Reflective journaling practices are a powerful technique for sparking the inner work that takes you back to your truth 💕
I love to journal – I have for years. I love the opportunity to explore the tangents and contours of my mind in a drive to learn more about who I really am.
It’s why journaling is a non-negotiable for me – something I practice most mornings [over a cup of tea of course!] It’s the perfect way to clear your head, get focused, and dive into the deeper thoughts that might get in your way.
BUT for maximum journaling benefits, don’t limit yourself to that scheduled daily moment!
Instead, see your journal as your personal coach, companion, and accountability buddy.
See time with your journal as a beautiful opportunity to engage in a meaningful conversation with yourself [and your inner wisdom] to unlock the insights and understanding that will help you create your best self.
Self-knowledge is power and potential. The more you understand yourself, the better you can choose, act, share, and impact. The better placed you are to create the life YOU want to live.
John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience – we learn from reflecting on experience.”
Through reflective journaling, you can pull meaning, lessons, and wisdom out of a situation you’ve experienced. You extract insights that propel you forward in a more intentional and conscious way.
In turn, reflective journaling increases your control over your life… because you get to understand cause and effect. You get to understand how the dots of your life do join up when you look backward [love that Steve Job analogy]. You get to know what triggers you, motivates you, and inspires you.
Through reflective journaling, you grow faster – because you don’t repeat unnecessary mistakes. You figure out how to overcome your roadblocks. You strengthen the skills and mindsets you need to ‘work your spiral’ of personal evolution.
So whenever any of the following happens, pull out your notebook and dive into some reflective journaling.
1. Reflective journaling practices after a significant experience
Maybe you’ve launched a new product – or even a business. Perhaps you’ve overcome a significant hurdle or achieved something on your live list. Maybe you’ve made a huge decision, a mistake or experienced a ‘failure’.
All of these events are perfect journaling material. Ask yourself:
- What did you learn?
- How are you feeling?
- What opportunities have opened up as a result of recent events?
- What would you do differently next time?
Extract the wisdom from these meaningful moments, and allow them to shape your future life.
2. Clarity for your future
Are you unsure of what you want for your future? Are you overwhelmed with options meaning the best path feels unclear? Are you struggling to find your YOU and get clear on what you want to create?
If so, turn to your journal and ask that deeper part of you that already has this clarity.
One exercise that works for me is to write a letter from my 80-year-old self to my current self. Sure, this requires some playfulness and an open mind, but you’ll be amazed what insights and clarity your journal can churn out.
3. Reflective journaling practices when you’re feeling stuck
To paraphrase Tony Robbins “everything you need is in you now”.
For a moment reflect on the power of that statement. We were raised on a diet of external validation. We’ve been taught to trust our teachers, elders, and mentors because we believe they know more than us.
The reality is, you always know what’s right for you. Your instinct will tell you [if you’re able to tune into it].
There’s always a part of you that has the answers you’re looking for – and your journal can help you tap into this wisdom.
Simply turn to a blank page and write this prompt at the top. What do I need to know now? Next, take a deep breath and give yourself the space to answer.
4. When you’re feeling worried
The simple act of writing out your fears, worries, and anxieties can help you feel more able to move through them.
Often, our worries roll around our minds in a repetitive thought loop. It’s like being on a rocking horse… things are moving, but you’re not going anywhere!
Through journaling, you can pull on the threads of your fears and get to the bottom of them. You can work through all the angles to give yourself a fresh perspective and feel empowered. You can even figure out what you need to do next – and even eliminate the worry altogether!
Seeing your thoughts reflected back at you in black and white gives you HUGE amounts of power. Worries can lose their magnitude and you can move forward.
5. When you have a big decision to make
Are you struggling with a decision? Do you feel unsure which is the best option for you?
Again, writing this stuff out helps you to see your thoughts in black and white and get a deeper sense of clarity.
When thoughts are in your head, it’s hard to work through them all. When they’re on paper, you can see the connections and the patterns. You can understand how things are connected.
- Write out all your options.
- Look at the pros and cons of each.
- Uncover the more obscure ideas you may have previously overlooked.
- Ask yourself what will make you the happiest.
Your journal helps you get all this clarity – and more 🔥
Reflective journaling practices empower your life
Journaling has a lot more to offer than the opportunity to clear your head on a daily basis.
It can also be a tool that helps you feel more decisive and confident as you use your journal to process specific events and situations.
I promise INCREDIBLE things will happen when you choose to connect to the wisdom within and reveal it through the blank page. So get to writing! It’s a habit that could change your life.