This post is more conceptual in nature and will give you insight into the reasons why writing is such a powerful method within career coaching. At the end you will find an exercise.
Writing is powerful because it makes and keeps ideas and ideas explicit. If an idea is on paper, it has the right to exist outside of you. It coexists with you, outside of yourself. And that is now the shortcoming of thinking alone.
Thoughts are only in your head. Your ideas and thoughts sometimes fade if other thoughts also demand attention. With written text this simply does not happen, because the written word remains clear. It does not fade and when read back it serves as a kind of external evidence of previous thoughts.
You may recognize yourself in the following example: you are exercising in the gym and you feel wonderfully fit. You are working out nicely, are happy that you went anyway and you feel fit and good about yourself. You see all kinds of sporty people around you, most of them in good shape and you think: “I’m going to hold on to this, I’m going to do this more often.”
The next night you have a good friend’s birthday. It is very nice and there are a number of old acquaintances that you have not spoken to in a long time. You do a few drinks and the atmosphere sets in well. You think: ‘How nice this is, I have to do this more often. I think friends and socializing are really important and I’m going to make more time for this. ”Eventually you wake up hung over around noon the next day and let your fitness go, because your headache won’t allow you to it.
You have to let yourself be guided by the situation, completely logically and humanly. The context has determined what is important to you at that particular moment. The interests are opposed to each other and differ from day to day, with the danger of current temptations lurking.
Write and read back
In order to get a grip on this process, you absolutely must make your interests and priorities explicit and write them down. And more important than the writing is reading it back. If you want your goals and priorities to become clear, you need to confirm and repeat them as much as possible. The first step is to write down your thoughts after a fun party, as well as the thoughts after a good workout. The next day you can weigh your insights against each other out of context. They are not colored by your current context and that forms the basis for all your self-insight. This process will also make a difference for you in making career choices.
If you don’t write anything down, you run the risk that all your thoughts will keep floating. If you do write it down and actively work with your thoughts out of context, your goals and your ambitions will appear like bright stars in a dark sky. It’s like proverbs. The ones that appeal to the people continue to exist and may even be included in the great book of proverbs.
If you read things back and you recognize an element that strikes you once again, then continue with it on the next page. After a while you can no longer ignore it and you have explicitly confirmed to yourself what you think. It is then a belief. And a conviction gives security, peace and strength. And that forms the necessary basis for taking action. It is the foundation of your future.
Get started with this next week. Whenever you have a strong thought about your career (“I’m going to quit this job”, “I think it’s important to earn enough”, “I don’t aspire to a career of 80 hours a week.”) Write them all down. Then read them all back at the end of the week and weigh them against each other. Only then will you progress and the arguments that are really important will gradually emerge clearly.