Image by Aimée Lindenberger

Sheri Guyse is an extraordinary woman I met at the Yes and Yes Yes conference, whose “Big Bravely” business helps people take a whole-person approach to their work and lives. She helps folks expand into who they are – something so needed in the world.


Today on Facebook she asked the question: “What would you tell your 14 year old self”? I felt inspired, so thought I’d answer that here – if it moves you feel free to share it out to others (there’s a fun thing Aimée came up with a couple of weeks ago on this topic that I’ll be sharing soon).


The world is both ready for and desperately needs your awesomeness. And don’t worry if most adults don’t recognize that, and most peers don’t believe it. Also – don’t let any of that go to your head. Be your awesome self and help others do the same.
That awesome idea you had? You think someone else must have already had it or done something about it. Maybe they haven’t, but more importantly: if you share it and it’s new, you’ve helped the world; if you share it and someone has, now you have a mentor and kindred spirit out there.
The insights of yours into how the universe works? You think some are common knowledge, and that others are just you being weird. Maybe neither is true. This you hasn’t ever existed before, and you have new experiences and perspective.

Those amazing folks who you idolize, or think of as otherworldly heroes? They would probably love to connect. People doing great things in the world (whether large or small) are so often thrilled to find someone who sees and appreciates their work, that much more so someone young who wants to learn from them.


You’re smarter than you think. Cultivate that. Just remember to cultivate your compassion as well.

Embrace your weird. You’re weird! Learn how to bridge between your uniqueness and the world, but don’t let it grind your uniqueness away. The things you may most want to cover up so that you don’t stick out like a sore thumb are the things that will make you radiant to the people who are your people. Hiding your Self is the surest recipe for loneliness, no matter how many people are around you. Showing your Self is scary and sometimes hurts, and is infinitely worth it. Find your people – they’re the ones who find your weird exciting. And who share theirs with you.