From ignoring bullies to staying true to yourself, social media has been buzzing with supportive messages that people are writing to their younger selves.
The #FiveYearOldSelfie was started on Aug. 8 by leading youth mental health charity Young Minds. The campaign encourages people to post a picture of themselves aged five on Instagram or Twitter and write three pieces of advice or words of wisdom they would tell that child now if they could.
#5YearOldSelfie— Rosanesha (@Rosanesha_) August 8, 2019
-There is no one in the world like you, fearlessly embrace your unique essence.
-The world can be cold, but never let it rob you of your infectious smile.
-Remain the happy, imaginative intellectual with the impeccable style. pic.twitter.com/6L6KkXiaoi
The outcome has been a great blend of reassuring positive messages, reminding us all to be kind to ourselves and reflect on how far we’ve come.
For younger people who might be struggling, the messages show that it’s important to celebrate all the things that make you unique and that people who say unkind things to others are often just insecure themselves.
Not everyone's school days were the happiest but the messages show that challenges can be overcome. A common theme is people telling their childhood self not to worry about their shyness, for example, or encouraging them to “stay weird and follow your dreams”.
Another theme is overcoming loneliness and seeing things that some see as weaknesses are actually strengths.
to my #5YearOldSelfie— 𝖌𝖊𝖔𝖗𝖌𝖎𝖆 (@ge0kat) August 8, 2019
1. it’s okay to be the shy, quiet one
2. please learn how to say “no”. it won’t make you a bad person
3. you’re so much more than what people told you you’d be pic.twitter.com/qnjQmgTere
Some famous names have got involved too, like Channel 4's accomplished presenter Cathy Newman — indicating that everyone has insecurities about themselves at one time or another.
- You won't always be or feel so alone— Keahu Kahuanui (@KeahuKahuanui) August 8, 2019
- Trust yourself to dream bigger
- Listen to grandma, she's even more amazing than you know and she'll teach you the rest#5YearOldSelfiepic.twitter.com/y5gkZkQ2fZ
Young Minds has also shared a video explaining the purpose of the campaign.
They say that when you're feeling low thinking about the words of encouragement you would say to your younger self can make you feel better — as a way of being kind to yourself.
"Try to picture yourself aged five, and tell yourself everything that child needs to hear," the organisation says. Things like "you are so much more than your grades" and "you are funny and cute."
What advice would you give your 5-year-old self? What positive things would you want to say? And, in the spirit of Young Minds, don't forget to be just as kind to your current self too.
This is my #5YearOldSelfie for @YoungMindsUK If I could tell my younger self three things it would be: 1) Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good. 2) Doubting yourself makes you better at empathising with others. 3) Convince yourself you’re good at something and you’ll soon pic.twitter.com/hkPml1SuhJ— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) August 8, 2019