5 Reasons Why Journaling is the Ultimate Tool for Self-Development

By David

September 8, 2013   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

As a reader of Dumb Little Man, there’s little doubt in my mind that you’ve take a personal interest in improving who you are as a person.

You want to grow, you want to learn, and you want to develop every aspect of your life. And this is definitely the place to do that.

But you’re missing something.

You need tips tailored to who YOU are. You need advice that comes from your own experiences, the kind that can help you really grow, more than anything online could do for you.

But where exactly can you get this personalized advice? If not online, then where?

Journaling, the source of powerful advice

We’ve all experienced success and failure, happiness and sadness.

However, those experiences aren’t given the value they deserve. Usually they just live on in our memories, with the lessons fading away with time.

And why?

These lessons are treasures to us. It’s EXACTLY what we need to know, what we need in order to develop ourselves. But we’ll never get them relying on our fickle memories.

No… We’ve got to write them down, we’ve got to journal them. I’m certain that it’s the best way to learn from our experiences.

Without Journaling, you’re missing out

Really, you are.

Life can really fly by, and sometimes we miss the important things within it. If we don’t actively keep track of things, we run the risk of never really growing from our experiences.

Let’s prevent this.

Let’s not let our lives pass us by. Let’s let our memories be tools to improve our present-selves, all it requires is a bit of pen and paper.

That said, let’s take a look at the top reasons why journaling is such a powerful hobby.

5 Reasons journaling is great for self-development

1) It creates clarity of the mind

When you put your thoughts out on paper, you subconsciously unravel your web of thoughts.

Every line you write is a piece of that mental thread, and the more you write, the more of the web you’ve untangled. This frees the mind, allowing it to function at full power once again.

So if you want real clarity of the mind, it’s time to start journaling. A clear head can make better decisions, is less-stressed out, and is happier overall.

2) It creates new insights into how you live your life

There’s nothing more enlightening than reading through several of your own journal entries.

A quick glance can reveal; how you react to hardships; how well you handle them; how often you make mistakes; and so on.

A more in-depth read can reveal recurring themes in your life.

Do you keep pushing others out of your life for fear of getting hurt? Do you sacrifice your happiness in order to please others? Are you pushing to move up the corporate ladder even though that career doesn’t make you happy?

Sometimes we drift through life unaware that we’re making decisions that make us unhappy. But journals can’t hide these facts from us. They’re manifestations of our beliefs, our values, and our truths – and these are the building blocks of our wisdom and insight.

If we don’t understand or even know those things, we can never improve ourselves.

3) Better understand your personal goals and values

We don’t always know what we want out of life.

Sometimes we don’t even know what we believe in. It’s not that we don’t have any beliefs, it’s just that we can’t see them.

Beliefs are always revealed in our actions – and reactions – to life. But that doesn’t mean we know what they are. Cause like I said, life fly’s by.

So we just hope we figure it out, and that’s not good enough.

Journaling connects us to our beliefs. it connects us to our essence, and reminds us that we have desires. We all want to live our lives a certain way, and we can’t expect others to remind us to do that.

Journals help guide us towards proper action, action that’s aligned with our goals and values. Sometimes all it takes is a minute of journaling to get you there, making the return on investment more than worthwhile.

4) Learn how to appreciate the small things

Think of your journal like a messy desk with old trophies within it; we can always sift through it to find the moments where we shined.

We all experience dark times, the moments where it feels like everything is going wrong. This paints our perceptions with negativity, and we can feel like failures.

But we can remind ourselves that it IS POSSIBLE accomplish things in life. We just need to find the star moments within our journals. Those star moments are usually hidden as small gestures and successes, the kind of things we would miss without tracking them.

Maybe you’ve been hitting the gym 2x times a week for the last 4 weeks, the longest you’ve ever done. Perhaps you’ve lent a sympathetic ear to a close friend. Maybe you made dinner for your significant other, and they loved it (or at least appreciated the effort).

Journaling reminds us that “success” is more than getting promotions or other obvious things. It can be as simple as making somebody’s day better. But we take these things for granted, which is a shame.

With journaling, we can appreciate even the tiniest of success in life. And these are things that really matter, as they happen on a day-to-day basis.

5) Journal writing helps you move past limiting beliefs

Everybody experiences failure.

Sometimes that failure can stem from a personal belief, which means that you’ll make that same mistake over and over again.

One of the toughest things we can do is say that our beliefs are wrong. And the longer we’ve held that belief, the harder it is to drop it.

Part of journaling is questioning yourself.

You’ll ask yourself why did what you did, and why you felt what you felt. Journaling brings those reasons, those feelings, to the surface. Once there, you have no choice but to deal with them.

Let’s be honest, if we could avoid questioning our deepest beliefs, we would. It’s damaging to the ego to say we’re wrong, downright embarrassing. But journals only deal with truth, and truth is what makes you grow.

Sometimes our beliefs need to be tested, and journals are the testers. With journaling, we know which beliefs are worthy of us, and which belong in the garbage.

Closing thoughts
Journaling is an activity that reveals more about us than any other one can; nothing else can help us develop with such pinpoint accuracy.

This is because the lessons we extract from it are from our personal experiences.  Our wins, our losses, both are loaded with lessons fine-tuned for our development; we just need to find them, and that’s exactly what journaling is for.

So do you keep a journal? What are some other reasons that journaling has helped you grow? If you don’t keep one, why not? What would you suggest as an alternative?

 Please leave a comment and let me know!

Written on 9/8/2013 by Ericson Ay Mires. Ericson Ay Mires is a featured writer here at Dumb Little man. He’s also a freelance writer, and he’s ready for hire! Check out his ultimate guide on beating procrastination, I think you might like it.

Photo Credit: [E]mmanuel17


Getting Started with Forex

Other Dating Guide

Individual Reviews