Taking time for self-reflection when you’ve invested time and energy into your journaling practice is important. Over the years, I discovered that guilt over events and situations is what’s had been holding me back from the things I wanted to do.
Of course the challenge is to find the guilt but it can be challenge when you’re not sure what you feel guilty about. The shadow likes to just stay there, it doesn’t want to be illuminated with light but to be the best version of yourself, learning what is holding you back and what is your cause for guilt is something you ow e to yourself.
Taking Time for Self-Reflection
Start by giving yourself some time to think. We live in a loud and busy world that’s full of distractions. It’s hard to hear yourself think sometimes, isnít it? Itís also easier to stay busy and keep plugging away than it is to stop and take some time to reflect.
Find a quiet place, get comfortable and let your mind wander.
- Start to think about what you want to accomplish.
- Take a look at what’s holding you back.
- What thoughts or tasks start to make you feel uncomfortable when you think about them?
- What part of the journey gets your stomach in a tight knot?
- What is causing doubt to creep in?
- Pay attention to all of it and see if you can start to pinpoint this feeling of guilt and where it may be coming from.
Grab journal or open up a document on your computer. Putting it on paper can be very clarifying. It forces you to focus and organize your thought processes. It also gives you something to come back to and read later in the day or a bit down the road. This reading of your thoughts and what’s going on in your head can help you discover underlying causes as you read between the lines.
Make a Plan to Discover Guilt Going Forward
Last but not least, it’s important to realize that this will be an ongoing process. New feelings of guilt will pop up from time to time. Be on the lookout for them so you can address them right away. Again, reach for your journal and write it out as you to your mind and thoughts going forward.
I’ve always been the type of person to dream about all the things I wanted to do one day. It wasn’t until I was 40 when I realized that guilt is the one thing that held me back because at the core I didn’t believe that I deserved it.
You see at the age of 23 I was at fault for a DUI and ran a truck into a house. And even though I complied with everything I needed to do and get my license back, I didn’t address any emotional implications I was experiencing.
I had big dreams.
Dreams to be an author, and entrepreneur and artist.
But for years and years and years I would tell people one day I would. I mean I had already published one book right after my son’s medical diagnosis because life’s too short … you know how that goes but I struggled to get my business of the ground, to make more art and create the change I wanted so I could become the person I wanted to be.
During one of my writing sessions, I realized that I was still hanging onto the guilt and shame from the DUI and that was one of the reasons I hadn’t reached any of my goals. It was eye-opening and clearly I had some healing and forgiveness work to do. This is why I am such a fan of journaling – it helps me release what I am feeling and the create space for it to process, followed by guidance on what to do next.
And we are nearing the end of the year and so if you’ve not reached a goal or several goals, take time for self-reflection and allow yourself to discover the reason.
October Journal Prompts
Have you accomplished any goals yet this year?
If not, list something you can get done in October.
Talk about your favorite Halloween costume for the year.