image by 76winger
If you thought journaling was just about picking up a pen and pouring words out on paper, you would be right. But if you thought, that’s all journaling was, then you would be wrong.
Journaling is a skill, and one that could be improved. You can get better at journaling by doing it, and also by learning from other sources such as this blog or Kaizen Journaling Academy. But in this post, let’s focus on the importance of this skill.
5 Reasons Journaling is a Life Changing Skill
Journaling is a very effective vehicle for multiple layers of self-awareness. The most basic step of awareness is that through journaling, by dumping everything that’s on your mind to paper, you are giving a voice to all your thoughts, especially your subconscious thoughts. What might otherwise be repressed, or get lost in a frenzy of fleeting thoughts, is captured and recorded for you to reflect on.
Another form of self-awareness through journaling is gaining an understanding of your values and beliefs. The things that you so often write about in your journal are usually things you dislike, or things you love, or want. They all say something about you, and about what is taking up many moments of your life and of your mind. Journaling makes you more self aware because it gives you an opportunity to understand how you view the world, as well as how you view your self.
Finding patterns is a kind of awareness, yet important enough to have its own mention. For all of us, there are issues or things that we keep circling back to in life. Whether it’s because that’s what we are drawn to, or that’s what we are avoiding – whatever it may be, life is full of patterns, and so is our psychology. Journaling over a period of time, especially over several years, will help you see the patterns you keep coming back to. What are the issues that you obsess over now, that you obsessed over two years ago? What doesn’t seem to change or improve? What are the things where you keep going over the same ground over and over again?
Once you know the pattern, it becomes so much easier to do something about them.
Clarity Of Purpose
Do you believe your life has a purpose? If that seems too high-and-mighty, how about goals? Some people feel sure that their life has a purpose. A particular way in which they are here to contribute to the world. My purpose is to write. But it’s also my goal. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about life purpose, you can focus on your ambitions and your goals, things you want to achieve. Journaling can help you clarify it.
What are the things that you write about? What setbacks and success? What frustrates you? What is it that you want? What dissatisfactions you talk about? What, in other words, do you want out of your life?
It’s not the kind of clarity that comes overnight for most people. Even if you believe in life purpose, most of us did not grow up with the knowledge of that purpose. It takes time, life experiences, and reflection to come to that conclusion. It takes a combination heart and head. Journaling helps the two meet quicker, and surer. When you gain that clarity, you not only have your instinct, but you also have the black and white evidence – through your words – of how you came to that conclusion.
By journaling, you are also practising writing. The actual process of pouring words out on paper, expressing yourself to make sense of your thoughts, makes you a better writer, and makes you better at expressing yourself. Self-expression is a useful skill in everything from personal communication to corporate communication.
Journaling is not just about dumping your feelings on a page. It’s a way you can track your personal development. It’s a tool you can use to see how your goals developed over time, what did you achieve and where you failed? You can also look at how your skills improved, what worked and what did not. You can learn from your past mistakes, and repeat the things that worked for you. Life happens when you are not paying attention, and so it’s easy to lose track of the journey that you’v already taken. By looking back through your journals, you can ensure you don’t miss out on the important lessons you’ve already learned, and also how far you’ve already come.
These are just 5 reasons why journaling will change your life. Treat it as a skill, practice it regularly, and you will see more results than you ever thought possible.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
Take one of these 5 steps, and write about how journaling can be a life changing skill for you.