Friday, August 26, 2011

How Well Do You Know Yourself?‏

Getting to Know Yourself: Journaling to Self Discovery

Was it Plato? Was it Socrates? Whoever the old Greek was who first said "know thyself," he was onto something. Self knowledge is absolutely essential for self improvement and development. How can you know if you are improving if you don't know where you are? One of the best ways to discover who and where you really are in life is to keep a journal.

There is a catch to journaling your way to self discovery, however. That catch is honesty. Yet even as development of the self is a journey, so is becoming more and more honest with yourself. It can be difficult to be honest with ourselves. In fact, it is probably one of the most difficult tasks we ever face, because it is so easy to lie to ourselves.

Journaling to self discovery can involve several areas. First of all, there is the honest (there's that word again!) assessment of your skills, talents, gifts, and interests. The unique package that makes up you includes all these things. Psychologists have suggested that many people tend to evaluate their own abilities above what is really the truth. Surely there are just as many who sell themselves short.

Especially if you are considering a career choice or have a desire to start a business, it can be invaluable to put these special talents down on paper. Look for places where a special course might fill in a hole in your education. See if you have some strikes against you. Is there some way to overcome them?

When journaling to self discovery, don't forget about your values and how well you are living up to them. What do you really think is important in life? While good self esteem is a critical part of mental health, often the quickest way to joy and peace is giving of yourself in service to others. Are you loyal to your friends? Are you compassionate when someone else is hurting? Journal about your attitude toward others. You don't have to beat yourself up for being less than perfect, but there is nothing wrong with challenging yourself in the area of kindness and thoughtfulness.

You can also discover a lot about yourself in the area of health when you keep a journal. It is very easy to kid yourself about just how well you are taking care of yourself. Many times we think we are exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, yet when we really keep track honestly, we find out we've been lying to ourselves. It's possible to go a couple of weeks without exercise or cheat on the diet six days in a row and not even be aware of it.

Self discovery can lead to self development, which means you might just see your dreams fulfilled. One aspect of pursuing dreams is your attitude toward what you long to see happen. Do you believe it can happen? Do you believe it is OK for it to happen? That is, assuming the dream is in itself a positive thing, do you realize it's OK for it to happen to you? Write about your attitudes honestly. Do they need to change? How can you make that happen?

A journal is a great place to write down statements of affirmation about your dreams and aspirations. Bible verses and great quotes can make a big difference in how motivated you stay as you pursue your goals. Write your own great quotes, too. Take time to meditate on those motivating statements. Spend time every day (or at least every week) journaling your way to self discovery.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at She is also the author of 2 books. Visit her official site at

Download an excerpt of The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between below: OR authenticself-sampler.pdf

If you want 3 writing *sparks* delivered to you every day for 31 days, check out WriteSparks!™ Daily HERE for info on how to get started -- it's free :o)

Thank you for reading. Keep writing!

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