Journal prompts and processes have changed my life over the years… Here are a few practices that can change yours too!
Everyone has an inner voice. But because our inner voice develops so early in life, we often don’t recognize that this voice is overly harsh and critical.
It’s just always been there, so we accept what it says as a normal part of life. In fact, you may have an overly negative inner critic if you notice things like:
- You often judge yourself harshly or criticize yourself a lot.
- You often feel bad about yourself when you stray from your healthy eating or exercise regime.
- You feel like you need to constantly whip yourself into shape.
- You find yourself turning to comfort food … and then feeling guilty and down on yourself about your choices.
The good news is, it’s entirely possible to create a new relationship with your inner critic.
Simple journaling prompts and processes, such as journaling about your gratitude or even keeping a “self-love journal,” are powerful and easy-to-use tools that many people swear by!
Transforming your relationship with your inner critic begins with transforming your inner critic dialogue and limiting beliefs.
As you change the conversation in your head to one that is more positive, as well as replace limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs, the way you feel about yourself will permanently change for the better.
In other words, you’ll cultivate deep, lasting self-love — and your confidence will grow exponentially as a result!
I know from experience how transformational it is to change the relationship with your inner critic and even consciously cultivate self-love.
Immersed in the strict and stringent world of dance, I developed a rather bossy, loud, and often harsh inner critic voice that provided a non-stop litany of suggestions for where I could be doing better.
Success in traditional dance modalities hinges on executing movements the “right” way — and having the “right” body. My inner critic tried to help me succeed by constantly pointing out all the ways I wasn’t measuring up.
Flash forward a few decades, and I hit an emotional wall. I was utterly drained and burned out from trying to measure up to the impossibly high standards my inner critic had set in every aspect of my life.
I embarked on a journey of discovery, experimenting with ways to cultivate self-love and heal my inner critic.
I used a variety of tools and processes over the years to increase my self-love, self-acceptance and confidence, and you can too!
I transformed my relationship with my inner critic, and these days, my “inner critic” voice is a loving, encouraging, uplifting voice who uplifts and coaches me to reach for my absolute best!
I absolutely adore myself and feel amazing in my body. I love my life and my work, helping women around the world tap into their mind-body-spirit wisdom to live vibrant and authentic lives.
And I have the confidence, clarity and energy to fearlessly pursue my wildest dreams. That’s why I compiled many of my favorite tools and suggestions in my Confidence Kit and I’m giving you complimentary access to it!
Journaling prompts and processes, such as keeping a gratitude or self-love journal, definitely play a role in how your inner voice shows up.
If you’ve never journaled before or if you’ve journaled but not with a specific end goal in mind, this may sound far-fetched. But trust me – it can work.
Let me show you how to use a self-love journal to cultivate self-acceptance, as well as share journal prompts to heal your inner critic, in just a few minutes of journaling each day.
What Is a “Self-Love Journal”?
Journaling is the process of writing in a diary or journal — usually noting your inner thoughts and observations about the world. Some people use journals as a way to record the details of their lives. Others use journaling as a way to purge emotions and calm themselves down. Still others use it as a way to process things that happen to them.
Regardless of how you use it, a journal can be a powerful and proven tool to facilitate a dialogue with your inner critic and voice. Think of journaling as having a conversation with yourself on paper.
A self-love journal is a journal that you create and maintain with the specific purpose of increasing the compassion, acceptance, forgiveness and love you feel for yourself.
The simple fact is that many women develop an overly negative inner critic whose incessant observations and suggestions for improvement can wear down their confidence and shake their self-esteem, sabotaging many areas of their life.
Writing in a self-love journal can offer the opportunity to be more self-aware. You become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and how your thoughts and feelings affect your energy and emotional state. You can then more clearly see how your thoughts and feelings affect your actions.
Keeping a self-love journal allows you to create a sacred space for a conversation with your inner self.
And just as in relationships with other people, the more time you spend communicating with yourself, the better you get to know yourself — and the more self-love you create.
How Self-Love Journaling Can Change Your Life
Journaling therapy has long been a favored mental health tool because it offers many benefits, especially to heal the inner critic.
An easy way to use a journal is to clear your mind by doing a “brain dump.”
Just as venting or talking through a problem with your spouse or a trusted friend can help you feel better, journaling can help you get all of the thoughts and emotions bouncing around your mind out and onto paper.
One way to look at emotion is “energy in motion.” Once your emotions are out, you’ll be able to deal with them more objectively … and you’ll feel calmer.
Journaling can help you gain perspective and be objective when dealing with inner critic thoughts and dialogue.
Try writing out whatever your overly negative inner critic is saying, and then read it — even out loud!
Seeing your inner critic thoughts in black and white can give you perspective on where your inner critic is being unfair, exceptionally harsh, or mean.
Reading your inner critic dialogue out loud can help you hear and recognize that the way you speak to yourself in your mind is nothing like how you would speak to someone you care about.
What a great opportunity to recognize that you’re ready to cultivate self-love on a greater level!
Self-love journaling can be a beautiful and empowering way to get to know yourself and how you operate on an emotional level.
Many people feel hostage to their emotions.
They might fall into a bad mood or suddenly feel blue … but have no idea why. What they don’t realize is that our thoughts trigger our emotions.
Our inner voices keep up a steady interior narration of life that we learn to tune out. But even if our inner critic dialogue is just background noise, we absorb its messages on a subconscious level.
Journaling can help you tune into what your inner critic is saying – and recognize when you respond with anxiety, guilt, shame or fear.
Journaling gives you a way to deliberately shift your thought patterns. Rather than passively listening to the chatter, you can write out and consciously direct your thoughts.
How to Start a Self-Love Journal
The first step to creating a self-love journal practice is to simply decide you’re going to do it. From there, it’s pretty easy!
Your next step is to find a place to write your thoughts. You can use a computer or other electronic device if you wish, but something magical happens when you put pen to paper.
Writing by hand allows your brain to focus on the words in a way that often doesn’t happen when you’re typing. A simple notebook is fine – even a leftover one from your kids’ stash of school supplies.
Many people like to invest in a beautiful journal. Perhaps go to the bookstore and peruse the selection of beautiful journals to see which one inspires you.
If you’re like many people I know who love the experience writing on elegant paper with your favorite pen, choosing a gorgeous journal may elevate this process.
Do what makes you happy!
Then reserve a few minutes each day on your calendar to devote to your gratitude or self-love journal. Many people find that journaling in the morning allows them to set an empowering tone for the day.
Journaling again at night allows them to process the experiences of their day, clear their heads before sleep, and end their evening in a space of gratitude. Experiment and find what feels best for you.
If you worry about not having enough time to devote to a self-love journal practice, remind yourself that you are worth every minute. Journaling is the equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on first in an airplane emergency. It’s a way to prioritize your self-care and self-love.
Try starting with just 10 minutes.
It’s enough time to notice a difference in how you feel, yet small enough that you won’t feel that you’re taking too big of a bite from your schedule. (If you think about it, I’ll bet that you waste at least that much on social media or surfing the web each day.)
To calm your anxiety about “not having enough time,” try this: Set a timer to go off at the end of your designated journaling time. This allows you to immerse yourself in the process without keeping one eye on the clock.
Now it’s time to sit down and write in your gratitude or self-love journal. What do you write about — especially if you want to transform your inner critic thoughts, voice, and limiting beliefs?
One place to start is simply by writing whatever comes to mind. You may find that your inner critic starts spewing negativity. That’s OK. Get it out … and then you can also take a step back and challenge the thoughts that you see expressed on the page.
Self-Love Journal Writing Prompts
Self-love journal prompts are another tool to use when you’re ready to get more serious about consciously transforming your inner critic thoughts toward the inner conversation you want to have.
Here are some of my favorites…
Self-Love Journal Prompt #1: What am I grateful for today?
Gratitude is an easy and powerful way to shift your thinking and inner critic dialogue. Start by simply looking around you and noticing the things that you normally overlook — the fact that you’re breathing, that you can write, that you can see.
Celebrate the running water coming out of your faucet, the roof over your head, the food in your cupboards. I highly recommend not just saying that you’re grateful — but practicing feeling your gratitude. And then watch as your body, mind and spirit lighten up.
Self-Love Journal Prompt #2: What little things fill me with joy today?
Going hand in hand with gratitude is joy. I find that gratitude puts me in a receptive state, so I’m more open to even the tiniest pleasures. Joy doesn’t have to be hard work, and it doesn’t have to be reserved for only big pleasures and excitements. The fact that you’re alive in this body is reason enough to be joyful. Let’s celebrate the privilege and gift of being alive – and seize opportunities to choose joy in more moments of your day.
Self-Love Journal Prompt #3: What can I do today to feel nourished body, mind & soul?
Think for a moment about how you treat the people you love most in the world. You nurture them, doing and expressing things that show how much you treasure them.
You deserve that same level of nurturing and adoration.
Investing in expressions of self-love is an easy, powerful and proven way to heal the inner critic.
The more you consciously take care of yourself, the more your self-esteem will grow — and the less you’ll feel influenced by the fearful, guilt-ridden messaging of your overly negative inner critic.
My client, Patricia S. Burt, started a journal practice, and sent me an update:
“I am grateful for small things that happen each day that remind me that I am loved. Be okay with being happy. I have never thought that I deserved to be happy before. I am just recognizing the positive things in my life which have always been hard for me to do.
I used to hate going up the stairs and now I repeat the 3 Cs as I go up about being less Critical, no Comparing and no Complaining – it has become my mantra. 🙂 One word – Uplifting.”
Self-Love Is the Key to Heal the Inner Critic
True self-love is the foundation of a happy and fulfilled life, and an essential key to giving love AND receiving love from someone else.
The more you love yourself, the more you’re able to pour into other people — and the more you’re able to recognize that you’re deserving of the love they want to share with you.
When you take time to nourish yourself, your self-confidence and self-esteem soar — and you’re empowered to put your best self forward in your personal and professional life.
At a subconscious level, cultivating self-love — with a self-love journal, journal writing prompts and other tools — is a powerful and easy way to heal the inner critic.
A harsh and overly negative inner critic voices the limiting beliefs and thoughts that can invite you to feel anxious, fearful, guilty and/or ashamed.
A self-love journal gives you a way to transform limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs, a harsh inner critic voice into an encouraging voice, and negative thoughts into powerful thoughts.
As you explore using journaling as a tool to cultivate self-love and heal your inner critic, remember:
- Everyone has an inner critic. When you feel that your inner critic voice is being too harsh or negative, you have the power to change that voice!
- A gratitude or self-love journal is a proven tool for engaging and changing the inner critic dialogue, thoughts and limiting beliefs, while consciously cultivating self-love.
- You can cultivate self-love in just a few minutes a day when you use journaling. It can be easy, fast and fun!
- Self-love journal prompts are a proven way to guide your inner critic thoughts toward the positive, so you can heal your inner critic and cultivate self-love.
To support you even further in feeling more confident, beautiful and loved in your skin from the inside out, sign up for my FREE Confidence Kit.
This eBook and guided meditation are an easy and powerful way to energize your body, increase your fun and rejuvenate your soul so that you can speak your truth more boldly and express your gifts more freely in the world.
Now it’s time to hear from you 🙂 What are your favorite ways to feel nourished in body, mind and spirit? What do you do to quiet the inner critic and turn up the volume on self love messages?
We’re in this together, we can create a much more loving world, by starting with increased self love.
Here’s to feeling confident in your skin and alive in your life!