Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Alright so, it's no secret that I'm a super-fan of journalling. (Are there super-journal-fans? Doubts. But if there were, I'd be one FOR SURE.) As long as I can remember, I've loved writing. And for the most part, that included physically WRITING, like in a lined notebook. *Cough* A JOURNAL. I of course grew up and found my way to a keyboard, but I continued to write. Mostly stories, with the occasional diary-type entry. (But I REFUSED to all it a dairy. Lame. *eye roll*) Writing (or journalling) may have found me at a young age, but it doesn't have to be in your DNA for you to a) establish it as a self-awareness technique, and b) benefit from doing it regularly. Also, there aren't really any "rules" to journalling, so although you may think you have no idea what you're "supposed to" right on those blank pages, you probably know more than you think. After feeling the benefits of journalling for most of my life, and reconnecting to it very closely when I went though the biggest personal transformation I've been through in my life (second only to the biggest PHYSICAL transformation I've been through, namely birthing a human child from out my hoo-haw), I decided it would be a great idea to create something that others could benefit from, too.
Maybe you've seen the #MOMFIDENTAF Self-Love Journal kicking around? If not - you can look into it and snag your very own copy for under $24 on Amazon. (Here's a link, if you're interested!) It's just recently been re-vamped and updated, so even if you already have a copy, you can get a fresh one when that original one is full! This journal is great for those of you who LOVE journalling already, AND those of you who have no freaking clue how the eff to journal. Through the process of writing things down, you can not only work through difficult challenges and document positive experiences, you can also radically shift the way you think about yourself, your body, your life, your successes, your failures, and how you manage everything that falls in between. Here are three ways that journalling can improve your self-awareness and confidence:
1. Checking-In Sometimes, you feel "BLECH" but you can't really explain why. Ever felt that way? Other times, you're feeling AMAZING, but you also don't really pay attention to the reason why or how you got to feeling that way. If you're going to regularly practice journalling, you have an opportunity to document what you're feeling and acknowledge the reason why. This can help you drastically to do MORE of the things that make you feel AMAZING, and LESS of the things that make you feel "BLECH". Know what I mean? Journalling can be like a tracking system of sorts. It allows you to look back on things you were going through (or as I like to say, "growing through") and reflect on the situations, circumstances, people, and reactions you made and see how you feel about them now, with some distance and perspective. It also often makes you realize how we spend far too much time over-analyzing things in the moment. So Journalling, when practiced regularly, can help you check in to what you're currently feeling, replicate the good, diminish the bad, and recall things you went through in order to re-assure yourself that everything is okay, and you can handle whatever this new "thing" is. 2. Cheap Therapy Well, free therapy, technically. Listen, nothing can substitute professional therapy. And talk therapy, in particular, has been used for years to help people overcome difficult experiences and rise above them to move forward.
While your journal isn't going to talk back or give you advice and tell you what to do next, it is quite possibly one fo the best listeners that you'll ever find. Non-judgemental by nature, you are free to share whatever the hell you want without fear of criticism, eye-rolling, or passive-aggressive responses. Got something on your mind? Write it down. Just let it out. It will FEEL good, but it will also be therapeutic and lethargic and will allow you to feel a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. And when you feel that, it's the ultimate form of self-awareness. Ahh. 3. Brain Dump
I don't know about you, but I usually have about 2349587439 things going on in my head at any given moment. My brain is where my professional life, my personal life, my calendar, my tasks, my appointments, my "to-do" lists, and everything else in-between manages to clog up my headspace leaving it hella-full and not capable of taking on additional projects or ideas.
That's frustrating. I usually have pretty good ideas. But they just disappear if I don't create space for them. Every morning, along with answering the journal prompts in the pages of my self-love journal, I also write out a few other things in the back of the book where there's some open lined space. One of the things I do is a brain dump.
That means I get out EVERYTHING that's in my head, everything I'm thinking, everything I thought about before bed that carried over into my sleep and that I'm somehow STILL thinking about the next morning... and I transfer it onto the blank pages in front of me. From there, I can clearly see - some things are priorities, and I'll need to do them today. Some things are not urgent, but important - so I'll need to schedule them soon. Some things are not necessarily important, but exciting and interesting - so I want to make sure I give myself the necessary time to hash them out and develop them further.
Some things are nonsense. Space fillers. Cloggers. They need literally NO more of my attention and focus, and I need to find a way to release them because they don't belong here.
Sometimes this is an issue or concern that has happened with a friend or colleague, and it requires removal STAT! Writing it down helps me release it. And then, I'm better equipped to navigate the rest of my day with better awareness of what I NEED to do, and what would be NICE to do. A "Brain Dump" is the ultimate release, and is a great tool to get your priorities right every time you do it. So, if you haven't tried journalling yet, or you lost touch with the art of PHYSICAL writing in lieu of keyboards and touchscreens, then maybe it's time to find some space to write, release, and re-focus, so you can become more self-aware one pen stroke at a time. I promise, it'll help! -Courtney