How to Use a Journal for Self-Discovery
In today’s world, more and more people are realizing that journals can be used to improve the quality of their life. While the life optimization process can transpire in many ways, one key role that journaling can play is enhancing the individual’s world by generating a self-discovery process. Read on to learn more about what self-discovery is and how journaling can put the process in full effect:
What is Self-discovery?
Although defined in numerous ways, self-discovery is basically the process of acquiring insight into one’s own character, nature, behaviors, or any other reality that comes to be associated with individual identity or personality. Self-discovery is important for numerous reasons, one of which is that it empowers the individual to make lifestyle choices and behavioral changes that will bring her or him in connection to the true self. In other words, self-discovery empowers people to lead authentic lives rather than conforming to the ill-fitting identity constructs designed by society.
How to Use a Journal for Self-discovery
There are many ways that an individual can use a journal for self-discovery purposes.
The first is by asking both general and specific, highly contextual questions.
- Do I define my value in terms of my physical appearance? If not, do I still place primacy on enhancing my aesthetic appeal?
- What is my greatest strength?
- What is my biggest fear?
- Am I an extrovert, introvert, or extrovert-introvert?
- What is my favorite book? What aspect of the novel spoke to me on a personally meaningful level?
- Am I a spiritual person? How do I define spiritually, and can my praxis fit within the framework of a religious system?
- True or False: “I defend myself when my personal boundaries are crossed.”
- Do you believe in property ownership? Why or why not?
- Do I become bored when I spend extended periods of time alone?
- How do you demonstrate your love for others to them? Example might include actions, words, gifts, or spending quality time together?
- Can you work at a job where pay is meager if you truly enjoy the activities you’re engaged in? On the other hand, can you maintain a job in which you loathe the work yet are paid a luxurious salary?
- When you feel sad or experience other unpleasant emotions, what do you do to elevate your mood?
Once you answer these questions in your journal, you’ll likely find that you attain a clearer understanding of both who you are and what type of person you want to become. Your next part of the self-discovery process pertains to the principle of gratitude. Specifically, turn to a new page in your journal and begin making a list of the top five things you are grateful for.
Here’s a sample list:
- My dog
- My significant other
- Delicious vegan food from plant-based restaurants
- My yoga instructor
- The setbacks that have made me stronger
Note that each of the things on this list can provoke substantive thought regarding who you are. For example, an individual who lists a yoga instructor as someone she is grateful for may feel deeply appreciative of this individual for empowering them to recognize the innate beauty of their body and thereby overcome an eating disorder. This type of internal revelation could entail even more thought. For example, the individual who created the list might conclude that she often times needs support from other people to become her best self while simultaneously accepting that she can’t do everything on her own!
If you’re ready to learn more about yourself so that you can become a more productive person in the world, now is the time to begin the process. Start journaling now so you can figure out who you are and how you should approach your daily life and the world at large!