I was on season 13 of “The Bachelor” — and, of course, it turned out to be a memorable season because of the infamous “After the Final Rose” finale. I went on to perform on “Dancing with the Stars” and then I co-hosted two seasons of the reality TV show “Red Neck Island.” That’s a lot of reality TV! So, I’ve learned plenty of things that I’m looking forward to sharing with my own kids when they’re older, including:

1. Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. This was the biggest lesson that I learned on “The Bachelor.” If you’re not confident in yourself, then you’re never going to make anybody else happy — and you’re not going to be genuinely happy, either. For me, confidence is not something I was born with. It was something that came with age and experience. I wish it was something I had learned a lot earlier. My twenties would have been a much smoother ride if I had!

2. Don’t take life too seriously. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in, “I need to be here by this age and here by this age.” In my twenties, I was that way. I was so eager to have my job and have my husband and start my family that I just forgot to have fun.

3. Rejection makes you stronger. I used to be embarrassed about what happened to me on that ‘After the Final Rose’ episode, but ultimately I came out of that experience so much stronger. I now understand that if you offer the best that you have and the other person doesn’t want it, it’s on them — not you.

4. Accept an apology, even if you don’t believe that it’s sincere. You’ll be able to end things on a positive note that you feel good about. It’s definitely the harder road to take sometimes, but always end a relationship with closure of some sort.

5. Sometimes luck is just as important as talent. I got into this industry because of a lot of luck, so I understand the role that timing plays in everything. Sometimes you can be as prepared as possible for something, and if your stars don’t align, it just won’t happen.

6. Always be real and authentic. People can see through fakeness more than you think. If you don’t buy what you’re selling, no one else will either. Know that you can’t please everyone or have everyone like you, but be confident that that’s okay.

7. There is a difference between real tears and fake. I’ll tell my daughter not to fake cry on me. I’ve seen it all.! Not even an ugly cry face can mask a lack of tears! No tears, no sympathy. Sorry.

Related: Q&A–Melissa Rycroft Fills Us In

Photo: Melissa Rycroft/Instagram