Excerpt from the Online Course BUILD YOUR BUSINESS MINDSET FOR SUCCESS
I firmly believe Journaling is the best business mindset tool (especially if you’re a stationery lover and bookworm like me!) Whenever I want to CREATE a change to better my business, THINK something through or, most importantly, EXPLORE and shift the unhelpful mindset and thought patterns that hold me back, putting pen to paper is always my first step. Although there are many ways to journal and you’ll develop your own personal preferences as you go through the course, there are some writing principles that will help you get the most out of each exercise and chapter as you get started.
If a fear of the blank page or a reticence about “messing up” is stopping you from getting stuck into the course, this may be an option for you. It’s an optional way to start any journaling exercise or session. Writing yourself in gets your pen moving and your brain operating at handwriting speed (which is likely slower than it goes most of the time). You don’t need to write “about” anything, just get some words on the page (for example, a list of books you want to read or a few comments on why you love your favourite novel) to transfer you from whatever you were doing before, to the journaling you’re doing now. It’ll stop you staring at a blank page because you’re not trying to “answer a question” like you will be with the exercises. Take as long or as short a time as you need to get going (I’d suggest five minutes max, but if you hit on something you want to write about it’s, of course, your choice if you want to keep going). Get used to being in charge of what you want to do, it’s actually surprising how difficult that is.
Since I’ve mentioned staring at a blank page, when it comes to some journaling, personally I don’t think that’s a problem. You don’t have a target word count or a deadline, so give yourself a break. Our practice here involves purposeful THINKING too. Sometimes the “answer” may only be one written line, but you will have gone through a long thought process to get there. You may find it useful to document your thought process, but don’t worry about whether or not you’re “doing it right”. You are.
When you go through the exercises, where you state a reason or opinion, go back over the exercise a second time and ask yourself more questions.
Often the first thing we think of, the first idea we have, or reason we give for something, is not the best one. It’s too obvious, perhaps even cliché and lets us off the hook too easily.
Asking why/what/where/when/how questions helps us delve deeper into our “gut reactions” and can uncover so much more useful information to work with and that will help us get to know what we want going forward.
For example, if you asked me, ‘What matters to you?’ it would be easy for me to say, ‘My family,’ and move on to the next question, feeling that was a complete answer. It’s true, it seems obvious why, but what does it really mean and how do I want to build my life around that on a day to day basis?
Delving a little deeper, I would say, ‘Being around for my family matters to me. I want to make sure I can put them first and help them when they need it, whether it be attending events with my children, helping with homework or accompanying my mum to hospital appointments.’
From this I can see flexibility during the day clearly matters to me too.
If I continue exploring with questions, when it comes down to it, what matters to me is the autonomy to manage my own schedule so that I can prioritise my family commitments as I choose.
If I’d skated over the top of the question with the first answer that popped into my head, ‘My family,’ I would have missed this point.
And it’s a pretty important point for me to realise when it comes to creating my own version of success and fulfilment and building my business in a way that allows it to bring what I want to my life.
The point is - compare your first responses with those you end up with. What would you have missed if you’d moved on taking only version one of each exercise with you?
I hope you see that Write deeper has nothing to do with over thinking or analysis paralysis or the consequences of that. It has to do with intentional thinking, or purposeful thinking, so that you’re using your thought process wisely to help you achieve what you want from your business, and therefore your life right? Because that’s the whole point after all.
Turn reflection into positive action
Journaling is an excellent way to reflect on your life, your experiences (good and bad), your actions and reactions, what you want and don’t want for your life, how you’d like to feel, what you’d like to do…the list could go on and on.
This course is about cultivating, managing and maintaining the clarity and confidence you need to take assured action in your business so that you can work towards achieving your own vision of success and fulfilment with a supportive foundation in place. If you find yourself reflecting, it’s important that you recognise when you’re doing so and see how that will benefit going forward.
This course is about how you want your future to be so that you can work towards achieving this vision of success and fulfilment through your business with a supportive foundation in place. If you find yourself reflecting, it’s important that you recognise when you’re doing so and see how that will benefit going forward.
Reflection is a valuable process but, if you uncover something emotional or upsetting, it may have a detrimental effect if you don’t take conscious steps to work through so that a positive action comes from it. This is something that resonates with me personally.
If you have concerns about your physical, mental and/or emotional health, seek the professional support you need. This course is not it, nor is it an alternative. Although journaling has been found to have a positive effect on well-being, it’s not a substitute for qualified medical advice and care.
Re-write negative entries
If you find you have written something that goes against the feeling of fun, possibility or hope for the future, look at how you can rewrite that entry in a positive way. Obviously, I’m talking about the smaller day-to-day irritants, not life traumas that fall outside the scope of this course. Writing can reinforce mood, so you want to nurture positivity, both when you write, and for when you re-read your entries later.