If you're a creative then you'll understand the importance of visualisation and the power of imagery in helping you create new ideas for your designs. These techniques are fundamental to our being.
Every designer will be very familiar with mood boards and the important role they play in the design process.
Imagery can often be therapeutic too, helping us to release deeper feelings and emotions, worries and concerns.
Words have a similar effect.
Journaling is a technique that can be used for boosting creativity, gaining clarity around difficulties and setting goals, using just words only.
In this post you'll learn about the benefits of journaling, how to get started, useful journal prompts and how to use journaling to change your beliefs and improve your fashion career.
First though let's look at what's in it for you. Afterall if there's no benefit, there's no point. Here are six key benefits of journaling for anyone working in fashion.
Journalling is useful to unscramble what you are feeling or thinking. All it takes is a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions and you'll quickly get in touch with your internal perspectives on any given situation or predicament you face. Use journaling to prepare you for a job change, an important meeting, a client review, how to manage your boss, or thoughts around a new campaign or promotion.
By routinely writing you will soon get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. It gives you space to see who and what makes you feel uncomfortable and stressed. It helps you understand what makes you react the way you do in both professional and personal situations.
Journaling helps us know ourselves better. We get clearer about ourselves when we ask questions such as what is it that I want, who do I want to be, what do I want to do, what is my purpose or my "WHY" and what is deep in my soul that I want to share with the world?
Writing about painful emotions such as anger, sadness, regret, loathing, boredom etc. helps to reduce the intensity of these feelings. You will feel calmer, more at peace and more in the moment when you have expressed yourself in words.
We rely too much on the logical, rational and problem solving left hemispheres of our brains. Writing engages our creative right-hand hemispheres and taps into the power of our original thoughts and inspiration. It's where moments of brilliance, genius, and creativity come from. When you next hit a creative block and get stuck, try journaling.
We can use it to tackle all manner of fashion related problems from the micro ones of details for a particular design to macro ones that affect the fashion industry.
Don't stew and dwell over conflicts and misunderstandings with others. Journaling will help you to understand the other's point of view and to come up with a workable resolution to the conflict or disagreement that is a win-win for everyone.
Whether your disagreements are with colleagues, clients or suppliers, your boss or your partner, use journalling to uncover hidden perspectives to help you build a solution that you and the other party are happy with.
There is increasing evidence to support the belief that journaling has a positive impact on our physical well-being. Psychologist and researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, James Pennebaker says that regular journaling strengthens our immune cells, called T-lymphocytes.
Other research shows that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, acting as a stress management tool. Journaling about your career stresses can help by reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.
Who of us working in fashion doesn't have a need to improve any one of these areas at some point either daily or weekly?
You'll find that journaling will be most effective when you do it daily for about 15 - 20 minutes. The beauty of journaling is that there are no rules. I've been using journaling for many years and it's helped me to manage all manner of personal and professional situations.
The best personal advice I can give when you're starting out is to apply some of the following tips:
Remember that a journal prompt is just a question or topic that helps get your mind flowing. Therefore try reflecting on and then answering each question as honestly as you can.
I guarantee that doing this will bring to the forefront of your mind the causes of most of your problems and what to do about them.
Your answers will help reduce stress, anxiety and lead you to a more productive, happier and carefree life regardless of your position in the fashion business. And most of us in fashion could do with less of the toxics and more balance in our lives right now.
Read the questions below then answer them in your journal. Feel free to write as little or as much as you feel you want to. But don’t hold back, just keep writing until you feel you have exhausted the answer.
At a truly deep level in your psyche, you will have the answer to everything you need to know. Read the questions and without rushing, let the answers slowly surface.
If or when a question makes you feel like you do not want to answer it, then see that as a red flag and explore why you don't want to answer it. What's stopping you? Why are you resisting it? What never is is touching? What emotions is it beginning to trigger?
Try these questions out:
The next set of journaling prompts can be used to help define the perfect outcome in any given scenario. It could be your perfect day, the perfect meeting, the perfect job, the perfect client etc.
With a little imagination, you can tweak the questions to fit whatever perfect scenario you are considering.
For example here are some questions you can ask yourself if trying to get clarity through journaling for a new job.
When you answer these questions through journaling you can go back over your answers and dig deeper to fully explore what you have written. This brings further clarity and helps you to prioritize what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
If you believe you can't do something then you reduce the likelihood of making it happen. It becomes a self-fulfilling statement. Limiting beliefs hold us back.
We can use journaling to help us understand and change our beliefs from those that limit our achievement to those that set us free to soar and break through glass ceilings.
When you use journaling to uncover your beliefs there are several useful questions to ask. These are:
Your answers then give you further information to explore and challenge in an effort to correct your beliefs if they don't serve you well or to leave them as they are if they do.
Belief changing is mostly about truly recognising the beliefs you hold. Until you can see it clearly it cannot be changed. As soon as a belief becomes conscious it is much easier to change and journaling helps to bring those beliefs out into the open and conscious.
To get started with journaling all you need is a pen and paper, 15 - 20 minutes and the tips above. There's no cost and really there should be no excuses.
It's the least expensive 'therapy' you can find and yet it's full of value.
Often times journaling raises issues that require further help and support. So the use of a life coach can be invaluable.
If you are a fashion professional that would like coaching support either for laser focussed input on specific issues or to follow a complete program to help you redesign your life or business, then we have three options for you.
Click any of the links below to find out more.
And happy journaling!
Join our mailing list to receive pre-launch offers, unique bonuses and special gifts as an early bird subscriber.
Simply add your details below and we'll keep you up-to date with superb offers prior to our public launch of our Coaching Program in September. You only get these offers if you sign up here.