We all go through rough patches, and we can all experience feelings of being down or depressed at times. Hopeless, self-doubt, and inner negative self-talk can leave us feeling deflated, and then there is the debilitating physical and mental pain. It's easy to see why some struggle to see a way to move forward. The motivation alone to keep putting one step in front of the other can be exhausting but you can do it because you have many times before! Just think about all those rough patches you've been through. The times when you honestly didn't see how to move forward. You did, you found a way to move forward and you came out so much stronger for it! Why? Because giving up wasn't an option. But what if you had something to help you, something that is positive and uplifting, and reminds you that you can get through anything, wouldn't that be amazing?! Well, there is!
Have you seen or heard of people writing letters of encouragement? You might have seen it on social media recently, or read it on a blog. Perhaps you haven't heard of it at all. Letters of encouragement are exactly what they sound like. Little words of encouragement are written into a beautiful letter. Little letter(s) for when you're feeling down, discouraged, or just plain lousy. Letters that give you a place to turn to, because sometimes it can be hard asking for help. So where do you get them from?? The good news is you don't need to look far. You already know the person who can write one out for you. It's the person who is so intuned with how you think and feel. The person who knows you like no other ever will. That person is YOU! You can help yourself turn things back around. One way to start is to write yourself a letter of encouragement.
Why do you need one I hear you ask?!
The concept behind a letter of encouragement is to remind yourself how utterly amazing you are! That you have been through hard times before and each time you worked through it, you came out stronger. Having a letter written by you to you is extremely powerful! You know how you think and feel and likewise you know what you need to hear. Hearing words from a friend, family member, or stranger can often fall on deaf ears because they don't know what it feels like to be you. You on the other hand do. And you also can't argue with yourself, because after all your letter is speaking from experience. It's often said 'only you can find your way out of the darkness and with a letter of encouragement written by yourself, you are effectively helping yourself find a way out of the darkness.
You might be wondering how You write one or where do you start. Don't worry I've got you covered, because I recently wrote myself a letter of encouragement and as with most things in life the hardest part was actually knowing where to start, and what to put in it.
But before we get into it, I need you to remember that this is a letter that's meant for you - nobody else! - in it, you'll write down all the things you need to hear in order to feel better. It should be written from the heart. It should be honest and authentic, it should allow you to feel emotions of love and compassion for yourself. If you are feeling low, going through a rough patch, or just in need of a boost of motivation it can be really helpful to read through your letter. Why? Because it's a great tool to help keep you focused. By reminding yourself how amazing you are, what your strengths, motivations, dreams, and aspirations are, it can help you get a clearer idea of how to move forward again. Because a little self-encouragement can go a long way.
As I mentioned writing yourself a letter of encouragement can be an extremely powerful tool, I cannot emphasis this enough. When it comes to staying motivated during difficult times, wouldn't you want to listen to yourself? After all, no one knows you better than you do. Now don't forget it's important that you be kind and supportive in your letter, after all, you're talking to yourself - so be gentle and understanding!
Before I wrote my own letter I did a fair bit of research, and as always there were so many versions! I started by making a note and listing the ones that kept coming up and then I put them together into a step-by-step guide. Feel free to pick and chose or follow to the letter. After all, it's what you think your future self would want to hear. There is no right or wrong way.
Here are my steps for writing a letter of encouragement to yourself:
1. Start by acknowledging that you know you are feeling down or discouraged.
e.g I know you might not be feeling your best right now. You will feel ..... and .... and that's ok. It's ok to feel this way.
2. List your accomplishments: Recall all the things you have done that make you proud, no matter how small they may seem. Every achievement is something to be proud of, and in turn, this will help boost your confidence and remind you that you are capable of accomplishing great things.
e.g ... it's ok to feel this way, but just remember everything you have achieved so far. Remember that time that you thought you couldn't do ....... and you did! You felt ..... and ...... and what a boost it gave you! You felt like you were ......
3. Think about the things that you're grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. This can help put things into perspective and remind you of the good in your life.
e.g remember those times, all that you have achieved! Be grateful for them. speaking of grateful ...... makes me feel grateful. because ...... and if it wasn't for ..... I wouldn't be where I am today. I am so grateful for all of these!
4. Focus on your strengths: You have many strengths and qualities that make you unique. Reflect on the things that make you special and unique- these are what will help you succeed in anything you do.
e.g and don't forget about how amazing you are! I know you don't feel it right now but you are. there is no one else like you. No one can do ....... as you do, or has ...... like you do. Celebrate you, don't give up!!
5. Next, write down your goals for the future, both short-term and long-term plus what led you to set them. Remind yourself why they’re important to you and what the payoff will be if you achieve them. Don't forget to stay focused on what is important, and do not let temporary setbacks discourage you when you are feeling down, it can be helpful to remind yourself of your goals.
e.g .... Don't give up! Because you have so much more still to achieve. Like that ....... you want. And the ........ you've been working towards. It's almost in reach, just keep going.
Top Tip: Write these out again on a separate piece of paper, place them somewhere in view, and read over these goals every day, as a reminder of what you're working towards. This will help keep you focused on what you want to achieve and give you something to work towards.
6. Offer words of encouragement and tell yourself that you can do it! Reinforce your belief in yourself and remember that setbacks are part of the journey. List the reasons why you should be proud of yourself. Maybe you've been working hard or have overcome difficult obstacles. Whatever it is, make sure to list as many reasons as possible!
e.g .... it's almost in reach just keep going. Because you've had setbacks in the past. Just look at ....... and look how far you have come since then! Setbacks happen. They can be to make you stronger, fight a little harder, or just reinforce how much you want it. But it always is within reach if you just keep going.
7. Write out a plan of action for how you can improve your current situation. This could include anything from taking steps to improve your mood to set smaller goals that will motivate you over time. Don't forget to end on a positive note by thanking yourself for all your hard work and dedication thus far. Let yourself know that you are loved, supported, and appreciated.
e.g I know it doesn't feel in reach. And I know it feels like a struggle. You're tired, that's ok. You need to look after yourself more. Do more of what makes you happy. You love ..... when was the last time you did that? Try taking more time out for yourself to recharge your batteries. it's ok to take a break and put yourself first. It's how you grow and move forward stronger and faster.
8. Finally, seal up your letter and place it inside your purse or bag. Open whenever you need to hear some words of encouragement.
You can jot down some ideas first or make a list of what you would like to include and then pull it together into a beautiful, uplifting, honest letter. Why not take it a step further and also write one for a friend or family member whos going through a tough time. You never know it might just be the words they have been needing to hear. And the good news is we have also designed a FREE downloadable for you to print and write out your letter of encouragement on!
Click on the link button to get your FREE downloadable!