Reminders to Keep in Your “Back Pocket”

When working with clients who need help in being assertive, I often encourage them to have some “back-pocket sayings” — short sentences that they can whip out of their “back pocket” at any time in order to stand up for themselves. Things like, “thanks but no thanks” or “that doesn’t work for me” or “sorry I can’t make that happen.”

As I was thinking about a gift to give my “baby” on her 13th birthday, I wondered about what back-pocket advice I could give her. I wanted her to have a few short words of encouragement and truth she could whip out whenever things like fear, self-doubt, and worry snuck in — and to simply guide her in life and love. And then I had the brilliant (if I do say so myself!) idea of asking some of the adults in her “village”  — those people who have been there since day one — to write her some reminders about how to live and love well.

What they sent in made me laugh and cry, and taken all together could be turned into a self-help book. So I wanted to share just some of them with you, in hopes that wherever this finds you, you will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired by some of these simple back-pocket reminders.

After all, how you love is how you live, and how you live is the greatest sermon you’ll ever preach.

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