7 Inspiring Women Share Their Advice to Their Younger Selves

From Lena Dunham to Michelle Obama

Sometimes we can work ourselves into little balls of confusion and self-doubt with a dash of existential crisis. You know that feeling? That’s when it’s time to remember that it is so okay to not have everything figured out yet. In fact, it’s impossible to.

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But, on days when it’s a little harder to remember that, we say turn to inspiring women who have been through the same thing and come out on the other side. Here are seven women’s advice they would give their younger self, and we have to say, they’re all spectacular gems of wisdom.

“You cannot predict everything. Yes, bad things will happen but they’re totally different bad things than you can imagine. Same with the wonderful things. So stop trying to predict and control the future, and enjoy the weird magic of right now.” — Lena Dunham

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“Don’t worry so much about finding the answers and finding love and finding success. Just do your work. Live your life. Be kind. Be good. Pay your own electric bill. It’s going to turn out okay.” — Cheryl Strayed

“Stop with the self-tanner! It’s enough!” — Emma Stone

“Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back — the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation… Focus more on learning than on succeeding — instead of pretending that you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand and ask a question. You’re a smart girl, and chances are if you’re confused, plenty of other students are too. And for heaven’s sake, let yourself really fail once in a while — not some tiny little mistakes here and there, but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of-the-soul-inducing failures. Understand that no one — especially folks who are truly successful — simply coasts from achievement to achievement. The most accomplished people in the world fail and fail big. That’s how they learn so much and grow so quickly and become so interesting and wise. In short, stop trying to be someone who will impress everyone else, and just focus on being and becoming fully, sincerely and passionately yourself.” — Michelle Obama

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”― Maya Angelou

“Don’t take my advice, that’s the advice I would give you. Because the important thing is that you listen to the wisdom that’s inside yourself. Do what you love. Do what makes you forget what time it is when you’re doing it because you love it so much. Find your unique talents. And find the people who make you feel smart and make you feel good and hang out with them, because we all need that kind of support.” — Gloria Steinem

“Calm down.” — Nancy Meyers


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