We all need a little boost sometimes, a reminder that we’re on the right track. One of my favorite ways of giving myself that, is having what I call "a letter of appreciation" on hand that I can read and/or listen to when the need arises. This letter is a way of reminding yourself of all that you've accomplished and all you are able to accomplish.
The best time to write and/or record your letter is when you're in a positive state of mind. Simply finish these three sentences:
- I have overcome...
- I am proud that I’ve...
- I am still working on...
I am...and I will..
You can do these in any order, or use other words for the same idea. Try to allow yourself to free-write without editing, then you can go back and edit as needed. However you answer these, try to end on an empowering note, giving yourself a nice verbal high five. This can be something you read to yourself, or you can make a recording of it–hearing the encouragement from yourself can be very powerful.
Below I've shared a version I wrote for myself. I hope some of it resonates for you.
“I am not past all my struggles, and that's okay. It wasn’t a smooth road to get here, but I've come a long way and am proud of how hard I've worked to get where I am now. I have so many more tools and resources than I ever have. While my pain may still knock me down sometimes, I now know it won’t sink me; I have learned how to get back up again. I no longer believe that the struggles I face will do me in.
I work daily to maintain a foundation of mental and emotional health through all the practices I've learned and integrated into my life. I am developing positive psychological filters, which will bring greater resilience, emotional fortitude and a whole host of other inner resources that will emerge over time. My intuition about what I need grows with my awareness and acceptance of my current experiences and I trust that there is good growing behind the scenes that I may not yet be able to see.
I know that sometimes it's easier to see the negative than the positive, and I may still need evidence of positive changes in my life, but I am committed to paying attention to the good, no matter how small, and celebrating my every accomplishment. I know that it takes time and that every little bit helps. I am a powerful work in progress, and every day I am closer to healing what I can, and more skillfully managing anything that cannot be fully healed. I trust that the result will be a life that feels truly, deeply good."