15 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 15

* Written by Xian Horn

High school-like situations may not end when we graduate (adult relationships, auditions, the workplace), but we can get much better at handling them.

These are the fifteen things I learned the “long” way:

They can keep puberty and daily life (at any age) from being the end of the world.

1. If your love interest (or employer) doesn’t notice, like, or love you “that way,” it does NOT mean there is something wrong with you. It simply means they are wrong for you right now.

2. How people treat you says more about them than it does about you. It’s not always personal or all about you.

3. Everybody has insecurities, they just manifest differently in every person.

4. Bullies and gossips are more insecure than their targets. “Haters” need your sympathy and prayers more than your hurt and anger.

5. Judgment (of yourself or someone else) clouds your clarity of a situation. This can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings and bad decision-making.

6. When you are secure you’re not so easily offended by what people say or think.

7. Envy is a waste of time: if something good happens to someone else, it means it can happen to you. If you can’t have what someone else has, you can have something else better for you.

8. The strongest person is not necessarily the person with the biggest muscles or loudest voice.

9. The beauty in someone else does not take away from the beauty in you. Trust that you have beauty, talents, and gifts—whatever company you keep.

10. You don’t have to do anything to be more beautiful, but you may have to put in work to feel beautiful everyday.

11. Rather than being perfect (flawless), focus being authentic or becoming whole.

12. Loving everybody does not necessarily mean making everyone your BFF. It’s okay to be selective about your inner circle.

13. People-pleasing is the easiest way to lose your authentic self. Don’t let others’ opinions or fear of rejection have power over your God-given gut instinct.

14. Standing for something doesn’t mean standing for everything. Be prepared to disappoint some for the greater good; be prepared to accept those who disagree.

15. The “oops” you have made are not mistakes or regrets per se; they are lessons to help you and/or others do better. It may even be a blessing in disguise. You may not see it now; it may take time to see what the lesson or blessing is. Be patient with yourself. Let your story unfold.


Xian Horn is a joyful half-Asian woman with Cerebral Palsy, serving as writer, mentor, and positivity activist. A member of an international network of extraordinary women, 85 Broads, she was heralded by founder Janet Hanson as an “amazing role model for all women.” With her personal stories and ongoing mentoring work, Xian Horn is invested in contributing positively to self-esteem and the collective self-image, especially for women. To support her True Beauty efforts for people with disabilities, please join Xian’s Facebook community and follow her on twitter here.

Photo by katerha.

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Founded by Eric and Julie Handler, Positively Positive formed a Facebook community of over 1 million people in its first year with its notes of optimism. Positively Positive launched into the world as a multimedia platform in October 2011. Fueled by creative content, videos and bite-sized inspiration, the site spotlights top influentials and everyday individuals to spark, innovate and dare each visitor to live a life worth sharing.

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