The advice A-listers would share with their younger selves

Posted by
Hayley Kadrou
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

Whether you're 25 or 75, there's always something you wish your younger self knew, whether it's that failing your geography GCSE won't be the end of the world, or that dating the 'bad-boy' probably wasn't a good idea.

And the rich and famous are no exception to this, with many of our favourite A-listers having plentiful pearls of wisdom for their twenty-something selves. 

From Julia Roberts telling her younger self to embrace her natural curls to Dame Judi Dench explaining how you can use fright to your advantage, click through these inspiring quotes and see which resonates with you the most. 

  • Sandra Bullock

    "I wish I could go back and tell myself to not worry so much. I wasted so much time with worry. I wish I could get it back." 

  • Michelle Obama

    “If I could give my younger self just one piece of advice, it would be this: 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. I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me, or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair, or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom"

  • Salma Hayek

    "I would have said to myself, 'Don't even bother dating that one. He is a waste of time.' "

  • Julia Roberts

    "Be happy with natural curls and stand up for yourself. Relish every moment with Dad. Some people are cruel and dishonest for sport—but there are lots who are fighting a good fight and running a fair race. That is what deserves the attention and energy." 

  • Oprah Winfrey

    "A lesson you will have to learn again and again: to see yourself with your own eyes, to love yourself from your own heart...You've spent too many days and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be"

  • Taylor Swift

    "I would just tell her to do exactly what she was doing. You know be curious about things, have an imagination, get your feelings hurt, get your hopes up and be let down and dream about things and imagine the possibilities...Yeah, you’re going to get hurt along the way, but you’re also going to feel things and you’re going to learn things and you’re gonna figure out which friends you can trust and keep those ones close to you. And I think that’s what life is about.”

  • Cameron Diaz

    "None! I would just live it, ride it out, do it as you want to. It all ends up good."

  • Laverne Cox

    "I wish I knew how beautiful and strong I was. I wish I knew that everything that I've gone through is a gift — even when it's a hardship. I wish I knew that I was divinely made [and] every feminine tendency I had as a kid was OK. That everything about me was beautiful."

  • Jennifer Aniston

    "Go to therapy. Clean up all of the s--t. Clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self..."You can undo a lot of things. If you're not happy, you can become happy. Happiness is a choice. That's the thing I really feel. Like with friends who refuse to get happy, who refuse to rise above the place where they're at."

  • Judi Dench

    “Lots and lots of things scare me; but you just get on with it. Fright can transform into petrol. I get stage fright all the time; the more I act, the more I feel it. But you just have to use it to your advantage. Just like grief [Dench’s husband, actor Michael Williams died in 2001 from lung cancer], fear engenders a huge amount of energy and you have to make it work for the better, otherwise you’d crumble.”

  • Sarah Jessica Parker

    "I would probably start with the same thing I tell myself today, which is: Don't ever let other people's opinion of you be your opinion of yourself..."I think any advice you're going to give yourself is kind of immaterial, because it's so necessary to have those experiences. You would think you'd tell yourself A, B and C relative to those things, but the truth is, you wouldn't do it any other way."

  • Angelina Jolie

    "You can never prepare for the future, because it's all those things that build up to who you are. You have to let your younger self be scared of things and attack things head on. Make bold choices and make mistakes, and it's all those things that add up to the person you later become." 

  • Halle Berry

    "Everything happens for a reason. The highs. The lows. It's all for a higher development. And I would not stress about the down times. That's part of one's evolution." 

  • Jennifer Lopez

    "Keep your feet on the ground, don't forget who you are, and love yourself— appreciate yourself. I think that a lot of women, especially, give so much love away, and we forget about ourselves. And the only way to have really beautiful and fulfilling relationships is to love yourself too."

  • Kelly Clarkson

    "When people call you fat and imperfect, simply remember you can sing circles around them." 

  • Carrie Fisher

    “If there's a choice between companionship and anything else —especially career—choose companionship. It's the only thing that has the potential to last.”

  • Julie Walters

    “I’m not a cook but I always felt like it was a measure of my womanhood in some way that I wasn’t amazing in the kitchen. I can roast a chicken and make a fish pie but women put pressure on themselves with this domestic goddess idea, this notion that we can be everything. We’re not everything and why should we try to be? I grew up thinking we should be marvellous professionally, in bed, in the kitchen, all that crap. Oh, bugger off!”

  • Arianna Huffington

    "The advice I would give to my 20-something self is very, very simple. Get enough sleep and you will be more productive, more effective and better able to enjoy your life. Whether my 20-something self would have listened to this advice is another matter entirely."

  • Sheryl Sandberg

    “If I was writing a letter to myself ten years ago I would say ‘It’s all going to be fine, don’t worry about things. Don’t worry about having a kid and whether or not you’ll be able to reintegrate into the work force, and don’t worry about – you know- will your kids be fine – when you do something… and if in ten years I was writing a letter to myself now, I would probably say the same thing.  You learn how to take it all a little less seriously.”

  • Shailene Woodley

    “I wish at 13 years old I had the confidence and knowledge that you don’t need to be accepted by anyone other than yourself. And the second you start accepting and loving yourself, the second your light shines and other people react strongly to that.”