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J is for Journal

Updated: Apr 7

Despite its word origin, with "journal" meaning "daily," the recording of events doesn't have to occur every day. It doesn't necessarily have to be in written form either. Over the years, I've documented my thoughts not only through text but also in videos and voice messages. There are various ways to journal—freestyle, topic-based, or using prompts. The challenge lies more in deciding what to journal about and how to express those thoughts rather than the act of starting itself.

If you have an anxious mind, thoughts like, "I can't write this down. What if someone sees it? It's too painful, shameful, or ridiculous," may cross your mind. As someone who has been writing down thoughts for over 26 years, I understand.

In the beginning, I didn't have a paper journal; we shared a computer for the whole family. Luckily, I cleverly knew how to hide a normal document on my personal floppy disk (Hello, 80's kids). Later, my paper journals had locks, a little death note to anyone brave enough to peek, but nowadays, they lie around like open books.

In retrospect, none of those early entries were as revealing as they are now, but the sense of shame was the same. Starting is challenging, but no one is forcing you to pour out your heart at first. Hardly anyone does that when meeting new people. It takes time to get to know each other. Consider the journal as a new friend genuinely interested in what you have to say—a friend who listens without judgment. You can vent as much as you want; it doesn't have to be neat. You can cry, ask countless questions. Your journal will be there for you.

Over the years, revisiting old entries reveals patterns in yourself and others. This becomes valuable when you want to initiate a change or need a boost of self-esteem during difficult times. You'll observe that you've faced similar seemingly impossible situations before and got out of it. You can see yourself better, with your little paper friend aside, reminding you that you are indeed stronger than you think.

Do you want to learn more about journaling?

📼 "Only you can fix yourself" by Via Li.

 ✏️ Get my free worksheet about journaling

J is for Journal
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