November 16, 2021

5 Ways Journaling Can be a Powerful Tool for Change

Self-limiting beliefs are the intrusive thoughts that occur when we perceive ourselves to be less able or worthy of achieving personal desires and ambitions. Here are 5 Ways Journaling Can be a Powerful Tool for Change!

person sitting and journaling

5 Ways Journaling Can be a Powerful Tool for Change

Self-limiting beliefs are the intrusive thoughts that occur when we perceive ourselves to be less able or worthy of achieving personal desires and ambitions. These anxiety based perceptions are not true to fact, but they do have the potential to significantly damage the individual pursuit of rewarding progress. In short, self-limiting beliefs are a stubborn barrier to future joy and personal success.

To make change, we must first understand what we are dealing with. Could it be that you are hearing regular self-limiting belief statements from your client due to nerves or shyness on their part? Or could it be the case that your client is battling with low self-esteem? No matter how the habit presents itself, narrative change must occur in order to free the client to succeed.

These kinds of beliefs may sound similar to the following;

“I could never do that…”

“I will never achieve…”

“I can’t kid myself…”

“I always knew I was not…”

“I’m not good at…”

“I always have bad luck with…”

“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I wish I could, but…”

“Other people are more capable…”

“I can’t yet try that because…”

“I don’t deserve to have…”

“I’m just being realistic…”


This manner of thinking does not lend itself to personal success nor inner happiness. Such statements are oral closed doors and verbal statements of restraint. They communicate a lack of vision for what is possible, where in reality anything can be achieved when the right methods and resources are in place - along with the right coach!

woman journaling on a bed


Here are 5 confidence-boosting ways that journaling can support the process of lifting limitations:


  1. Self-empowerment.  When a client feels independently able, they will likely feel more capable of progress within their coaching journey. Journaling is a great way to work on this confidence between sessions. Wonderfully, there is technically no incorrect way of journaling. There are no wrong answers or bad entries. Every word written is of value in some way, even for the purpose of thought release. Therefore, each entry can encourage the client in the right direction.
  1. Creative discovery.  For many people, writing anything that isn’t a tax form or a professional task may not have happened since their school days of homework assignments and classwork. The idea of filling a space with thoughts and reflections may therefore seem alien and even a little intimidating to some. For clients who are not routinely creative in their lives, journaling can become a very positive personal discovery. They may find they are more of a writer than they thought they were, or more expressive when writing than when speaking aloud. 
  1. Developed mindfulness.  It’s all too easy to lurch between regular activities all day without being conscious of our deeper purpose. We can begin to disconnect from ourselves as we hurry between chores and rush through tasks. Journaling offers vital ‘time-out’ to gather thoughts and reflect on the events and emotions of the day. 
  1. Routine development.  As coaches, we want our clients to remain engaged with the work we are sharing as much as possible between sessions. The activity of journaling is a powerful resource to help achieve this, in that we can encourage clients to follow a journaling routine we prescribe to help keep the momentum of the coaching journey going. Using an online platform like JournalEngine™, the client can share his or her journal with the coach and this can become a valuable component of each session.
  1. Narrative switch-up.  Self-limiting beliefs cause a multitude of negatives. They are the barrier to progress and an aggravator to self-esteem also. The best way to overcome them is to replace them with fresh, positive phrases. Coaches can work encouragingly with clients to determine the most common self-limiting beliefs and then develop (factual) positive statements that can be repeated within a journal space to help change the tide of thought. Simply writing out self-valuing statements each day within a journal can make significant change in order to amplify confidence and increase long-term success.



Journaling is a helpful resource that can be the difference between a slow or gradual overcoming of personal limiting beliefs and full, fairly speedy barrier removal. Though subtle and conducted mainly outside of session, it can become the significant effector in making the change that both client and coach hope to see during the developmental journey.

Consider the needs of the clients you work with currently. Think of the clients that have a strong tendency to talk themselves down or give you multiple reasons why they cannot achieve the goals you discuss together. How could they benefit from writing down their thoughts? What positives could they potentially find from using a journal during their coaching journey as a whole? More importantly as a coach, how can you benefit from having access to their innermost thoughts?

The more intimately we can get to know our clients, the more we can hope to facilitate real and lasting change for them going forwards. Discover the person to unearth who they really are - from there, true foundational change can happen! 


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