Professionals in various industries recommend regular journaling as a tool for self-reflection and growth. Journaling can help you clear your mind, organize your thoughts and reinforce your goals. I am a proponent of keeping both a personal and a career journal. Journaling is self-care. Additional benefits of keeping a journal include:
- Evaluating your thoughts and ideas
- Recording your ambitions and aspirations
- Monitoring your progress
- Releasing anxiety, frustration, and challenges from your mind and onto paper
- Sparking or capturing creativity
- Expressing gratitude
- Documenting good memories
- Analyzing certain situations and opportunities
Social media has allowed us to document our personal and professional lives – the good, the bad, and the TMI (too much information). We can post health updates, memes, photos, projects, articles, and activities. Pinterest and Instagram timelines can serve as an electronic vision board. Social media invites accountability and discussion. Resharing, comments from other users, and reminders from social media platforms can help us stay focused and motivated – or angry and uninspired. We can also use social media to develop a personal brand, showcase our expertise, and expand our career and entrepreneurship options. Social media has various uses and benefits, but if you want privacy for your goals and thoughts, social media is not the way to go.
I utilize the voice recording feature on my phone as an audio journal. Some days I have a chat with God. Some days I work through a particular task or project. Some days I record important things I want to remember. On other days I have a good chat with myself.
Yes, I talk to myself!! No, the talks aren’t scripted – I go with the flow. I can work through concepts without interruption or outside influence. There is freedom in being this open. I love that I can go back and listen again and again. This allows me to hold myself accountable and also expand my thinking. It’s personal and private unless I choose to share. I’ve had so many downloads and aha moments during these audio journal sessions.
FACT: Leadership is an inside job. Success is an inside job.
DECLARATION: I will never lead you where I haven’t gone.
RECOMMENDATION: Utilize the voice recording feature on your cell phone. Give it a try for a week and let me know how keeping an audio journal works for you.
Oh, and check out my hilarious audio journal story I posted on Instagram.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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