letter to self

Writing a letter to some aspect of yourself is a fun but profound exercise that has great value for anyone who wants to reflect on their current situation, as well as set intentions and goals for an ideal future–for yourself or your creative enterprise.

In a fascinating Medium post about writing to your future self Riskology.co founder Tyler Tervooren analysed a number of studies of the benefits of writing to self.

“If you have important goals, habits, and ideals you want to live by, the science is in,” he says. “You can help yourself stick to them by writing yourself a letter. And, just like the research has shown, thinking about the distant future works better than thinking about the near term.”

Elizabeth Gilbert regularly writes a letter to her own fear, (on Tuesday next, we’ll be running her exercise of writing such a letter )

I know it sounds freaky — to be writing letters to and from various aspects of yourself…but remember: None of us is a SELF; we are all MANY SELVES.

What we call a “self” is just a wild mishmash combination of lots and lots of different parts and competing voices. (Anyone who has ever negotiated with herself about whether or not she will be going to the gym today knows this: we are a veritable auditorium of rival voices and contrasting opinions.)

But if you can approach all these rival selves with a spirit of friendly curiosity, it can make your head into a more peaceful neighborhood.

FutureMe.org lets you send an email to yourself and have it delivered at a future date.

What is the purpose of the process for a creative entrepreneur?

Reasons Creative Entrepreneurs Should F-R-E-E-write Letters-To-Self

  1. To Create your future. Where will you be in five years? Who do you want to become? F-r-e-e-writing a letter to self helps get your thoughts out of the present and keeps you focused on what is yet to come. Sit down and address a letter to yourself in 3, 5, or 10 years and tell yourself where you want to be. Let your mind run free. Give yourself permission to be suitably ambitious. What do you hope to accomplish? How are you going to do it? If you vividly imagine your future in concrete terms, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Five Year Letter sends you a letter in the mail that guides you through the process of writing a letter that you will open in five years time.
  2. To address an ABCDEF (an attitude, belief, concept, desire, expectation, fear or guild that you hold and want to change. Tomorrow we’ll carry an example of a reader who used this technique to write to her anger.
  3. To see the ups and downs and treat triumph and disaster the same.  The older I get the more I understand the creative role of challenge and adversity and how what seem like the darkest paths turn out to be illuminating. Uncertainty, discomfort, fear, failure: in the moments when I’m failing and flailing, I now know something new is being born. My letters to my future self have helped me to see that clearly.

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