Writing for self reflection is a journaling technique with simple journal prompts for anxiety, gratitude, self love, healing and – above all – journal prompts for self reflection. When I started journaling during a difficult time I didn’t know all of this, but if it can change my life I’m confident it will change yours.
Burn out and the 9 to 5
I was afraid to quit my job even though I was miserable.
Even though I had an enviable position at a top-notch university in the Netherlands, even though I had great benefits and earned a good salary working four days a week on a beautiful campus, I hated going to work.
Just thinking about my job drained me physically and put me in a bad mood. In fact, most Sundays were spent dreading going in on Monday.
I knew I had to get out of there but I didn’t have another job lined up. I couldn’t just give up my salary and benefits, could I? We had a two-year-old girl and were expecting our second. Plus, being a stay-at-home-mom had never been a part of my game plan.
Then the unthinkable happened: I started having problems in my pregnancy. I was showing symptoms of burn out and was advised to request medical leave.
After the birth of our beautiful baby girl, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to go back to my job. I discussed it with my husband, and we agreed it would be best if I left. The day I handed in my notice I felt a heavy weight lift from my shoulders.
But I wasn’t home free yet. If leaving my job was scary, figuring out what I would do next was downright terrifying. I was 40 years old with two small children and standing at a career crossroads. I had some tough decisions to make.
I could stop working altogether and take care of my family.
I could look for a different position within academia. I could consider part time work in an altogether different field.
What I really wanted to do was work from home, but I wasn’t sure I had what it took to be successful.
What I did next would change my life forever.
Writing for Self Reflection
I bought a journaling notebook and reflected on this scenario: I had all the money, time, energy, support and babysitters I ever needed. What would I be doing?
My answer to that question shocked me: I’d been harboring a desire to create a business that I could run from home so that I could take care of my small kids. The story I’d been telling myself – that I didn’t have what it took to run a successful home-based business – had been holding me back from even considering it as a viable option.
Writing for self reflection helped me tell myself a different story. Consistent journaling catalyzed a chain of events that resulted in the publishing of my life story black and (A)broad: traveling beyond the limitations of identity and later qualifying as a Certified Professional Life Coach and international speaker.
I told myself a different story. My life changed accordingly.
If you are a global-minded professional standing at a career crossroads unable to make that touch decision, my story may resonate with you. But don’t stop there. Find out what story you’re telling yourself right now. Equip yourself with the tools so that you can start telling yourself a different story.