Learn to Use Journaling to Improve Your Fashion Career

coaching performance skills Aug 01, 2018

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.

 

Six Benefits of Journaling if You Work in Fashion

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.

1. Clarifying your thoughts and feelings.

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.

2. Knowing yourself better.

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?

3. Reducing unhealthy stress.

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.

4. Solving problems more effectively.

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.

5. Resolving disagreements.

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.

6. Improving your health.

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?

 

15 Tips for Getting Started With Journaling

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:

  1. There are no rules. Anything goes. So don't be bound by what others say you must do for it to work. Listen to their tips but do what works for you.
  2. Begin anywhere. There is no correct place in your thoughts to begin so just start and see what comes. Getting started is the only thing to focus on.
  3. Forget spelling and punctuation. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation is only a man-made function. Nobody cares about these when you are journaling. The grammar police will not be checking on you! Just get on and wright, because spellin mistooks don't mutter.
  4. Privacy is key if you are to write without censor. Preferably write with the sole purpose of only sharing your content with yourself. Even be prepared to burn your output once you've reviewed it and taken value from it. You are not writing for the benefit of others. This is not homework to be checked as if you are still at school.
  5. Write quickly, as this frees your brain from “shoulds” and other blocks to successful journaling. Speed is fo the essence. The quicker you write the better your flow will be.
  6. Pick a theme for the day, week or month (for example, peace of mind, confusion, change, anger, designs, creativity, sales, colleagues, boss, career etc.)
  7. Journal in the morning as studies show you are more liberated and free thinking then.
  8. Write every day even if you don't feel like it. When you get stuck ask yourself the question "Why don't I feel like writing today?" and then answer. That process soon gets you writing and thoughts flowing.
  9. Make the time and when you don't have the time first thing, make sure you do so during the day. You can always find 15 minutes to journal. Have a notebook with you so that you can start writing when you do have the slot in your schedule.
  10. Keep it private and treat your journal as a sacred and precious object. By all means, share it but only if you feel comfortable too. Its purpose is to help you not others.
  11. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in what you write so that you remember all the great things that are part of your life. From the most mundane to the most awesome. There are always things to be grateful for so reflect this in your words.
  12. Talk to your inner child, that part of your psyche that is in your subconscious where you find the source of emotional, relational and behavioral difficulties that plague you in your adulthood. Yep, we've all got them! To have a conversation with your inner child, ask your subconscious mind questions in the second person and see what comes out.
  13. Use journaling prompts. A journal prompt is just a question or topic that helps get your mind flowing. Journaling from scratch can be difficult for some people so prompts give you a starting point. I've listed several further in this post that will help you.
  14. Write about the current space you’re in. Journal about what’s happening in your life. This can be anything such as your relationships, work, home, family, health, finances- literally anything that affects you. Then write down where you want to be and the steps you can take to get there. A simple goal setting process like this can get you started and shift from procrastination to action.
  15. Try stream of consciousness journaling. This is a non-judgmental flow of your thoughts. I think of it as transcribing what is in your thoughts without any editing to make it sensible. You literally write what flows. No editing. Just writing.

Powerful Journaling Prompts to Get You Started

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:

  • What do I REALLY want?
  • How can I wake up every morning and feel amazing?
  • What do I want to have?
  • What type of person do I want to be?
  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • How can I re-frame or change this?
  • What would I need to believe, in order to be, and have, and do, all of that?
  • What steps can I take right now to make this happen?
  • How do I know what’s preventing me from taking this action?
  • What are my biggest challenges that I need to overcome to move forward?

Scenario Prompting

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.

  • In your perfect job, where do you work?
  • Who works for you?
  • Who works with you?
  • What is the working environment like? – describe your environment in detail.
  • What gives you the most satisfaction and reward?
  • What is your ideal work routine – describe it in detail.
  • How does the day feel to you?
  • What do you find most challenging and exciting?
  • What do you feel inspired by?
  • Describe your ideal boss?
  • What aspects of your current job would you be glad to be rid of?
  • What new skills would you be able to develop?
  • What strengths would you be able to apply?
  • How does your day start and end?

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.

Journaling and Your Beliefs

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:

    1. Why did I do that?
    2. Why do I feel that way?
    3. Why is that important to me?
    4. What is it I believe about this situation?

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.

Journaling is Free

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.

            1. Redesign Your Life and Live it Fully
            2. From Fuzzy to Focused: Reinvigorate Your Fashion Business & Boost Sales
            3. Open Coaching Sessions on Specific Issues

 And happy journaling!

 

 

 

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