Award yourself

  • Artist Claire Chasse created this project for us and here’s what she had to say about it:

    “Sometimes, I can get so stuck on wanting to do something really, really well that it’s hard for me to do it at all.

    I know that nothing disastrous happens when I make a mistake, but it’s not always easy to feel like that’s true.”

  • “When I get stuck in a spiral of second guessing and self-doubt, it can be helpful to have a reminder from my more rational self to pull me out of my head.

    That’s what these certificates are: reminders from yourself that you can look at for inspiration when things are feeling especially hard.”


  • STEP 1 OF 7

    To get started on your own certificates, here’s what you will need:

    A journal or piece of paper for writing down some ideas

    Some paper for making your certificates— any kind will do

    Something to write with — markers, colored pencils, paint… whatever you’d like to use


    Some way of displaying your certificate, like tape, a thumbtack, or even a frame



  • STEP 2 OF 7

    The first step is to figure out what kind of encouragement you could use right now.

    Are you worried about a test? Have you been getting down on yourself for making a mistake (also known as: being human)?

    Open your journal and write down some ideas. Here are some ideas to get you started…

    I’m worried that___________.

    I wish I wouldn’t have___________.

    I’m afraid that___________.

    I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t___________.

    I want to do___________ but I’m worried that___________.



  • STEP 3 OF 7

    Now it’s time to turn those thoughts around. It’s time to give yourself permission to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to accept yourself just as you are.

    So, look over the sentences you just wrote down and see if you can write yourself some encouragement. Here are a few ways you could start:

    I give myself permission to___________.

    I am more than___________.

    This certifies that I can___________.

    You can also give yourself an award for getting through something difficult or challenging, or just give yourself an award for being the unique and special person that you are!


  • STEP 4 OF 7

    To create your certificate, you can use any materials you want — markers, paints, or colored pencils all work great.

    Here are some examples made by Claire. She used watercolor paint to make the shapes, then markers to make her fancy borders.


  • STEP 5 OF 7

    Before adding the words to your certificate, you might want to practice on a piece of paper so you know how big to make your letters.

    It can also be fun to experiment with different writing styles.



  • STEP 6 OF 7

    When you’re all finished, it can be nice to hang your certificate up in your room or on your refrigerator where it can remind you that you are okay just as you are.

    Making mistakes and having a hard time are part of being human. And getting through those moments with courage and kindness toward ourselves is when we truly shine.


  • STEP 7 OF 7

    Want to share your certificate in our gallery where it can inspire others to be kinder to themselves too? We would love that.