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  • Amy O'Connell

A Note to My Future Self...

I recently read an article that said that this year’s Olympics will be one of the hardest for athletes. Humidity and COVID worries aside, this year’s athletes will be faced with competing in the absence of cheering fans and stadium support. Many athletes are reporting that this is the hardest part of these olympics.

While not an Olympic athlete, I can relate. Over the course of the past month, I have taken on the monumental task of preparing for an intensive one-week training program that will advance my skills in the assessment and treatment of childhood apraxia of speech. Tackling the readings alone felt like an Olympic marathon. It was a lot. And without cheering fans to edge me along, it was easy to lose my pace.

That’s when I remembered a tool that I’ve used both personally and with some of my adult clients. I call the tool “A letter to my future self”. The premise is simple- I am heading into something that will challenge me and I may need some perspective or encouragement along the way. In the past I’ve written letters to my postpartum self (to help frame the crazy post baby days ). I’ve written letters to my anxious self to read when life seems too big and too fast. I’ve even written letters to my older self, to remind me of the goals and dreams I had when I was my younger self. The content doesn’t matter. What matters is that YOU are writing something to encourage YOURSELF. Who better to understand the words you will need to hear than the voice that lives inside your head?

So, as I completed the long (and lonely) journey of getting through my stack of journals, I left myself some notes to provide encouragement along the way (like my very own stadium of cheering spectators). I know it may seem simple, but each note was a gift. Turning the page and seeing a note gave me my so-called second wind to keep going. And today, with the help of my notes, I finally crossed my finish line

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