Getting to know yourself through journaling
What does ‘getting to know yourself’ mean? At first glance, it might seem as simple as working out your sense of fashion, what you like to eat or what music you like to listen to. While these things say something about who you are, really getting to know yourself goes beyond more general lifestyle decisions, to something much deeper.
When you start to ask more searching questions, such as:
‘Who am I in the world?’
‘What motivates me?’
‘What’s my brand – how do I want to be seen by others?’
‘What do I value?’
‘What moral code do I want to live by?’
‘What dreams do I want to pursue?’
… then you start to get into a level of personal reflection that goes beyond the superficial.
Finding the words that sum you up
Getting to know yourself is about finding the appropriate language (in your head, spoken out loud or written down) to describe yourself from a variety of perspectives and on multiple levels. This isn’t necessarily an easy pursuit. While you may have a clear idea of yourself and know what you want from life, some people struggle to pin this down, either feeling they simply don’t know, or feeling it changes as frequently as the weather! If that’s the case, don’t worry. There’s plenty you can do to help yourself on your journey of self-discovery. And for good reason, as getting to know yourself also comes with lots of benefits.
When do journaling and getting to know yourself come in handy?
- When you’re trying to focus on what type of work or career might suit you or fit with your skills, experience and personal likes.
-When you want to describe yourself clearly – for example, in an interview process.
- When you want to understand yourself better because you are struggling in a relationship.
What are the benefits?
- It helps you improve your mental health and wellbeing by learning to tune into your emotions, thoughts, feelings and reactions to things.
- It helps you develop and improve through learning, understanding how you like to learn, what comes naturally and what is more difficult.
Journaling is a fantastic way of getting to know yourself better. By writing down answers to meaningful questions about who you are, you create a safe space in which to explore your ideas.
Notebook Mentor’s handy tool
Notebook Mentor offers a career journal called Getting to know me better. It’s particularly good if you are starting out in the world of work or if you want to re-assess what is you want from work and career. In our journal we start with warm-up exercises designed to help you describe your qualities, likes and dislikes. We move on to discuss what motivates or de-energises you. Journaling space is provided to answer questions that focus on your image and brand and whether how you see yourself is the same as how others see you. Our career journal also looks at your skills, experience and knowledge and what this says about the type of work that might suit you. And it looks at your values and how these might shape the choices you make.
At the start of a journaling process, you might believe that you don’t know yourself very well – that you can’t answer questions about who you are or what you want from life. That’s OK. Journaling will help you to find the appropriate language that supports your development and self-awareness. And if you can learn to understand yourself better, then you can also learn to understand others. Doing so will give you a good platform on which to build strong and stable relationships throughout your life.