What would advice would you tell a 20 year old about something you wish someone told you?

I’ll be turning 21 in May and I feel like I failed at life already, I don’t know what the world has for me and I don’t know what my passion is. I sometimes get depressed and overwhelmed with how I want my life to turn out.
Asked by Avery

This is a really good question and one I believe a lot of young people are struggling with right now.  If I am going to stay strictly with the question of what would I tell a young adult that I wish someone had told me the response would be:

"Work toward self-acceptance - that is key. Have experiences, remember you are young and all of your life is ahead of you.  This is the time to explore, find your passions, your interests and your people and nothing is out of bounds for you.  Find out who you really are and what you like, what you dislike and what you are willing to do and not do.  Be brave, have courage and remember that bravery and courage are not the absence of fear, they are proceeding in the face of fear.  Talk to people, find those who have your back through thick and thin and stick with them.  Give yourself grace and room to make errors. This means letting go of the idea of perfection - allow for mistakes from you and from the people you love.  Feel the feelings, identify what works for you in your belief system and get rid of what doesn't lift you up and improve your life when it comes to your thought processes.  If you have thoughts that are dragging you down, figure out the reasons, take what you need and leave the rest - there is no need to drag your bag of shame behind you throughout your life. You will have your own identity and that identity will grow and morph as you go through life - you will still be you underneath, just with new and developed layers!"

That is the beginning of what I would say to a young adult that I wish someone had said to me.  I also wish someone had told me I am doing the best I can with what I have at any given point in time.  This is one of the truest statements I have ever heard and one I tell myself every day, whether things are going right or things have gone sideways somehow. 

As an individual it is important to find our own levels of measurement with which to measure ourselves and in the young adult years we are usually still using someone else's measuring levels and believing we are failing horribly.  When we step back and take a real look at whose measurements we are trying to live up to it can give perspective on how we are looking at ourselves, what we are saying to ourselves and our own basic beliefs about ourselves.  Finding someone to help sort all of that out is vitally important and young adulthood is a great time to get started with that process!