Step One. Lay your plain sheet of paper horizontally in front of you. Use a marker of one color to draw a line from the bottom left to the top right corners – at the bottom of the line, write, “born,” and at the top, write, “today.” You have now created a timeline of your life.
Step Two. Gather the remaining markers. Starting with one color, on the left/bottom side of your timeline, write down every major challenge of your life below the line. It doesn’t matter whether these challenges look major compared to other peoples – if this is difficult for you, try to simply list the traumatic events of your life.
Using the third color, begin on the left side of the timeline, and write down every major achievement of your life above the line. Whether academic (won the county spelling bee, 4th grade), personal (survived that breakup), professional, financial, emotional – whatever you are proud of.
Step Three. Look at the timeline. See the beautiful chaos of your failure, success, heartbreak, loss, wins, and realize – your life is actually not divided into accomplishments and challenges. It is only accomplishments. It is all success. Do you see what you did after every event below the timeline? You rebounded. Every challenge, every trauma, every failure that you listed – is also something you endured, or learned from, or propelled yourself out of. Look at that whole page of badass that you are. Be astounded in yourself. You deserve it.