I was getting dressed for a formal event recently and as I put on my outfit, which I took great pleasure in choosing, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I smiled as I recalled a memory. When I was a little girl, I used to watch my older female cousins getting ready for events and getting all “dolled up” as my family called it. I was in awe of them… their beauty, their fashion sense, their maturity, their womanhood. I thought ahead to when I would be a grown woman and could carry myself like that, wear sophisticated clothes, and attend formal events. As an adult woman, wearing nice clothing when the occasion calls for it has become the norm. That got me thinking about all of the things I dreamed of when I was a little girl and imagined myself being or doing as an adult woman. There are many things I longed to do when I was “old enough” or when it became socially acceptable to do them.

graduationFor example, the younger version of myself dreamed of driving a car someday. I got my drivers license when I was 16 years old and have loved driving ever since. (I come from a family of Italians who love their cars and driving, but that also comes with a love of speed so I often set the cruise control to avoid getting speeding tickets!) I also dreamed of being able to drink when I finally turned 21. Of course, that day came and went, and now I enjoy drinking socially, especially wine (living right near California Wine Country has its advantages!) and craft/microbrew beer (I am married to an Irishman who loves his beer and instilled that love in me too over our years together).

parisI also would imagine myself falling in love and getting married, traveling to amazing far off places, and being financially stable (yes, I did think about that at a young age as my mother instilled in me the importance of being a strong independent woman that could support myself financially!). But there were some things that I just didn’t think to wish for, but now I realize are so vitally important and only come with age and maturity. Like having the wisdom of years of experience and formal education under my belt, feeling sexy, confident and secure, and accepting and appreciating my body — often feelings that a young girl doesn’t get to experience, and sadly, even many grown women too.

all_dressed_upWhat this little glimpse into my past taught me was that we probably wished for many things when we were younger that we now just consider par for the course. And that’s just the way it is. But take a moment to remember what you wished for, or hoped to do or be when you grew up into the woman you are now. It is pretty powerful! It may help you to appreciate the woman you are now rather than wish for your youth again. Yes, being able to stop the clock and not age anymore would be amazing… and superhuman. But that is not in the cards for any of us. What we can do is appreciate that where we are now is pretty darn good. Maybe you are actually living the dreams that your younger self longed for. Maybe you had some big life dreams and they came true. Or perhaps other types of more subtle dreams came true. Like being a fashionista and wearing gorgeous sophisticated clothing, having a life long love affair (what little girl doesn’t wish for that?!), being a “smart cookie” that excels in your business/career, or just having the self confidence and security that the younger version of you hadn’t grown into yet.

Take a moment to look at the woman you are through the eyes of your younger self. I hope you love what you see.

About Lisa Montanaro

Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and enjoy productive and profitable businesses. To receive her free Toolkit, Achieve Powerhouse Success with Purpose, Passion & Productivity, visit www.LisaMontanaro.com/toolkit. Lisa is the author of "The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life" published by Peter Pauper Press. Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can help you be purposeful, passionate and productive, contact Lisa at (530) 302-5306 or by e-mail at .

8 Responses to “Looking at the Woman You Are Through the Eyes of Your Younger Self”

  1. Diane Quintana

    Thank you, Lisa for this thought provoking blog post. When I was a little girl I never dreamed I would own my own business, be a published author or a public speaker. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d enter the world of Competitive Ballroom Dancing. If I look at myself now through my little girl eyes I would be amazed by what I’ve accomplished. Thank you for pointing that out. I think sometime we look beyond to the things we’d still like to achieve and forget to celebrate and relish the things we’ve done!

  2. Lisa Montanaro

    Oh Diane, how I love what you wrote! You are more amazed at what you accomplished than you even dreamed of when you were a little girl. That is so wonderful!

    I am amazed how many of my dreams came true, but perhaps in a different version. Sort of like I dreamed of a certain thing and then the Universe handed it to me in a different format. Fascinating!

    Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. Hazel Thornton

    I wasn’t a child, but it was at least 20 years ago, when I was working in the corporate world, that I was wondering what I REALLY wanted to be when I grew up. I had no idea yet, except that I wanted to be an inspiration to others in some way. 10 years later (and 10 years ago) I became a professional organizer. Sometimes when I am feeling down about finances, or health issues, or whatever, I receive a nice little email from a client or a newsletter subscriber, or I read some of my previous testimonials, or I notice in my social media stats how many people all over the world I have inspired in some way. And it all seems worthwhile.

  4. Lisa Montanaro

    Hazel – So happy to hear that when you look back, your career change was all worthwhile! That is wonderful. And I also love that you pointed out that you were still contemplating what you wanted to be when you grew up as an adult! I think historically our society put so much pressure on everyone that they had to pick one path and stick with it. Nice to see that is changing!! Many people have multiple careers over a lifetime. You are a great example of that. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Nancy Borg

    Lisa, to reflect back on my younger self is a truly enlightening exercise. Although (now as the adult) looking at ourselves through a different lens, we find that at our core, we STILL are who we are. Here’s a funny anecdote that I always like to share about myself as a “flower girl” at my Aunt’s wedding. Though her eyes:

    “When people say they are born “organized,” they are not kidding. I was witness to this phenomenon at my wedding, where Nancy was my flower girl at just 5 years old. She was instructed to stroll down the aisle, dispersing the petals as she went. But as she reached the end of the aisle, you could get an immediate sense that she was upset with the mess that she had made. In her mind, even at such a young age, she was disturbed by the petal clutter she had created! She began to cry and she turned back down the aisle, and fastidiously picked up each and every petal and placed them back into the basket. With her rear end in the air and lace crinoline exposed, she broke down the house and hysterical laughter consumed the room. A wedding we shall never forget, for sure. It was at that moment, and obvious to all present, that a professional organizer was in the making!”

    • Lisa Montanaro

      Nancy – What a delightful story!! Yes, I agree that there are glimpses of our future selves for sure when we look back. It is kind of fun to look back and see those glimpses now and realize how they manifested in our lives years later. Really neat!! Thanks for your comment.

    • Lisa Montanaro

      Janet –

      I am so tickled pink that you were inspired to write this blog post after reading my post on the subject of looking back last year. And I love that your sister wrote a post recently that reminded of mine. Serendipitous for sure!

      You and I have a lot in common. I never wanted children of my own, but love being an auntie to many. Love that you managed to figure out a way to become a grandmother without being a traditional mother!

      I also never had any interest in owning a business, especially when I was a lawyer. I would say “God no, I don’t want to own a law firm!” And yet, I love being self employed. Just had to find the right type of work!

      The photo you included with your blog post is so lovely. It shows your personality and is so authentic. I really love it. I read that your sister took it. Even better.

      Thanks for reflecting on yourself from the wiser, more mature woman you now are, but with a nod to that young girl you once were. I am flattered that you mentioned me and my original post and I so enjoyed reading yours.

      Warmly – Lisa


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