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Say what you really mean. Learning from a private journal.

Many years ago it was commonplace to write a diary – not an appointment diary but more a journal of what you have done during the day. Whilst it is not so common today people do still do it. So what’s the point?

Well it’s a way of capturing your life, your thoughts, your dreams and wishes. It becomes a point of reference in retrospect and creates an opportunity to see development and progress (hopefully). Diaries are private, you can say whatever you want to say in a diary – especially the things that you want to say to yourself. The brave face and public mask can be discarded when you write something that is just for you.

How is this relevant to a consultant of any sort?

Consultants face all sorts of dilemmas in the way that they represent themselves. The consultant can’t really show weakness in front of a client – if they can’t do what is being asked of them, then what are they doing there? But that is of course unrealistic – none of us know everything and sometimes we do have to put the brave face on and ‘fake it ‘til we make it’, but we know …we know exactly when we are struggling. Unless we actually face up to our weaknesses, worries and mistakes then we are unlikely to get past them.

A Harvard Business School study found that people who wrote about their jobs improved their performance by 23%.
“When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy,” said HBS professor Francesca Gino. “They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.”

A few minutes of writing in a journal has been found to improve all sorts from mood to health and wellbeing and sporting performance. Here’s a couple of ideas of what you could track – on a scale of 1 – 5 how happy are you? Have you shown an act of kindness to someone? Have you expressed gratitude to others? How would you score your job satisfaction? Have you done any exercise at all? These activities are proven to improve mood and positive thinking.

Give it a try.

Penny Whitelock FinstLM


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