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Notes to My Discouraged Self


I’ll admit it. The past few days have been very very hard for me. I feel like I am stumbling around in the dark a bit, unsure of what might be around the next corner. I feel tentative and distant, devoid of my usual sharp clarity and focus.

No need to worry or offer up coaching advice. This will pass – it always does. It happens to everyone, I think, as we push and grow and shift and change. It’s just that many, make that most, of the experts and gurus we listen to never admit it out loud or talk about what to do when it comes knocking on your door.

As I am currently in the throes of it, I thought I would share a strategy live from the front line. You may not need it now – I sincerely hope you don’t. But you will very probably need it soon if you are shifting and growing as much as I think you are.

My strategy is simple, some of you might call it silly actually. But it works for me, so here it is. I write encouraging notes to myself. ¬†They aren’t long or flowery or complex. They are simple and direct ( I talk to myself the same way I talk to other people).

Here are a few of them:

~ There are times when it will feel pointless to attempt to create awesome. If you don’t create awesome anyway, what will you create in its place?

~ There are people who will disappoint and dishearten you because they are something other than who they presented themselves to be. Don’t pass a sweeping judgement based on this small (in more ways than one), isolated sampling. “They” are not “everyone”.

~ Having strong opinions will cost you the popularity contest. But do you really want to win it being shallow and vapid?

~ Days (or weeks or months) will pass when you feel like the only one reading what you write is you. That may or may not be true. And if it is true, it’s all the more reason to write something you will enjoy reading.

~ As you grapple with your desire to have the admiration and respect of the “right” people, remember that you already have the admiration, respect and love of those who matter most.

~ Yes, you may have temporarily lost the ability to come up with anything original or interesting to say. Now is the time to fill your well with those who always have something interesting to say. Read a good book, watch a great movie, talk to [my best friend].

These aren’t all the notes I write to myself. There a many MANY more where these came from. And the point isn’t really what I wrote in them anyway. The point is that I wrote them.

So if and when you feel lost or discouraged or uncertain, remember that everyone else feels this way too at some time or another. Whether they admit it out loud or not. And write encouraging notes to yourself. You know you best – draw on that knowledge. Lean into it. Count on it.

Your notes, and my notes, are like breadcrumbs leading out of the dark, bleak forest and back into the sunny, familiar meadow.






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