A few months ago, while going through some old paperwork, I came across an unopened envelope, addressed to me, in my own handwriting. (If your first thought was, “creepy,” you’re not alone. Alas, I did not time travel and leave myself a note.) After a quick wtf moment, context clues reminded me that I had written myself a letter as part of a leadership training event I participated in a few years back. Unable to remember the rules of when I was supposed to open it, I decided that today was the day.
Inside was a an earnest message about who I hoped I was today (based on what I was hoping to learn that day), and some solid encouragement that I was worthy and ready to step up in my professional life. I may or may not have dropped a tear.
Perhaps it’s sentimental, but I completely seized upon this idea. We all have ups and downs. Some days I think I am the baddest, most capable, boss lady that ever lived, and that I am going to SAVE THE WORLD. Other days I have so many doubts that I’m not sure I can craft a decent tweet. Doing excellent work that can make a positive impact on the world feels like a complete impossibility.
And so, inspired by leadership conferences and my 6th-grade teachers (hey, Sister Thomas Ann!), I have taken to writing notes to future me.
Am I fairly certain I’ve crossed a certain level from crazy from which I can never go back? Yes. Am I mad about it? Absolutely not. If you, like me, would like for your best, most confident self to be around to cheerlead for your not-so-great, most doubtful self, here’s how it works.
Step One: When you are having a truly magnificent day, stop. Take a beat, and write your (future, less so thrilled) self a little note. Pop it into an envelope, somewhere in the future of your planner, bury it at the bottom of your purse, in the medicine cabinet, WHEREVER.
Step Two: Have a less than stellar day. Open said envelope/planner/purse/medicine cabinet/etc. and be reminded that one day (not so long ago), you COMPLETELY believed in yourself and that you were SLAYING it. Know that today is just one day, and that tomorrow, you might wake up with a renewed sense of, “I have f*cking GOT this.”
When it comes down to it, we know what we need to hear better than anyone else. Has anyone ever come home from work at the end of a long day and been furious to find that a partner or family didn’t know how to console/support you? The people we love have the best of intentions, but they can’t read our minds. The only way to hear what we need to hear is to TELL our loved ones what we need (also important) or to find a way to tell OURSELVES what we need.
I’m working on both, and I must say, letters from confident Aubrie have done wonders for doubtful Aubrie. Yea, it’s a little cheesy (and maybe too close to listening to the voices in my head), but my goodness it works. And so, at risk of outing myself as a complete crazy person, I’m sharing my latest trick with you. Try it out, and let me know if you’re able to pep talk yourself out of a rut!