I left the house and wanted to remember some files off my 120 GB hard drive and onto my 1 TB external drive, so I left myself a note in Notepad on my computer screen:
TRANSFER SOME FILES TONIGHT!!!
Then, for fun, I followed with:
YOU ARE SPECIAL, LAURIE SWENSON.
And then I kept going, but became serious.
By the time I finished, I had a whole list of inspirational phrases.
And by golly, it felt good. (I just wrote “by golly” — I feel like Jack Handy.)
I read through that list a couple of times, and it made me smile a little, in the way one smiles when a friend or colleague or relative says encouraging, helpful, kind words that brighten your day.
It occurred to me that we don’t often look to ourselves for inspiration. Sure, we may do the Loreal thing of saying “I’m worth it,” but to me that always sounds a bit hollow, like you’re announcing it outside yourself.
If you’re saying it to yourself, I guess it should say “You are” rather than “I am.”
Sure, it gets a little weird, but you know what I’m saying, don’t you?
If you’re talking to yourself, you’re already distancing from yourself a bit to make the comments, so “you” is, well, you, but, like, you2. No, not the band. That’s U2.
Look, it’s basically just being as nice to yourself as you are to the people in life to whom you are closest, the people to whom you would say glowing, encouraging things. Except with yourself you can be more bold and direct, even over the top, because you won’t look at yourself like you’re weird. Hopefully.
We all need reassurance from time to time — reminders that we are worthy, memorable, even special human beings who bring something good to this world. We get these from people who respect and care for us, those who make us feel warm and fuzzy and stuff. Then there are books with inspirational phrases, but I never really feel those mean much of anything. They’re not really directed toward anyone — I mean, Robert Mugave could be reading!
But if you’re saying them to yourself — heck, even if you read them to yourself out of the book, or write them down for yourself — there’s more to it. You’re actually jumping on your own bandwagon, but instead of shouting out self-praise from the parade, you’re speaking internally. I like it. It feels good. Even if it’s a little over the top.
My list included some glowing phrases, a friendly push to do more personal writing and to organize my apartment so I can try to become an eBay seller, and a reminder that I should write more blog posts …
BECAUSE YOU ARE INTERESTING AND INSIGHTFUL AND COMPELLING AND YOU WRITE WELL.
Or so I said.
I ended with “GO FORTH AND … DO STUFF.”
So try that out, won’t you? Tell yourself, as though you were another person, what a great person you are and how much you deserve. Then gently encourage yourself to take the steps to accomplish some of what you dream of. Little dreams, big dreams, whatever.
If nothing else, maybe it will make you feel warm and fuzzy and stuff.