Journalling: The power of writing down your feelings and thoughts.

I find journaling clears my head.  

Through Neurolingistic Programming (NLP) I discovered we had different ways of receiving, filtering and expressing information, feelings, and reactions. We use our senses:  visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory, and smell. They trigger memories and influence how we interpret and understand our world.

Words (known as “auditory digital”  because words are a specific kind of sound) have always been a strong influence on me. I would much prefer a letter or words of appreciation (both would give me optimum positive feedback) to flowers as an acknowledgement for something well done. Harsh words cut me deeply. Kind words lift me up. Affirmation through words would give me more job satisfaction than a silent increase in pay or a gift.

The written word is a tool I use to work out ideas, note insights I want to recall, express my concerns, write out my frustrations and then leave them to one side, and explore an idea with its potential and problems.  It could be a conversation with my inner self. I use it when I don’t need, want or have a reflective listener available to talk with.  

A reflective listener listens and reflects back what you are saying, and feeling which empowers you to hear yourself and make your own decision about what to do next: The best kind of listener. Some people “self listen” and want to give you their opinion, take over the conversation, solve your problem for you… They are not listeners.

There are many ways to journal. Some journaling techniques include writing a journal daily using a list of starters when you are facing a blank page without inspiration. This is good if you wish to explore your feelings in a quiet moment. It would be great as a journey of self awareness and self development.

My reason for keeping a journal was pragmatic. It was a tool for when I wanted or needed to clear my mind.

I wrote about :

  1. My activities, what I had been doing, as a stepping stone into reflecting how it had gone, what I had learned from the experience, and what I would do differently next time
  2. Bringing together different ideas to create a bigger picture, a vision for what I wanted to achieve. I explored my aspirations and how I could make them a reality.
  3. What was bothering me as a way to address my worries
  4. My options when I needed to make a decision
  5. My decisions. I used my journal as a feedback mechanism by second-guessing my own decisions.
  6. Insights from books I read
  7. Calculations  – of  planning a trip, a change in direction with my job,
  8. Notes as I attended meetings, and conferences

There are many sources of inspiration if you want to start journalling. This one looked useful:

Now I am looking at closure for the decade of being involved with Soroptimism at an international level. I will go back over them, reflect on the important passages and create blogs; skip over the trivia and notes that make no sense – and then they will have served their purpose.  48 books which now have value if  I can use them as a trigger to reflections that may help others to reflect and gain their own insights.

The Soroptimist theme until 2021 is “Educate to Lead”. Through my Soroptimist membership and involvement I have had the privilege of  being the recipient of the Soroptimist mission: “Soroptimists transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities”

This is one way I can pay back – or, as I prefer to call it, “pay forward”.

If you read any of my blogs and have comment please share them. You never know if your insight might trigger an “ah – hah” moment for another reader, including me. Learning is lifelong.

Author: Yvonne Simpson

This blog shares my leadership journey and my passion for educating to lead.

5 thoughts on “Journalling: The power of writing down your feelings and thoughts.”

  1. Really enjoying your blogs and think it a great way to round off all the wonderful work you have done as President of Soroptimist International. I am sharing with UK Region Cheshire North Wales & Wirral for inspiration and information. We all remember your visit to our Region


  2. Julia Cameron in The Artists Way teachers the power of writing 3 pages a day. I find this practice really helpful and am further inspired by your reflections. Thank you


  3. A great post Yvonne, I look forward to more. Funnily enough I was looking for something in my papers the other night and came across a note I created in 2000, not to be opened until 2025. I had left it unsealed and re-read it. To my surprise (maybe not!) my thoughts had not changed.


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