It’s funny how your perspective changes. As a teenager I never thought I would reach an age and reflect. I figured I was who I was and how I reacted, lived and thought was how I always would. In hindsight, I was terribly naive and horribly wrong. Without personal growth, greater understanding or self reflection you can never truly grow or live a truly happy life.




Today I thought I would list things I want my future self and my old self (read: teenage) know about life / wish I hadn’t have stressed so much over when I was younger and hopefully they will inspire you on your own journey…

Note: Some of these things relate to both my future self and teenage self as they are things you should never stop doing.



  • Don’t try and control everything in your life. If you do, you’re spreading yourself too thin. If you spread yourself too thin, then how much effort are you really putting in to everything?
  • Don’t stress over if people don’t like you. If they don’t like you, then it’s not the end of the world. You don’t need to have 1,000 friends, you just need the ones you can count on through anything.
  • Put in the time if you love something – the only way you will excel is to practice, practice, practice.
  • You’re the only one in control of your future – everyone else is looking out for their own, so don’t expect them to get you to where you want to be. Point number 3 goes hand in hand with this one.
  • The thought of doing something is ALWAYS worse than actually doing something
  • Experience is the best form of learning. Get out there and experience things first hand. You didn’t learn to walk by reading a book did you?
  • Forgive. Don’t hold grudges – this just wastes time and you’ll feel shitty about yourself if you hold a grudge.
  • Say how you feel.
  • Be assertive and don’t let people walk over you.
  • Walk a mile in your parents shoes – gain perspective on your teenage years and realise your parents are learning from you too.
  • Stop blaming your parents for things – stop blaming other people for how you live your life.
  • Don’t judge people. It’s not nice – chances are they have an incredible story to tell
  • Be polite. Politeness is always noticed.
  • Call your parents, siblings and friends. Stop making excuses as to why you can’t. Tired isn’t valid
  • Being negative is not going to get you anywhere – a positive attitude goes a long, long way in both your personal life and professional life.
  • Find a partner who will grow with you in every respect.
  • Take a holiday – no matter how big or small. Down time is important.
  • Believe in yourself. This is REALLY important.
  • Exercise more – it’s really not that bad.
  • Don’t stress when out if your eating goes off track. It’s okay to indulge on occasions.
  • Life has a weird way of working out – trust your judgement
  • School isn’t the be all end all teachers and university people make it out to be. There are paths for people who don’t have degrees or study. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs didn’t study and now own empires.
  • Things you thought would matter in years to come, really don’t. So don’t focus on the bad things for too long.
  • Don’t work so hard that that’s all you’re doing. You need breaks for the creativity to flow. You need breaks with loved ones. You need breaks for yourself.
  • Invest in yourself – that means, invest in your hobbies, your dreams, your health.
  • Ambition is the greatest thing you can have – keep it alive!
  • Make sure you tell people you appreciate them regularly – they need to hear it just as much as you do.
  • Learn how to be decisive. It’s the only way you’ll get what you want.
  • Save money. Learn the value of money. Don’t waste money on material things!
  • Be confident.
  • Spend less time on social media.
  • No dream is too big or unattainable. If you think you can, you probably will achieve it!
  • Friends come and go and that’s okay because no doubt you will have learned something precious from them. Same goes for boyfriends/ girlfriends et al.
  • True friends are the ones who don’t pass judgement and are there for you even if you a) haven’t seen them in 6 months b) texted or called in a while. They’re the keepers
  • Seriously – treat your body well, you only have one.
  • Don’t feel guilty for saying no to things.
  • Stand your ground if you believe in something.
  • Being smart is actually really sexy. Did I just say sexy? Gross. But really, it may have been cool to dumb yourself down in high school, but in the adult world, knowledge is key and people love it.
  • Don’t measure your success by society’s standards – measure it with your own.
  • Let others help you! It not a sign of failure if you ask people “How do I do that?” or “Can you help me with X,YZ?”.
  • Make good choices and look to the future to see how your choice will affect you.
  • Don’t half ass anything – put in all the work, you’ll only be hurting yourself or have to re-do things.



I asked my friends to come up with some as well – just to see where my pals were at! They finished the list and have given some pretty sound advice.

  •     Don’t take yourself so seriously – Sarah P
  •     Stop trying to live in the past. It’s the past for a reason and stop worrying about what could have been. Let it go and embrace the changes – Samantha F
  •    You don’t always need a plan, go with the flow and see what happens – Cindy
  •     Don’t be scared of change/try something new. I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of stuff cause I was so comfortable with how good things were. I missed out on the opportunity to see how good things could have been – Kara M
  • Stop stressing, have fun, don’t worry too much. Also make an impression on the world – don’t be too scared to do anything – Bec C
  • Travel now! Don’t wait – Bec H
  • You are enough as you are – Dan C
  • No seriously, I would say that no matter how bad things ever seem, keep on making mistakes because you learn from them and all those mistakes ensured that you ended up in exactly the right place at the right time to have things work out perfectly wonderful – Nicole C
  • It’s never too late to start doing what you love. Don’t be afraid to fail – Halley H
  • Don’t put too much emphasis on fitting in. It’s okay if you aren’t the most popular, just focus on what you like doing and you’ll find like minded people – Stephanie C C
  • Nothing good happens after 3am. Tried and tested  – Greta P
  • Live in the moment. The small moments matter. Cherish each person in your life as you may not know when they are gone. Treat those around you the way you want to be treated – Emma G
  • Think outside the box. Be a lateral thinker. Do my personal best. Always do my maths homework. Do Yoga everyday – My Mumma
  • Shit’s gonna get weird, but that’s a good thing – Matt W
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, no matter how trivial the matter – Jess J
  • Enjoy life. Do what you think is right. Don’t worry about money – there’s more to life than money. Exercise – My Dadda
  • Never forget your love of art, creativity and passion for life – Amy J
  • If something feels somehow just not right, trust that feeling and move on. Taking risks is much better than doing nothing at all – Stacey S
  • Make the most of the time you have with the people you care about – Jonathan aka The Best Husband In The World

Life is so exciting and it’s meant to be fun – don’t loose sight of that when life gets tough or you hit a fork in the road. Trust your judgement.

Big THANKS to my pals for helping me with this post! Now to over to you all! Do you have any insight to add? Please let me know in the comment section below!

I hope you are having a great week so far!



PS: These images were taken in Thailand by JD – such an amazing waterfall and walk! Wearing: Textile Federation and Nike


If you loved this post be sure to share with your pals or comment in the section below!

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

2 thoughts on “60 Things I Want My Future And My Teenage Self To Know”

  1. Hi Ally,
    I just wanted to say how lovely this post is. As a teenager myself i really took some of these statements to mind and to heart.
    p.s I think you rock!

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