We all have down days. There are times when it’s hard to remember accomplishments from the past or think that you’re moving in the right direction. It’s not hard to become consumed with feelings of self-doubt and worry. The good news is that you don’t have to sit still and wait for days like this to come while remaining completely unarmed.
A few years ago, I decided to take a proactive approach to curating positive reinforcement. Sometimes all it takes to pull myself out of a funk is to read encouraging notes from those I love and respect most. Don’t wait until your next bout of impostor syndrome or confidence storm attacks. Gird your emotional loins like this:
1. Make a list of the 10 people who know you best. You’re thinking of the people who could describe you perfectly and who know you better than you know yourself. Brené Brown would call these folks the people who have “earned the right to hear your story.” These are friends who lift you up and remind you of your mission.
2. Email them and say, “As an exercise in perspective, I'd like to ask you to list a few things that you see in me that are good qualities. I'll write them down and reflect on them. Maybe I'll even learn something about myself that I didn't know! Let me know if you'd like me to do the same for you! I appreciate your friendship and your time!”
3. Wait for the encouragement to pour in.
4. Critical step: RECORD their responses. Write them on index cards and hide them around your house. Print them in your journal. Put them into a scrapbook of support. Make sure they’re in a place you’ll know to look when you’re feeling down.
5. Do the same for them (if they ask) and thank them for their kindness with a handwritten note.
6. The next time you’re feeling “not good enough,” read their comments and arm yourself with a healthy dose of truth! You might even be surprised at what they say about you!
This exercise is especially helpful for those recovering from a life of negative self-talk. Replace the things your friends say about you with your own mean inner dialogue. Talking to yourself like your friends do will give you inspiration for a better inner monologue!