Being a National Level Figure Athlete, actress, TV host, public speaker, and a former Top10 recording artist, all take a certain amount of confidence and belief in oneself.
Here’s what you need to know…
I didn’t always have that confidence or belief in myself to follow through on my ideas and put them out there, and if I did somehow muster up enough ‘chutzpah’ to go for it, the fundamental belief of it ‘not working out’ took over and it wouldn’t be long before I fell prey to the naysayers.
This led to me sabotaging my own success by giving into to my fears and my destructive inner dialogue which amplified my lack of confidence and I just suffocated in low self-esteem, drowning myself in my food addiction, and I would more often than not just give up.
Any of this ring familiar?
I am going to share with you a little secret weapon and the action I took with it that made all the difference for me in my early twenties and has continued to powerfully impact and rock my world and my journey to this very day. Don’t underestimate the power of this little ditty and the daily action of doing it!
#NotetoSelf started off years ago quite literally with a note to myself, scribbled in eye liner on my bathroom mirror at a very dark, depressing and lost time. Months of depression compounded with heavy drinking, yo-yo dieting with pills, detrimental weight loss followed by dramatic weight gain, led to my calling in sick from work often. Barricading myself in my apartment, not leaving for days at a time, except to go buy food and then eat myself into oblivion, my body and soul were screaming for ‘self-love’.
Sunken on my bathroom floor, sobbing, cradling my legs tightly into my chest, chin on my knees, wishing the floor would swallow me up to relieve me of the massive headache from crying so hard and for so long after yet another all night binge fest where I and the peanut gallery in my head conjured up the reasons “why I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, thin enough, strong enough, rich enough”, the list went on and on.
But suddenly, on that floor, through my flooding tears I happened to capture a glimpse of my pretty pink painted toes. Still sobbing, I somehow mustered up a smile through the tears and a thought (a ‘note-to-self’) popped into my head, ‘YOU HAVE PRETTY TOES’, then I heard “write it down! Read it every day! Find one more thing to like!”. I reached for eyeliner, scribbled it on my mirror… and so it began … #NotetoSelf.
I believe looking back, that my soul was speaking to me and that the purpose in having me start with this baby step note to myself was to help me find anything, something, just one thing that I could like about myself. Just one. This task that I challenged myself to do and somehow followed through on was done so with the internal knowing that one day ‘loving myself’, as everyone else except me seemed to be able to do, would not be such a foreign function to me. That one day, it would be as natural as breathing. But before I could get there and freely breathe, I had to hate myself and my body a whole lot less. That took a few more notes.
Somehow I knew, or there was something that was telling me, that I simply had to follow through and just write these notes to myself or I was going to spiral down the rabbit hole, faster and even further than I already had gone. The idea of the notes seemed like a life preserver being thrown to me by me, to pull me out of the dark self-hate place that I was suffocating in. I never dreamt the power of a note-to-myself would be my breath and could be my kick start to changing my life.
That peanut gallery loves to talk, making it a tough challenge silencing that devastating, self sabotaging, inner dialogue. It took a lot of ‘notes’ through a lot of tears as I wrestled to silence the gallery. But wrestle I did, and these notes, my life preservers, supported me, held space for me, caught my tears and carried me through the healing from all the food addiction, the bad choices in boyfriends and fair-weather friends, the bad decisions in careless drinking & partying and the aftermath of all their consequences.
These notes never let me down and because of that I showed up for them every day as they did for me. They helped me tap into more powerfully positive notes-to-self along the way that could reach beyond my head, my wounded ego and broken heart.
Each note pulled me up a little higher in my self-esteem while they helped me dig a little deeper into myself and my self-love.
Soon loving myself was becoming just like breathing.
So if you are feeling like self-love doesn’t feel as natural as breathing, it can, it will and a #NotetoSelf is the start of breathing freely from this day forth.
Over the years my #NotetoSelf has evolved in its sophistication from the rebellious child-like scribble on my bathroom mirror using my least favourite coloured eye liner. (That stuff really smudges and its hard to read, but my ‘inner-note-needing-child” thankfully persisted).
Those early notes-to-self on the mirror read something like this…
‘I have pretty toes’.
‘I will try’.
‘I think I can’.
‘One day you will’.
‘You are better than this shitty feeling’.
‘I am smarter than I was last week’.
‘One day he will notice’.
‘He said ‘voluptuous’ not fat’.
‘I believe even if they don’t’.
Soon replacing the mirror, smudgy liner and the ‘barely scratching the surface’ messages would soon be Post-It notes with deeper, more powerfully positive perspective reflections and bolder statements like…
‘I AM BEAUTIFUL’,
‘I CHOOSE-I DECIDE-I have that kind of power’,
‘I AM WORTHY’
‘I AM MORE’,
‘JUST WATCH ME’,
‘LIKE ME or DON’T ~ I LOVE ME’,
‘HE is NOT WORTHY of ME’,
‘ I AM TALENTED’,
‘I am breathing’ <3
‘I HAVE POWER’,
‘I AM UNIQUE’,
‘I AM BETTER THAN my BAD CHOICE’,
‘I’M RESPONSIBLE for my HAPPINESS’,
‘TODAY I choose for my TOMORROW’!
The peanut gallery now was being suffocated and silenced.
I began to embrace ‘self-love’ like breathing. I was releasing the self sabotage, the negative influences around me. Not only was I transforming, so too was my life and so too were my dreams.
My inner voice was turning into my outer voice and the ripple effect has not stopped throughout my life.
There is power in those little 3×3 notes. Post-Its became and still are my go to. My journaling, my creative writing and my speech writing are literally all done on the little 3×3’s. A kaleidoscope of Post-Its line my office walls and desk and fridge in an array of colours. The more colours the better, especially for speech writing or exam notes, they help you remember.
They say that you are 42% more likely to have information stick and be able to recall it when its written down. I believe that to be true especially when written on notes to yourself. You can find them in my glove box, in my purse, in my gym bag because one never knows when they will need a reminder for themselves or when a little golden nugget of wisdom is needed by your friend or by a stranger.
I know first hand just how powerful these notes were in my life, in my healing and growth and just how powerful they could be in your life. It is now obvious to me that through the years of my consistent cultivated self-love through a little note to myself, has made all the difference in my successes.
YES! I still do notes all the time to myself. They work!
The power of these weekly reminders not only kick start new perspective & changes within you, they reinforce them! They create positive self talk! Taking the action of writing them so you can see them, ignite inner-strength just when you need them, so that you can draw upon, especially on days that are tougher or more stressful.
Its your higher self talking to you through them to let you know you are not alone, that ‘YOU GOT THIS’ and ‘YOU HAVE PRETTY TOES’!
Start with a #NotetoSelf…
About the Author: Steely SPRINGHAM is one of Your Monthly Mentors, ‘Perspective Whisperer’ & Confidence Coach, defied the odds and stepped onto her first competitive stage in the world of Figure & Fitness in 2011, at the age of 42. In 5 short years, Steely earned National level status & won the coveted BC Provincial Champion Overall Masters Figure Title in 2015. This former Top-10 recording artist turned her passion for fitness into her present day career. She is currently a Certified Behaviour Change Specialist, an ACE certified personal trainer, a Confidence Coach, specializing in competition posing, mental preparation for athletes in her sport and in public speaking and confidence coaching for 8-12 year olds. Learn More…