About Silvia Bastos

Silvia shares journaling tips and exercises at JournalSmarter.com. As a writer, a coach, and an artist, she helps people around the world become happier, healthier, more successful, and improve their relationships with themselves and with others.

How to Journal Away Your Disappointment in Yourself

“Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past behaviors. Forgive yourself for the survival patterns and traits you picked up while enduring trauma. Forgive yourself for being who you needed to be.” ~Audrey Kitching   “I can’t do this.” “Why do I look so fat? I’m disgusting!” “I haven’t done enough today. I am so useless.” “I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have said that.” “Oh my god, why did this happen to me? What am I going to do now?” Since I was a teenager, there has always been a voice inside my head telling me that things are not going to be okay because I am not enough. At school, it told me I wasn’t popular or cool enough. At Arts university, that my work wasn’t original or deep enough. At my first job (which I disliked), that I wasn’t happy enough. In my current work (which I love), that I am never productive enough. And as the cherry on top throughout all these years, guess what—I’ve never been thin enough, talkative enough, or proactive enough. This voice has become so present and loud that it has led to severe anxiety attacks. One day, the feeling of self-loathing and despair was so strong that my usual journaling affirmations and gratitude practice were not enough. My soul, wounded by all the negative self-talk, needed something stronger. More than being fixed, it needed to be held in a tight, comforting hug. So that’s what I did: I knew that journaling was still the way, I just had to find a way to hug myself with it. Without thinking, I started writing to myself what a wise mother or a loving mentor would tell me in this situation. “My dear, I know you are feeling anxious about not having completed all your tasks for today. I know it makes you doubt if you will ever be able to achieve your goals. I know it makes you fear that you will end up out of money, out of friends, out of love. But here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter that you had a bad day. I know you’re trying hard. I know you’re giving your best. You deserve a rest. You are amazing, and you’re going to make it.” The effects were immediate: like with nothing else I had ever tried before, I felt a deep sense of comfort and relief. I had just discovered my new soul-medicine.   How This Exercise Works The reason why so many of us constantly push ourselves to be more and do more (and blame ourselves when we fail) is because we’re trying to get from others the approval we have never learned how to give ourselves. This exercise teaches us to do just that: to give ourselves the appreciation we crave so much. But there’s one more reason why it is so [...]

2019-08-23T17:09:36+00:00 By |