Sometimes at the Endpaper Blog we get the unique opportunity to offer a platform to creative journallers from around the world. We’ve recently partnered with Natalie Carranceja – a mental health advocate and avid journaller – here in our home province of British Columbia, Canada. We’re so excited to welcome Natalie to the Paperblanks family. She has a unique and inspiring perspective on the therapeutic benefits of journalling, which you can learn about here and on her website (

Stay tuned to the Endpaper Blog for more from Natalie, including future promotions and giveaways!


3 Journalling Mistakes & How to Get Started with an Impactful Practice

When I start working with incredible women in my coaching practice, I always ask them the same question: “Tell me about what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked.”

Often we land on the topic of journalling and I hear them say, over and over again:

“It’s never really worked for me, but I really want to journal”

“I can’t seem to stay consistent, but I really want to journal”

“I never know what to write, but I really want to journal”

“I hate my handwriting, but I really want to journal”

Does this sound like you too?

So let’s dive into where your blocks are and where the resistance is coming from. I’ve heard so many women say to me that they know journalling will help them, but they just haven’t felt the “click” or had the “a-ha” moment, which so many rave about.

Through my own research, I have discovered the three biggest mistakes being made when it comes to journalling, that could be the very reason your results are, well, blugh.

Photo credit: Natalie Carranceja



This might be the most common mistake made by those who want journalling to transform their mindset. When we only focus on our negative feelings we amplify them, and encourage our subconscious to filter information into our brain to support the words coming out on the page. It’s essential to acknowledge our negative emotions, of course; however, if we end our journalling practice with no resolution or no forward thinking, then we are left in the same spot we started in. 


This has come up a lot in my coaching practice. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to personal growth, because we judge everything, right down to our handwriting or our spelling. What goes on in your mind isn’t neat and tidy, so what comes out on the page won’t be either. When we strive for perfection in our journalling practice we can almost guarantee there will be very little results. 


Never underestimate your space when it comes to journalling. The environment you write in and the space you provide yourself to begin a “self coaching” practice has to feel expansive and private. When it’s cluttered, messy and loud your mind’s attention is always going to be elsewhere. This can then result in frustration or “surface level” journalling, which will cause a negative experience around journalling.

Are you making any of these mistakes? 

Well, I am delighted you’re here because today I am going to help you navigate through them so you can have the most transformative and impactful journalling practice! Woo!!

Photo credit: Natalie Carranceja



One of the biggest keys for “self coaching” when using your journal is to learn how to interrogate yourself. Bring the negative thoughts into the arena, and challenge them. Ask yourself, “What would happen if I didn’t think this?”, “What would I rather choose to believe?”, “Do I have proof that this thought is true?”, “What proof do I have to oppose this thought?”. These are just a few challenging questions that could begin training your mind to have perspective and therefore space to transform your negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. 


There’s no such thing as perfection, and if your desire for perfection is hindering the results you’re getting from journalling, then it’s time to let it go. Giving yourself permission to just start and understanding that NO ONE ELSE sees your journal is an essential mindset to cultivate in order to kick off your practice. Have certainty in knowing that your spelling doesn’t matter, your grammar doesn’t matter and neither does your handwriting because all that truly matters is that YOU are taking charge of transforming your mindset.


As mentioned above, your space is so important. Every time you visit this space it’s going to be a trigger for your mind to get into journalling mode, so you won’t want to be flooded with distractions from clutter or TV in the background. Start with always journalling in the same area of your house, maybe a space with a warmer light and cushions for comfort. Provide yourself with a minimum time frame that allows you to really get into the practice. Maybe you even have a journalling playlist of soothing and relaxing music that can trigger you into a calm state. Finally…the journal and pen is everything. You want to look at your journal and feel excited to write in it, and you will want a pen you like writing with. Smudgy ballpoint pens are the WORST!!! Haha!

Journalling is the very best self-coaching tool out there (in my opinion), and there’s nothing more empowering than being able to journal your way out of a negative mindset!

Photo credit: Natalie Carranceja

Journalling has been the one tool that has helped me transform my own life and my relationship with my partner (now husband yay!). It helped me navigate my way through my anxiety and continues to guide me in overcoming fear and building trust in myself.

This tool is now at the foundation of everything I teach in my practice. I would even go as far as to say that we can’t be friends if you don’t journal (just kidding…or am I?!).

If you would love to learn more about how to use journalling for self coaching, or details on my 1:1 coaching experiences, come and follow me on Instagram @natalie_carranceja_coaching or email me at


About Natalie:

Natalie is a mental health advocate, self care extraordinaire and lover of ’90s dance hits (Vengaboys anyone?!). Natalie’s experience with anxiety, relationships and mental health led her to build a successful global coaching practice that provides women with the frameworks they need to build habits and mindsets that cultivate confidence and disempower anxiety. Natalie is fierce and 110% committed to helping women relearn how to be independent within their relationships and how to jump feet first out of their comfort zone.

If you don’t see Natalie busting out her dance moves on Instagram then you will find her over on The Choosing Confidence Podcast (available on iTunes and Spotify).

Instagram: @natalie_carranceja_coaching




Mental health affects us all. If you or someone you know needs help, you are not alone. 

Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States or 1-833-456-4566 for Crisis Services Canada.

Outside of North America, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources:


  1. My ultimate “journaling space” is Paperblanks journal <3 I've tried different well-established journal brands but interestingly, writing whether diary, random thoughts, idea or even even schedules has worked for me only on Paperblanks!


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