I just finished an exercise, as homework in a coaching program I’m in, and I must say it was life-changing. I am not sure why this exercise at this particular time was so effective – as I’ve done them before- but it was. Right now as I’m writing this I feel freer, happier and more focused.
The simple exercise I was homework’d with is to write yourself a letter. Easy, yes? Not so fast. The purpose is to write this as if your ‘other self’ is speaking to you about your life: your past, your present and your future; your past mistakes and how you dealt or overcame them; significant events or people who made an impact on you; your struggles and challenges; your successes. Literally, you can write what and however you want. No one is judging this (although mine was viewed by others in the program – scary) so you can talk to yourself as you will. For example, I was encouraging while pulling no punches or letting issues slide.
This type of exercise is effective as it allows you to go deep into your buried thoughts to bring those out; those that are lurking near the surface can now make sense. Those past hurts can be forgiven and put into a place we can now live with, and we can create the future we want with some safety. Through writing, which engages both sides of the brain, bringing out highlights in our life affirms and validates those experiences, particularly the positive ones. Self-esteem goes up from reading of these accomplishments so that now we want to continue to take action and move forward on goals we want to achieve. We’re not afraid to think big or take big steps to make our life as we envisioned it on the paper.
If you want to self-validate and raise your self-esteem, then I encourage you to start writing that letter to yourself; you may want to mediate a bit before, or sit in silence, as it will give you calm and the words to fly through your fingers. This is where rubber meets the road. You will feel some emotions that will feel uncomfortable but you get to write the ending – isn’t that great?