by Niall Doherty

If ever something’s bothering me, or I just need some clarity, I sit down at my computer and have a written conversation with myself. I type out a question, then answer it as best I can. That usually leads to another question, and so I type another response. I continue like that until I come to some kind of resolution.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it has never failed to make me feel better about a situation and/or move me closer to a goal.

My conversations usually go one of two ways:

  1. Devil’s Advocate – Basically, I interrogate myself, trying to poke holes in a theory or idea of mine to see if it stands tall or crumbles. I started doing this in college to find conceptual or design problems with websites I intended to build, before I actually built them.
  2. Personal Shrink – If I’m feeling down about something, I act as my own personal psychiatrist, asking about the problem, what might have caused it, and how I can move forward. Whenever I do this, I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders.

Through these conversations I force myself to organize my thoughts. I drag them out of the fog of my mind and articulate them clearly in writing. That’s a very powerful thing to do. I can also refer back to what I wrote if I ever need to recall how I arrived at a certain decision or came to a particular conclusion.

Try conversing with yourself and see where it leads. Most likely you’ll gain some clarity and come to know yourself better.