This article was originally posted on Mom It Forward on 6/6/11:

Are you ever your own worst enemy? Does the little voice inside your head ever say cruel, demeaning things like, “You’re fat,” or “You’ll never be good enough?” After a heart-to-heart with yourself, are you left feeling discouraged and demeaned?

Caitlin Boyle, founder of, was tired of fighting with (and losing to) her inner voice. One day—a particularly bad day—she rebelled. She wrote the words, “You are Beautiful” on a post-it note and stuck it to a public bathroom mirror. And, as they say, the rest was history.

OperationBeautiful, now featured on the Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Network, started out as an anonymous bathroom note designed to help one downcast woman raise her own spirits by paying forward a compliment to someone else. Now, the website and its founder have touched thousands of lives by inspiring others to spread positivity and battle negative self-talk.

The website is full of real-life examples of post-it notes that have been randomly written and lovingly left by women, hoping to help and inspire other women feel better about themselves and choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. According to Caitlin, “If this little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”

One of the greatest things about the OperationBeautiful concept is that everyone can take part in it. Site visitors can browse through photos of actual post-it notes left by women for women. If inspired, they can even upload their own examples of notes they post—or find—by sending a photo of it to

Normally, in my work with passive aggressive behavior, I encounter Post-It notes as tools of simmering hostility (e.g. the note left by the office sink saying, “Only grown-ups work here. Please wash your own dishes.”) provides a refreshingly positive, direct, inspirational way to use Post-It notes to lift someone’s spirits and change your own way of thinking about yourself.