How much time have you so far deliberately spent on your self-awareness? It’s the self-awareness that allows you to understand why you think as you think and why you do the things you do. You need to become aware of the patterns of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are guiding your behavior and mental habits. Shortly, you need to get in touch with your inner self. And a good start for a self-awareness development is by journaling.

Writing a journal is one vital action that helps to get unstuck and to get in touch with your inner self and discovering who you are and what you want.

Once you start exploring your potential by engaging with the world inside you, you will also see how your mind was the main reason for your tumble and your main limitation on the road to your dreams. Therefore, stop locking up your dreams inside the prison of your mind and set them free by writing about them.

Making records and reflecting on your feelings, thoughts, and experiences on a regular basis provides you with a new perspective. You can see them outside your mind, and this enables you to engage with them in a new and different way.

You use cognitive restructuring as a technique to think about difficult or painful events more objectively and on the other side to capture your strengths that lie behind your success.

If you describe and analyze your emotions after a stressful event, you can see it more objectively, and you might even change the perspective about the situation. Or, if you describe and analyze a successful situation, you become aware of what contributes to your success.

Effective journaling combines a clear narrative about recent events with critical thinking about what you have learned, and what behaviors, if any, you can change or improve. You start recognizing patterns in your behavior, and you become better at managing your perceptions.

Start journaling if you would like to:

1. Develop self-reflection – recognize what makes you feel as you feel, think as you think, and behave as you behave.

2. Know what your talents, skills, strengths are.

3. Know what matters most to you that is becoming aware of your values.

4. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

5. Recognize your beneficial habits and habits that hinder you.

6. Manage adverse events more effectively.

7. Understand your impact on others and better understand other’s people’s perspectives and perceptions.

8. Become aware of small details, which later can evolve into essential aspects of your life.

9. Develop communication skills while you learn how to express your thoughts and feelings more clearly.

10. Improve your skill and productivity at work and your interactions with the outside world in general.

11. Boost your motivation and self-confidence as you track any small or quick wins that you have achieved; otherwise, they can quickly slip out of your memory.

And how to get most from your journaling:

1. Think critically about events that you have experienced.

2. While you are writing, be aware that you write about both the factual and the emotional aspects (your thoughts and feelings) of the events you are describing; otherwise, you risk getting sucked into an unproductive spiral of jamming.

3. Try seeing negative moments from different perspectives and not just writing over and over in the same way.

4. Be honest about your experiences –about your thoughts, feelings, behavior. Try to stay away from the »should« way of thinking.

5. Deeply explore the negative moments and don’t overthink the positive that you don’t suck the joy right out of them.

6. Don’t focus on just negative moments; try to identify at least one positive thing that happened in your day.

7. As it is not so crucial that you write a journal every single day, it is more important that you commit to the writing and find a pace that works for you. It could be every day, a few times per week, every week, once per week, just keep it at some regular intervals. 

8. Choose the approaches that suit you most. It could be free writing where are no boundaries – you just let your creative juices bursting out of you. Or, if you need some direction, you can decide on a template. You can use questions you ask yourself every day, lists, or predetermined entries to fill out to help spark your writing habit.

9. Don’t go back and amend what you write down – don’t let your critical thinking judging your writing. At first, write what it comes to your mind and don’t bother yourself with filling all spaces, and over time, you might find that you want to write for longer.

And the most important, try not to think about journaling as just another thing to squeeze into your already too busy schedule. In the beginning, it may seem a bit daunting, but over time it will evolve and become just a pleasant habit. Just like any habit, it takes some time and self-discipline to make it stick. And one more thing, journaling is not so much a calendar as it is by knowing yourself better, a compass to your dream job.