straight-A student, a typical high-achieving teen. Perfection was my goal and appearances really mattered to me. But the things I excelled at came easily. They were my strong suits. When challenging circumstances showed up in my life, I had a hard time coping with failure. I often gave up on things that were hard and I struggled to move past things that came easy to me.

It wasn’t until I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship that I learned failure is part of the process. If you want to succeed at something difficult, you have to be willing to try, fail, learn, and try again. Failure is not a failure unless you give up. It’s actually a win and a far greater achievement than doing nothing at all.

Don't Be Afraid to Dream Big

Without a destination in mind, the path to getting somewhere will likely be long and winding. Imagine you want to take a vacation but you never choose a destination. You can’t buy a plane ticket to nowhere. If you get in the car, which direction would you drive? You’ll likely stay home watching Netflix instead of actually going anywhere.

Choosing what you want and committing to getting it is the first step to getting there. Believing you can have it and working to achieve it are the next steps. Let’s say you choose to take your vacation to Hawaii but you don’t have enough money to cover the airfare. Would you just give up on your dream or think of ways to earn the money and take action to get it? Successful people go after what they want, even if they aren’t sure how to get it. Knowing is the first step.

Learn How Money Works

In generations past, women had to rely on men to provide for them. This often left them powerless and vulnerable to poverty, abuse, and little choice over how to live their lives. We don’t have to be content with that situation anymore. Having money gives you power to choose. There are a million ways to earn it, but do you know how to use it wisely? How to maximize your earnings, invest, and grow your wealth? These are all things girls can and should learn.

Speak Kindly to Yourself

Our bodies are the vehicle we use to move through life. Treat it well. Sometimes things that make us feel good temporarily can cause a lot of harm in the long term. All body shapes are beautiful. Body weight is just a number. A happy girl is the most attractive girl. If you move every day and eat your veggies, you’re good.

We each have a voice in our head. As annoying as it can be, it’s not going to go away. That voice can naturally lean toward negativity and criticism. It wasn’t until my late 30s that I learned how powerful my brain is and that I could steer those thoughts toward positivity, which drastically affects my actions. Speak to yourself like a dear friend would speak to you.

Travel Opens Minds and Hearts

In college, I met several kids who had never traveled outside their state. I was so shocked by this. I had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country and the world when I was young. My family didn’t have a lot of money, but we found a way to make it happen. Now that I’m a mom, it’s a lot more difficult to get away, and I wish I had actually traveled more as a young adult.

Try to experience new parts of the world while you have the time and energy. I’ve experienced awe, inspiration, new tastes, smells, cultures, weather, languages, history, and new friendships from traveling outside of my little corner of the world. Traveling has made me a more open-minded, tolerant, empathetic, curious, and grateful person. Plus, it’s fun!

So there you have it — lessons my older self would like to share with the younger me. I hope you learn from my experience and have the courage to learn from the older generations of women in your life. Ask them what they would have shared with their younger selves. And embrace your own journey with courage, confidence, and a sense of unstoppability. 


Tags: parenting, Self Care, Tweens/Teens

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Tanya Goodall Smith

Tanya Goodall Smith, founder of WorkStory Creative, helps micro businesses expand their influence with strategic visual storytelling. See Full Bio

CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit current Girl Scouts: the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us. So CircleAround for inspiration, and CircleAround the leaders of tomorrow. CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

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