journals and books

5 Tools to Live Out Loud

In my years coaching people from all walks of life, I’ve found there are some common tools and actions that most, if not all, have benefitted from. So, without further ado, I present to you Five Essential Tools to help you Live out Loud.

1. Journal. Having a beautiful journal you can turn to when you need to unload, process, grieve, be angry, or get centered is a tool I recommend to every client. What often stops people from using it is the belief that they need to write in it every day, or that the entries must be profound prose.

My journal is a friend who is always nearby and available when I need it. In my way. On my terms. It feels great to use it to empty my brain, dialogue with Little Kerri, or write angry letters to situations or people who have pissed me off.  I don’t have to worry about my journal trying to “fix” my dilemma, one-up me with a worse challenge, or offer unsolicited advice.

journals and booksNot committing to writing in it every day used to stop me from ever reaching for it, too. Not anymore. At times, I may go months without opening it. Other times, it’s with me wherever I am. I get to decide how I use it and when. And that’s pretty freeing and incredibly helpful.

2. Happy Moments Jar. “Gratitude” has become quite the buzz word, and for good reason. When you intentionally identify what you’re grateful for, you train yourself to look for the positive, and when you look hard enough for something, you’ll find it. So, instead of searching for evidence of how hard life is or how shitty your luck is, spend some time, each day documenting things for which you are grateful.

I keep a jar on my desk with a small pad of paper right next to it. Each day, I think of experiences that I’d consider “happy moments” or grateful moments. I jot each down on a separate slip of paper and put them in my Happy Moments Jar. I’ll do this for the full year, and then, on New Year’s Eve, I’ll open the jar and read them all. This practice keeps me more focused on gratitude on a regular basis, and, as a bonus, I get to review my year from a place of joy.

If it’s easier for you, another option is to simply keep a piece of paper in your nightstand drawer to capture your grateful thoughts from that day before you turn in for the night.

3. Belief Book. This is a great tool to help you flip a blocking belief. If you’ve recently identified some thinking that’s getting in your way, such as “I’ll never get my act together,” “I’ll always be broke,” or “It’s not safe to be seen,” spend some time creating an opposite, empowering belief and use your Belief Book to train your brain to think in this new way.

I know, I know. How many journals, books, and papers can you have in your nightstand, but it’s a good idea to keep this one there as well. You’ll pull it out only when you’re working on flipping a belief.

Once you have your new, empowering phrase or affirmation that directly counteracts the blocking belief that’s tripping you up, write it 10 times each night, right before bed. Do this for as long as you need to feel it take root, but at least, one week.

Planting the new belief seeds when you’re about to have the best access to your subconscious (when you’re sleeping) is powerful stuff.

4. Photo of yourself as a child. Having this handy and visible is a fast way to reconnect your young, creative, deep-feeling self with the responsible, taskmaster, grown-up self. As I wrote in last week’s post, each side needs the other equally. Looking into the face of yourself as a child also makes it easier to stop the negative ticker tape running in your head. It makes you pause before saying something like “I’m such an idiot!” or “I look so fat in this.” Would you say those things to that sweet little girl or boy? I doubt it.

I keep my photo on the side of my refrigerator and I look at her often. I imagine what kind of loving messages she could use and I silently encourage her, reassure her, and remind her of just how freakin’ awesome she is. Taking care of myself in this way helps me to feel safer living out loud, be braver in my business, make healthier choices in my life, and deepen relationships by practicing vulnerability. Yup, all this from my kindergarten school picture.

5. A kudos file. There may be times when, no matter how deeply you dig, you cannot come up with evidence of why you don’t suck. Enter, the kudos file. Anytime you receive an email, social media comment, greeting card, or any other kind of note where someone has expressed how great, beautiful, thoughtful, brave, smart, you are, file it away in a folder marked “kudos.” I have both an electronic folder and a regular file folder.

On days when I am feeling particularly low, unmotivated, unproductive, fat, ugly, or afraid, I read some of my kudos notes to get back in touch with some self-love and compassion. And you know what? It works.

OK, your turn. I’d love to know what tools you use to learn, grow, and take exceptional care of your sweet spirit. Please join the conversation in the comments section below!

Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

Photo credit


9 replies
  1. Kristine
    Kristine says:

    Hi Kerri! I love your lessons and suggestions! Just can’t seem to get my ass in gear. However, today I had doc’s appt @ a specialist and figured I’d be walking out of there w/ an RX and another appt for a test. NOOOOO!! Surgery!! Are you kidding me!! I’d have been preped down the road for that!! It took me 2 yrs just to get my tubes tied. Terrified of surgery!! But after reading this I must say I’m going to use these suggestions and I feel a bit better. Going to get a journal tomorrow. Thank you!! 🙂

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Hi Kristine,

      Thanks for joining the conversation! I’m glad you found the post helpful. How about we change that from “Just can’t seem to get my ass in gear,” to “My ass is fully in gear”. 😉 Regarding your surgery, it sounds like Little Kristine is pretty scared and could use adult you to reassure her that she’s gonna be just fine. What does she need to feel safer? What measures can you put in place to show her that you’ve got her back? First and foremost, simply listen to her and let her feel what she’s feeling. She’ll love that! An additional tool that I can recommend is Peggy Huddleston’s book “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster.” It’s about emotionally preparing for surgery, and I personally know of people who have used her techniques and it made an incredible difference. Wishing you ALL the best! Oh, and be sure to choose a journal you LOVE! <3

      • Kristine
        Kristine says:

        I did. Was going to get a plain old notebook for a buck (funds soooo tight) but then I thought “No, I’ll splurge $3 (lol!!) and get a smaller, hunter green, soft leather one!” And I did, AND I’ve actually written in it!! Also, thanks for the link. Definitely will check it out. Now to try and find (what would have been back then) Little Kristy. 🙂

  2. DAD
    DAD says:

    YES another great post by the BO7. I can relate to the kudos file. Have a group of cards saved from my retirement party. Words of thanks for the years of service to my clients.
    I even use them sometimes to send a note to a client in appreciation of the message.Sure makes you feel good.

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Thanks for chiming in, Daddy-O! It sure does make you feel good. It’s nice to be reminded of the difference you’ve made in people’s lives. You have certainly made a HUGE difference in mine. Love you!

  3. Jenn Lee
    Jenn Lee says:

    Just read “five tools to live out loud”. It was inspiring. I want to practice all 5! I do have difficulty following through. Procrastination can be a big issue for me.

    However I think trying the 5 will help. I’m in need of more positives in my life as there have been a lot of challenges lately.

    Jenn Lee

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Jenn, interestingly enough, procrastination is its own form of clutter, so consider how it might be serving you. In my experience, it’s usually a form of protection, so what might delaying implementing these tools be protecting you from? One example is that sometimes it can feel uncomfortable to journal and spend quiet time alone so we procrastinate. Also, try just one to start and see how it feels. You needn’t dive into all five at once! Good luck!

  4. Chiara
    Chiara says:

    Hi Kerri, thanks for sharing all this… How much more powerful do you think writing is compared to “thinking”.. or verbalizing?
    I wish I could be closer to all u great American teachers and coaches, like u and your sister, Esther, Neal and Hay House team.. but Italy is so far away.. Any affirmations on this topic??? Thanks.
    All my love and gratitude from Italy..

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Hi Chiara,

      Thanks for joining the conversation! I think writing something down gives it a power and a sense of importance that thinking or verbalizing doesn’t. The action of putting pen to paper and capturing something feels more committed and significant, in my humble opinion.

      Suggested affirmation… perhaps something along the lines of, “I matter enough to commit my thoughts, feelings, and goals in writing.”

      Another one for you: “I have easy access to all the wisdom, guidance, and support I need, no matter where I live.”

      Sending much love right back at you!


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