A few weeks ago, a dear friend was talking about her ongoing career change and comparing her progress to other people — mostly strangers — whom she perceived to be way more successful, masterful, and able than she. Although hugely-talented and making serious progress, she was being savage with herself as she compared herself to others whose backstory and paths were completely different from hers, or even, unknown. So I did an intervention.

I wrote out a “reminder” on a piece of paper and tacked it up in her office. In this case, it was a truth I’d learned the hard way: Comparison leads to violence.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

The practice of writing out and tacking up a physical sign is one I’ve done for other friends whose “bad voices” and self-criticism were laying them low. I once wrote out ten different signs to put all around the apartment of a friend who was in crisis. When she awoke in the morning, everywhere she looked was an “antidote” to negative ideas.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

I practice this myself, finding that I need continual reminders that antidote wrong ideas, or remind me of a path I want to follow. And of course, I post signs frequently on Improvised Life having found how helpful they are readers.

It’s easy to do: when you see a bit of wisdom that resonates, make a sign and put it in your field-of-vision: on a wall near your bed so you’ll see it when you wake up…

…in your workspace…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

…in your medicine cabinet…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

…on your phone…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

…even in your shoe!

Ellen Silverman
Ellen Silverman

…WHEREVER it will work best for you.

If you need some inspiration, search or click on Signs and Reminders in Improvised Life’s navigation, or visit our ever-changing instagram SignLaboratory.

What might be the value Kornfeld

 

One thought on “Sign Interventions for Friends and Self

  1. Sally, this post made me smile as I had just printed out the word “FLOSS” and put it inside a vintage frame I bought at an estate sale last weekend. My new sign is now hanging on my bathroom wall right next to the sink as I need the reminder to floss more often… prompted by my visit to the dentist last week. I’ll send you a photo!

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