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Why Writing A Personal Essay Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

Why Writing A Personal Essay Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

With the ability to post anything online, more and more people are starting to write personal essays. Some of them are being published on big sites, which opens their window to millions of people. People across the world can read your essay, hear what you have to say, and judge you. This last factor is the one which adds a strong emotional element to writing a personal essay.

If you belong to Generation Y, you are already familiar with the way people judge you and your actions and how they say you “just want attention.” It’s common for people who read articles online to judge the writer for what he or she says, and when the article they are reading is personal, there is a lot of emotion involved. Sharing your personal thoughts and feelings with the world is scary, and can even be traumatizing in some cases. It’s like you’ve returned to high school and all those mean kids are still there to judge you and shame you — only now you are an adult and the world is judging you.

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Are people who write personal essays in need of attention? Perhaps, but the real reason they write is to be heard! I am sure I speak on behalf of most people who write personal essays when I say we want to draw attention to facts, not to ourselves. Sharing a very personal story is hard, but when someone decides to do this, it’s always for a good reason, not just for attention on themselves.

Celebrities often use their own notoriety to speak their minds about the latest news or events. Take for example J.K. Rowling’s Brexit essay, or Chelsea Handler, who stood up and spoke about her abortion at 16 years of age. Because celebrities do this frequently, people see them as influencers, but when the girl next door shares her own experience, she might be taken as someone who is trying to draw attention to herself. This might be due to the fact we are used to celebrities drawing attention to themselves, so when someone does something a celebrity usually does, the first instinct is to think they are in need of attention.

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A personal essay refers to one’s life — a real person went through situations which left a mark on them. When the mark is deep, you feel the need to speak up and tell others about your experience. For example, if you had an abortion in your teens, you will feel the need to share your experience so that other teens will read and think twice before taking the next step. But you always have to accept the fact your essay will stir up mixed emotions and will turn you into a target for bullying and tough criticism. Readers will perceive your writings in millions of ways. They will often forget that it’s your own life they are judging. You have to accept this before even writing the first word of your essay.

With a personal essay, you want to stir up reactions. So, even if you receive negative feedback, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Many people can write an essay, but few can ignite passions and emotions in their readers, so when you see that your article triggers comments, you need to be proud of yourself. For a reader to take his or her time to comment on an article, they need to be touched by that article to the core — which is not an easy thing. Be glad when you are able to touch people in this way because it means they heard you. They read your article and learned about your experience. Regardless if they want it or not, a piece of your life will stick with them forever, influencing them in a teeny tiny way.

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Writers, keep writing, and readers, keep commenting on our articles so we can get inspired!

Featured photo credit: dawolf/Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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