Writing one’s thoughts invites leaders to go beyond the frantic busyness of life. Research has documented that outstanding leaders take time to reflect. Their success depends on the ability to access their unique perspective and bring it to their decisions and sense-making every day. (Harvard Business Review). A leader’s unique perspective is an essential source of creativity and competitive advantage. But the reality is that most of us live such fast-paced, frenzied lives that we fail to leave time to listen to ourselves.
It was time that team Limitless Stree does something unique! We decided to plan a journaling routine and share its experiences with you. Journaling simply means writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. It gives us the space to feel our emotions, the energy to change our lifestyles, and the strength to express our vulnerability.
Each member feels that journaling allows you to understand their life experiences and why expressing oneself is necessary.
Here are the insights from the members.
Udeshna: The Consistent Queen!
I started Journaling in November 2020, but I was very inconsistent with it. I could never understand what to write was reluctant. I took it as an exercise just to write what my day was like noting down the primary task, but nothing substantial came out of it. Gradually I lost interest, and it was very infrequent. Then I got this opportunity to start journalling again with Himani and Rishi for 30 days at a go. This time, I took it as a challenge to learn something out of it and to do with consistency.
I took my journal and read it. I could see a pattern. I was describing the problems, but there was no constructive solution coming out of it. Then I took a step further. I started writing my issues in the third person. I reread my problems after 2 to 3 days, and I could look at them from a different perspective. Then I tried to find out the solution to a problem as it was not mine. I wrote down the solutions. Though 30 days is very little time to effectively understand the value of journaling or maybe build it as a habit, this helps me somehow.
In this entire journey, I even wrote down a few beautiful quotes and lines from the books I was reading. Whenever I encountered some beautiful advice I used to write it in a different colour so that the next time when I open my journal it gets highlighted automatically. Writing a journal is a very good practice. The last 30 days help me understand introspect and reflect on my life more. I am continuing it till today and I believe I will always be doing it.
– Udeshna Sarma
Himani: The Moody Writer!
I started with my journaling journey with a lot of excitement. I really liked writing it before and wanted to start this again. I was lucky to have support from my team and we all began writing our journal. I started creating connections with my past and present self. It feels great to recognize your bad and good patterns. This makes me accept my vulnerable side and I am happy that I could do it after so long.
I also started to write short daily tasks and saw that I was able to complete some with time. However, to build any habit one has to face the challenge of consistency. I have to admit, prioritizing myself and my feelings was never on top of my list and that made me miss some of my journal writing days. Still, when writing felt like a lot of work, I switched to doodling! Doodling and creating scenery describing my current state makes me feel so connected with the diary.
My many moods have decided my pace in writing the journal but I am proud that I still wrote a lot and expressed myself. Writing is liberating, it is powerful and it is a reflection of you. I would highly recommend a journaling routine. Whenever I find time and need a boost up, I read the pages of my journal and it feels so warm. It reminds me of my true vulnerable side.
Rishi: Deep Thinker Mode On!
I have been journaling since my 9th class, at that time I used to write occasionally, especially when I used to feel high on emotions whether they were happy or sad. Writing daily requires a lot of patience and persistence. Many times I used to skip multiple days. I was happy when Himani and Udeshna invited me to join journal writing for self-activity. I was like, oh yes, it’s been a while I have written anything, Let’s do it!.
Understanding how I am growing as a person when I go back to those journal entries, I am able to see how much I have changed. The entries which I made in my school time on small things like today I have not completed my notebooks and there is an inspection in class used to give us such chills – and overcoming those situations was a big task.
When you write daily, you can see what you are grateful for every day and keep a note of it. It also acts as a timeline, especially for a person like me who has a weak memory, For instance, once I received an automated traffic challan after a month for driving my scooter without a helmet. I was like how could I get a challan, as I never go anywhere without a helmet? I was so confused, so I checked the date of challan and tried remembering what I was doing then, but my memory vanished. Then suddenly I thought, I might have written something in my journal, and I scrolled through my journal and I got to know why I got the challan. I was giving a lift to my friend after a volunteering event, and she was not wearing a helmet.
One of the best learnings about myself that I got from writing a journal was – we write all the entries from our perception and blame the whole world, he did that, she said that blah blah… and many times my entries used to be like that. A few entries were resolved in future entries, and I realized how myopic our thinking is. We just think about things from our lens and are not able to understand other people’s perceptions – why do they do what they do? That feeling made me humble and I try to understand things from a neutral point of view.