Getting to know me

Posted by Karen in Benefits of Life Coaching

The benefits of becoming more self-aware

The more we become aware of ourselves and get to know ourselves – our likes, dislikes, our responses to others and the world, our feelings and moods; the more we can work on the things we don’t like so much and the more we can change and take control of our life; of who we are now and of who we want to become.

Keeping a journal is a great tool for getting to know ourselves better. It’s a tool I learnt in my coaching training, which I initially met with some scepticism, wondering how on earth I would be able to fit another thing into my daily schedule. It’s since become an invaluable tool for life.

Here is how it works:

Find yourself a nice notebook

Put aside 10-20 minutes every day for writing in your journal. It’s important that you find a quiet moment in the day that works best for you. So take some time to decide when that might be.

Try asking yourself the following questions when you reflect upon your day. These are just a suggestion – we are all different so it’s important that you use words or questions that resonate with you.

– What was the highlight of your day? This could be someone smiling at you on the tube, a nice conversation with one of your colleagues, a good night’s sleep etc.
– What worked well? For example, a meeting that went well, you took the first step to start a new project you were feeling apprehensive or anxious about, you got up early and did your exercise before work etc
– What didn’t work so well? For example, you woke up early in the morning feeling anxious about the day, you went out after work although you would have rather liked to go home; you snapped at someone at work and left the issue unresolved etc
– What could I do differently next time? I refer to this as the learning question. It has the potential to motivate us to do something differently the next time and to notice the difference.

Try to stick to your commitment and spend a moment with your journal every day. You may have days where you don’t feel like writing much. That’s fine. Just take a minute to note down a highlight of the day, something that you feel grateful for. The important thing is that you keep your commitment.

One of the many things I’ve become aware of since keeping a journal was my Monday morning blues which started on Sunday afternoon. Come Sunday afternoon I began to feel anxious as I started to think about the week ahead. This then resulted in poor sleep and I ended up sitting on the tube on Monday morning feeling pretty low.

Keeping a journal helped me to become fully aware of how much my thinking about the week ahead affected me and how it kick started my week in a negative way.

With the help of the ‘learning question’ I was able to change the way I thought about the week ahead. The first thing I did differently was to practice enjoying Sunday until the very end. To be fully present in whatever I was doing. This wasn’t easy to start with and I had to bring myself back into the present moment quite a lot. I also changed the image I had in my head about the upcoming week. I changed the dark, black and white image of a huge mountain casting an imposing shadow into a much brighter and colourful picture of a sailing boat floating along on the water, giving me the sense of things being manageable, in a steady stream.

Why not give keeping a journal a go. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions, or would like to try a free taster coaching session, please email me.


green space newsletter
Sign up for monthly inspiration, wellbeing tips, news and offers.