When it comes to journaling, the first thing people need to come to terms with is that it’s not a diary from 8th grade, when all you wrote about were crushes, how annoying your English teacher is, or how lame your parents were. When you’re an adult, journaling can have much more depth, complexity, and focus. But if you haven’t kept a journal since the 8th grade, it can be intimidating and seem kind of silly at first. It does take time to get into a groove and to really understand the purpose of it all. But when you do, the journal can be an incredibly powerful tool for helping you understand who you are, your goals, your worries, frustrations, fears, and more importantly, the why behind it all.

Benefits of Journaling

  • Self Reflection: Taking time to put thoughts down into written words can create an opportunity for you to really think about your true self.
  • Manage Stress: A lot of emotions can pour out onto the paper when given a chance.
  • Manage Anxiety: Even 10 minutes spent focusing on something else can help reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Gain Insight: Life throws us challenging situations, or just situations where we do something out of character. Journaling provides an opportunity to write down the details and possibly gain clarity into the situation.
  • Boosts Creativity: Everyone has a certain “voice” that comes out when they write. Building on that voice can help open a door to a creativity you didn’t know you had.
  • Boosts Confidence: When you can reduce anxiety, stress, and learn more about who you are, that will help you feel more confident.

Getting Started

Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated. What stops many people from starting a journal is that it seems adolescent. But keep in mind that it can be whatever you want it to be! Use whatever pen you feel comfortable with, find a notebook that is comfortable to hold and easy to take with you. You can try scheduling a certain time of day or week, or you can write whenever something pops into your head that you want to explore. Try using technology! A Google Docs app can be downloaded onto your phone so you don’t even have to worry about always having a pen and notebook with you.

The best thing about journaling is that it’s unique to you, it’s an individual activity where you can explore your own uniqueness and individuality! So start exploring! To take a tip from high school English teachers, just start writing. Start with one word and see what follows. It’s strange how even when we’re doing such a personal activity, we can still make ourselves feel like we’re not doing it right. Like we need to cross out or delete things we’re not happy with. Well, part of easing stress, anxiety, and boosting confidence, is being OK with making mistakes! You don’t have to start over, just keep going.

Ask Yourself “Why” As You’re Journaling

You can never go wrong with asking yourself why. But remember to keep diving deeper into the why.

– Why don’t I feel confident?
– Because I think other people are better.
– Why?
– Because I’m not proud of anything I do.
– Why?

When you’re able to really drive down into the root of the issue, this is where some really powerful knowledge can come out of journaling.

Read Old Entries

It may take some time to get to this point, but eventually, you’ll have an arsenal of old entries that you can go back and read to see how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned about yourself, or to give yourself an opportunity to reflect on changes. Reading old entries is a wonderful aspect of journaling. It can be surprising to read certain things, it can be funny, frustrating, and it can be eye-opening — but most importantly, it can be a time of learning.

Journaling can be many things, but most of all, it’s opening a door to learning more about yourself. Self-reflection can be a strange journey, but the destination is worth it. If you need help or guidance learning who your true self is, work with the team at Be You. Live Big. Our team of success coaches are passionate about helping women discover their true potential. Sign up for a success course today!