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  • Writer's pictureAllison Black

3 journaling mistakes or myths (and how to overcome them)

I wasn’t always a journaler. Honestly, I felt pretty indifferent towards it; it was never something that really stood out or called to me.

It was tedious, and nothing I could commit myself to do daily.

Writing to record what happened in my day??


It wasn’t until I was undergoing my life coach training that I opened up to it because I needed a way to check in with myself every few days (when I remembered, of course.) Just about how I was feeling or the progress I was making…and sometimes the progress I felt I wasn’t.

It was pretty eye-opening because I felt the effects of just having a weight lifted off of my shoulders and better clarity around EVERYTHING!

Journaling is an amazing tool for self-reflection. It can be your therapist, BFF, and life coach all rolled into one!

This isn’t a post where I’m gonna be standing in the corner shouting, “You’re doing it wrong!”

The opposite, actually!

I’m writing this post to help empower you to find a way of journaling that works for you!

Here are the 3 common mistakes I see people make when they first start their journaling journey:

Not starting

Maybe you feel overwhelmed at the thought of sitting and journaling. Or you feel like you don’t have the time or energy. Or perhaps you think you’ll be “bad” at journaling.

I want you to know that journaling is only as complicated as you make it.

Did you know that there are recorded health benefits of journaling?

People who journal regularly have a better general sense of well-being and connectedness with their inner self and a greater sense of self-awareness.

Surprisingly (I learned this during the new course I took on journaling), journaling has been reported to help speed up recovery from certain surgeries and illnesses!?

Feeling overwhelmed?

Start small.

Write for 1 minute without stopping.

Don’t have the time or energy?

Write 1 word to describe how you’re feeling.

Think you’ll be “bad” at journaling?

There are literally NO RULES when it comes to journaling! If there are no rules, no one can be bad at it, right!??

It’s YOUR journal.

You do you, boo-boo!!

Allow yourself to let go, and just start.

You think you need a fancy journal

You don’t.

When I began my journaling journey, I used a spiral notebook.

In the journaling circle, it’s been referred to as the 79-cent therapist.

You can literally just use scratch paper and a pen to start with!


I believe that finding a journal you absolutely adore and love that makes you want to open it up and start writing away makes it easier to journal.

*SIDENOTE: Normally, I press really hard when I write, so ink bleeds through when I write on folder paper or in notebooks. And! I’m left-handed, so I smear when I write. So annoying.

But, my current journal, a Peter Pauper Press Journal, is b-e-a-utiful.

The paper grade is *chef’s kiss*

No bleed-through.

No left-hander’s smear.

A left-hander’s dreeeaaaam

Ultimately what you choose to write in is totally up to you!

You’re not implementing a feedback loop

This has been a fucking game changer in my journaling practice!

I discovered this while completing my journaling course, so it was totally new to me when I learned about this.

The feedback loop involves reading back what you wrote, then writing a reflective statement based on what you read. In doing so, you acknowledge the “you” on the page. In doing so, you deepen your relationship with yourself at that moment.

There are two types of feedback statements.

One type can be written about the CONTENT of your journal entry.

  • When I read this, I realize that…

  • When I read this, I remember…

The other can be about the EMOTIONS that come up for you as you read back what you wrote.

  • When I read this, I have the sensation of…

  • When I read this, I feel…

Feedback statements are a way of finding meaning and making connections, bringing to light the hidden parts of the self.

These reactions are so valuable because they’re a source of profound insight and growth.

Feedback statements can be the first ripple of recognition and healing.

Super deep, huh!??

Now you can see why I feel this is such a game-changer!


K, you know I can’t make a blog post and not leave you with journal prompts to get you started!!

And, you know I’m not gonna give you the cookie cutter: “List 10 things you love about yourself”

No, not today.

Here are 5 super awesome "gotta dig deep" journal prompts to start you off:

  • We all grapple with guilt and self-shame about things we did or didn’t do. It’s time to let it go. Write an apology letter to yourself.

  • How are you holding yourself back? Why do you think that is?

  • When do you feel most like yourself?

  • What is your truth when everything is stripped away, and no one’s opinion influences you?

  • What are you holding onto too tightly?

ALLISON SAYS 2.0 (words of encouragement):

What it all comes down to is that you:

Have fun with it!

Be creative!

Choose a journaling style and journaling frequency that works for you!

Need some journaling style ideas? Leave me a comment!

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