Exercise Five: Remembering Past Successes
Take a few minutes to think about a time when you succeeded at something. It can be a small, daily task, or an incredibly difficult task that happened in a specific moment, or a longer-term goal/accomplishment. Think as specifically as possible about the situation (for example, instead of “raising my kids,” it might be “raising my son to be kind to others, like the time he thoughtfully consoled a classmate who had lost his grandmother”).
If you can’t think of anything, you may be trying too hard to think of a “major” life event. Think about the past few days: was there anything that happened, even very small, that was a success? On the other hand, you may be thinking too “small”—think about the big events of your life, and times when you were the proudest or happiest—those times may be worth thinking and writing about.
Use the instructions below to help guide you through this process:
1. You will first write about the event. You will then write about the positive feelings and thoughts you had during the event. Then you will write about the positive feelings and thoughts you have now, as you look back at your success.
2. Finally, you will write about how you did it—what role you had in making the success happen and which of your good qualities “came out”. Remind yourself about other times when you have used those good qualities.
3. Do not worry about perfect grammar and spelling.