Photo Jun 03, 7 04 46 AMI call it an “I don’t suck” file. A more positive name would probably be an I am enough file. You can call it whatever you want, but on days when it feels like we can’t do anything write (like pick the, er, right homonym), a concrete reminder that we are loved and have had successes can make all the difference in the world.

Have you saved old cards? Have mementos from a courageous thing you did?

Can you think of something you’ve done that you’re proud of? Got anything that can remind you of that?

How to make your very own I am enough file:

It can be general or specific—A lot of my clients make general files with notes from loved ones or former students/clients/bosses of theirs or other supports. Or magazine clippings that remind them of goals or qualities they have. I am currently making one that is therapy related as a way to transition from my most recent job and prepare for my move abroad. It has notes from clients, supervisees and evaluations.

What you need: It can be as low maintenance as a file folder stuffed with notes or as high maintenance as a well-crafted scrapbook. What’s important is that you have a place to go when you need a pick-me-up.

Photo Jun 03, 7 05 31 AMYou can gather things to build it
—don’t have what you’re looking for? Start gathering!

  • If you have a friend or family member you trust to be supportive of you, see if they’d be willing to write you a note about what they like about you.
  • Next time you’re looking at a magazine or reading a blog and see something that resonates with you—save it for your file. Truth resonates, and you can’t recognize something that you don’t have, so if there is something you read or see that youadmire and relate to, there’s something of you that’s in it.
  • Write yourself some affirmations when you’re feeling good—make your own or use song lyrics or quotes.