Gritty Girls. Lessons in Life and Leadership – 2: ‘Letter to my younger self.’

This is the second blog in the Series ‘Gritty Girls.  Lessons in Life and Leadership’ by Fi Hollas (Former Army Officer and now Associate and BDM here at Metris Leadership).


Having recently celebrated a significant birthday and reflected on the last 4 decades, I wondered what advice I would give to my younger self.


Dear Fi

So we’ve just turned 40 and I thought you might appreciate the benefit of my wisdom to help you as you grow up….


  • It will all work out in the end, it may not seem it but the obstacles are there to help you become a stronger person.


  • Use stress as an experience, it will teach you stuff that makes it less stressful next time around.


  • You will face some challenges and these too help you to develop GRIT. Grit is ‘courage, resolve and strength of character’. You will need this as you go through life.  Funnily enough, you end up with quite a lot of it.


  • You will manage that whole vegetarian thing for more than a decade.  Well done, I wont spoil the surprise of why you start eating meat again, but let’s just say that the vegetarian ration packs in the Army weren’t that great in 2000.


  • Be less self conscious and have more self confidence.  Eleanor Roosevelt said “ Don’t be concerned about wether people are watching you or criticising you.  The chances are they aren’t paying attention to you. Its your attention to yourself that is so stultifying.”


  • Don’t let people call you ‘bossy’ just because you are a strong female.  Be assertive but always be thoughtful too.


  • Your tenacious streak is a positive attribute but don’t let it become stubbornness.


  • Make the most of time with loved ones, listen to their stories.  These times will become precious memories.


  • Earn respect.


  • Listen when people speak, really listen.


  • Do something that scares you from time to time.


  • When you get the opportunity to meet your heroes you must take it.  Trust me, they all turn out to be lovely.


  • “Give it your best everyday and don’t be so hard on yourself come nightfall.” Anon.


  • Take all the adventures that come your way, however terrifying at the time. Inspire others to do the same.


  • There is no such thing as a perfect choice.


  • Always trust your gut instinct, it is (nearly) always right.


  • Take on board constructive criticism, evaluate it, but NEVER take it to heart.


  • Your ‘little’  brother ends up being one of your best friends and just to warn you, next time you use your big sister status to your advantage, he ends up being 6’6!  His memory is also very good.


  • Appreciate the here and now. “What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now.  Is it your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future.  The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.”  Sai Baba – leader. (1838-1918)


  • Finally, you know that book about the seagull that Dad is always going on about?  It actually has some wise words…”You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now and nothing can stand in your way.” Jonathan Livingston Seagull ( Richard Bach).


Always remember “You are stronger than you think.”

Love Fi x

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