Awareness is the first step for personal development and having some clarity of thoughts is key in this process. Without having an accurate picture of what we think and believe, and how we behave, it is impossible to start managing our emotions, and thus our impact in others. Journaling can be the mean to move into the next level of understanding.
Almost always, people simply rush from an event to another without paying attention to their emotional field. Moreover, frequently they can find themselves wondering why they have reacted in a particular way in a perfectly normal situation which didn’t provoke that reaction before.
And at times, they couldn’t explain why other people react to their words or their actions in an unexpected manner.
Does this sound familiar? If you can relate, you probably have to work on gaining emotional self-awareness. Moreover, only after recognizing and understanding your emotional status is that you can control it and your impact.
In the way to clarity, there are some tools that can help you. Journaling could be one of them.
We are all creatures of habit. Education and former experiences shape our personality, defining emotions and feelings. We tend to repeat the same emotional reaction in similar situations, with a similar response. The same thing can happen with our biases. We all are biased, but unless we pay attention, we don’t know what our biases are, and more important, when they are operating.
Writing is a way to reveal what is beneath the surface. By consistently writing about how we feel, what we think or how we react, we can build a log of what is important and use it to learn about ourselves.
In this pursuing of clarity, words matter. How we picture our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can give us many clues about what is going on.
We need to be precise and accurate when journaling. What we write has also to be relevant. It’s not about writing 50 pages a day. Maybe one or two lines are enough to summarize what it’s important for us.
But it is consistency what will make us gain awareness. We need to write frequently; otherwise we will collect a few anecdotes without any real value.
Journaling what matters to us is a good way to get to know us better. Once we have information, we can start regulating our responses and provoking the desired impact.