If you are a member of the WIP Girl community following January’s free self love calendar guide, you know that today is this month’s “lost letter challenge.” And yes, you are probably wondering what the heck that is. So if you are a WIP girl and are reading this to learn more – awesome.. and if you aren’t yet a WIP Girl – 1: Join because it’s free. And 2: Do the lost letters challenge. It’s super healing.
The Idea behind the Lost Letters Challenge
Every so often, when I think back to the girl I once was (the girl I often think about when I write on the What is Perfection Blog) I get overcome with a sense of sadness. I remember the things I used to struggle with, the obstacles I faced, and the challenges that really kept me from feeling fulfilled for a very long time in my life.
I think about my past unhealthy abusive relationships…
The sexual assault that happened when I was 13 and the raped that happened my first year of college…
I think about the friends I have lost, the fights, the loneliness I experienced.
That feeling like “no one understands me.”
The battles I faced with depression and anxiety.. My suicide attempt.
It’s all a lot of heavy shit… and it feels heavy looking at that list of challenges one right after the other, doesn’t it?
I am not that girl anymore.
Which is probably why I feel so completely comfortable opening up and talking about all of those things to you girls… Because I am fully healed, happy, and full of self love. Things I thought were truly impossible back then then when I was struggling. Now I use my past to help other people get off the path of unhappiness. And I take pride in everything I have overcome to be able to do that today.
There are times when I think about the old me, and I just want to go back and hug her… comfort her… tell her things that she needs to know about how wonderful and bright the future is.
I wish the me I am now could be there for the Me I used to be.
And I am sure, for the girls out there struggling with difficult life experiences, they wonder what the future holds for them – and sure, a lot of them feel like what they want is impossible (much like I did back then.)
It would be nice to just press a button and see the future – because if the future was great, it would inspire us to feel hopeful and determined… not stuck and lost in our lives.
The truth is you can have anything you want for yourself.
And when it feels impossible, sometimes you need to instill that sense of certainty… and fight the “it will never get better” feelings.
That’s where the Lost Letters exercise comes in.
Writing the Lost Letter
Early on at the very beginning of my self love healing process, when I was putting my life back together (those messy beginning months) I was still caring that sense of uncertainty. I felt like I wasn’t sure I could put my life back together. It felt like I was a little hamster on a wheel trying so desperately to find a way out. But at the same time, I wasn’t truly confident things would get better.
It wasn’t easy to “fake it till I made it,” all the time.
Somewhere along the way I had an idea.
“If I could just imagine the version of myself I want to be… the things I have, the amazing life I live, the love I experience every day in my life.. If I can get really clear about that… maybe I will be able to feel hopeful enough to keep pushing through this,” I thought.
So I got out a pen and paper and wrote a letter.
I pretended that the person writing it was the future me. She had her beautiful sense of confidence. Her life was happy. Her dreams came true. She felt constantly fulfilled and full of love.
I became a comfort and strength for my own self. It was incredibly healing.
There I was, the future me – with my life totally together, happy, and with everything I ever wanted.
It completely changed my outlook and restored that feeling of hope I was desperately in need of at the time.
I found it incredibly healing. To this day, lost letters is one of the strategies I offer to clients who are learning how to overcome fear, and I decided it was time I share the reflection process with everyone out there who follows this blog.
The Challenge: Write a letter from the future you, to the you that you are now.
-What would you want the present you to know about the amazing future ahead?
-Use your imagination and pretend you are a wise incredibly beautiful version of you… what would you want to say to the you now?
-inspire her, motivate her, comfort her, encourage her. Tell her everything she needs to hear in order to make her way through whatever it is she is facing.
And today, here’s a little glimpse of my old letter.. circa 2012.
I hope you get this at the time in your life when you need it the most. There may be times where you find yourself longing for a reminder of these words.. so keep this letter close.
You may feel alone right now, but there is a reason for that: this is the part of the journey of life where you become the person you have always wanted to be. This is the moment where you will learn and discover things about yourself that you never knew were possible. It is the time when you find strength, determination, and the meaning of true happiness in your life. And as hard as being alone might feel right know, just know – that this is the part of your life where you need to be alone so you can transform into that amazing wonderful you that has been missing your love and attention all these years.
You have been neglecting yourself. You are at this cross roads because you have spent so much time trying to fill a void in your life with all things exterior – relationships, money, physical appearance – the superficial. You have never learned to love yourself. And that is where you are now.. about to embark on that journey.
It may seem hard to be alone… it may seem scary. But it is not without reason. The reason is because for the first time in your life you are going to have this incredible opportunity to learn how to love yourself RIGHT NOW. It will be the most amazing experience. Don’t be afraid to stand tall by yourself.. invest in who you are and what makes you happy.. start definition your worth so others will see how great you are. Soon you will inspire them to do the same.
The future you is not sad. The future you feels beautiful, confident, connected. She is not lost.. she is not scared.. she is not alone. That will happen.
You have lost these unhealthy relationships in your life because they aren’t serving you.. soon you will find amazing new ones that are full of love and respect — because you will learn how to respect yourself and raise your standards.
You feel lost and without purpose because soon you are going to take big scary leaps of faith that will bring you closer to discovering the amazing you that was inside you all along.
You will let go of all those “never enough feelings” soon.. I promise.. you only feel them because you have never learned to feel anything else. This is the part where you learn different.
Don’t ever give up. Remember… everything you want is straight ahead.. Just keep pushing.. keep fighting.. and keep believing that you deserve it.”
So, the other day I started thinking about all you single ladies out there. And I was wondering, have any of you made a single girl bucket list?
Because when I was single, that’s what I did. And it rocked my world.
What is a Single Girl Bucket List
It’s basically exactly what it sounds like. A single girl bucket list is that awesome detailed check list of all the amazing things you want to do in your life, but can only really do when you are single. Well, maybe you CAN do them when you are in a relationship but they aren’t as fun. And maybe they come with more consequences. *winkie face*
Coming up with a single girl bucket list is a great way to feel happy when you start a new venture out of a relationship – especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been on the market.
I wrote an article a while back on learning how to be happy alone, because it’s important to find your worth outside of relationships. But spending your time wisely while you are livin la vida loca and actually enjoying your freedom may not come naturally in the beginning.
So if you’re that newly single girl struggling to fill your time and actually enjoy your freedom, then put down the tissues and get out your pen and paper to start crafting your single girl bucket list!
You are about to start brainstorming an amazing new adventure that makes you a women that Beyonce loves to sing about.
Ready single ladies?
Get ready to let your freak flag fly. Because nothing is off limits when you’re a single lady making her mark on the world .. except maybe the dangerous and self destructive stuff. Let’s maybe leave those things off the table okay?
My Single Girl Bucket List
Here’s an example of some of the things I put on my single girl bucket list when I ended my five year relationship.
1.Buy Myself Sexy Smelling Perfume.
2. Have a One Tree Hill TV Binge Sesh.
3. Have an at home spa day. (If you need ideas check out this post)
4. Go out on the town for a full blown girls night.
5. Go dancing.
6. Learn to dance.
7. Try hot yoga.
8. Redesign my apartment.
9. Try a new DIY project I’ve been wanting to do.
10. Read 50 Shades of Grey.
11. Have a makeover at sephora.
12. Go rock climbing.
13. Visit my best friend in Florida.
14. Sing Loudly in my apartment in my pajamas.
15. Buy sexy lingerie for me myself and I.
16. Go to a speed dating event.
17. Go to dinner and a movie by myself.
18. Make-out with a stranger.
19. dirty dance with a guy at the bar.
20. Get my nose pierced.
21. Get that haircut that he thought wasn’t sexy (but that I really wanted.)
22. Treat myself to a new sexy outfit.
23. Go to a hookah bar.
24. Take a vacation by myself.
25. Go for a massage and have a spa day.
26. Learn to love myself.
Need some help making an official list? Grab this! And check out my other tips for being single on the blog!
Building self-esteem isn’t always easy. Okay, most of the time it’s the hardest thing ever, am I right? But today I am sharing three effective strategies for building self esteem so that you can learn how to do it in a simple easy way.
Three Simple Steps to Building Self-Esteem
Step One: Stop striving for perfection. This is a real serious first step that you must take in order to build your self worth and grow your confidence. The first step to building self-esteem is really ditching that “all or nothing” approach to feeling good about yourself. You need to recognize that you aren’t perfect. You will never be perfect. Perfect is not an option or a goal. Because Perfection doesn’t exist. So give it up. Once you do, you’ll quickly notice a shift in your outlook.
Have you ever gotten down on yourself because you didn’t achieve a goal you wanted to? Did you ever feel embarrassed by things you’ve done in your life? Do you feel like maybe your past decisions were failures? That’s the “perfection obsession” talking. Ditch it. Let it go. Say goodbye.
The truth is no matter what you have been through in your life, you can overcome it. The road to happiness and self-esteem is never perfect, so don’t ever try to make it perfect. Don’t believe? You can read all about my imperfection and what I overcame to build my confidence and self love in my about me page. If I can do it, you can too.
Step Two: Develop solid self-love practices. This is so important. Developing some sort of self love routine to incorporate into your daily schedule is super important for living a confident life and building self-esteem. Start a gratitude journal if you haven’t already, or try using daily journal prompts for self reflection to help in building self-esteem.
If journaling isn’t your thing, try practicing self love mantras. Find a few self-love phrases that make you feel empowered and receipt them every morning. You can also practice positive self talk by taking a few moments each morning to compliment yourself. Whatever works for you girl. Do it!
Step Three: Educate yourself and look at building self-esteem as a life journey. In order to grow confidence and change how you feel about yourself, you need to prioritize it. You need to look at growing your confidence as a true Priority in your life. If you don’t invest the time and energy (and sometimes the money) into growing self-worth and building self-esteem, you will never do it. So educate yourself, and invest your time into developing the tools you need to grow who you are and what you love about yourself.
Building Self-esteem made easy: with the Perfection Program
The Perfection Program is a solid place to do that. If you believe you are ready for a change, go check it out.
Oh, and if you don’t feel ready for that big change, check out this free self love journal guide to help you with building self-esteem
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What is Perfection is the Self Improvement blog for the imperfect girl everywhere. Learn to find happiness, feel beautiful, and be confident in who you are. We all deserve to be happy, and we all deserve to be the best version of us. And we all are truly capable of getting there. Because Perfection Is Impossible. Happiness isn’t. See The Self Improvement E-Guide Collection For Your Life Coaching Guides to Change Your Life Today!