Created Out of Desperation
Hi! I’m Alyssa Payne, Founder of The Win Journal.
My journey creating The Win Journal started when I found myself in a very dark place. Despite accomplishing my goals of earning my Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and landing a high-paying dream job before graduation, I was miserable, lacked self-confidence, and felt like an imposter waiting to be found out (anyone else familiar with that feeling?).
I tried to wait out the bad feelings, hoping I would somehow figure it out on my own, and eventually feel more confident with time and experience - but I didn’t. Instead, I started having frequent panic attacks, became depressed, and felt like a complete failure. I desperately wanted to feel better and find meaning in my life again, but I didn’t feel capable or worthy of it.
Eventually, after many months of suffering alone with no progress – just getting worse, really - I noticed that my anxiety and depression were no longer just affecting me. I was heartbroken to see how it was affecting my partner; it wore on him so much, he felt he needed mental health help himself to deal with it and that crushed me.
Fed up, and not wanting my partner to feel the way I was, I committed myself to getting help for my mental health. I found a therapist who helped me learn to better manage my anxiety and depression. I found a coach who helped me learn to be gentler with myself and celebrate my progress. I started a daily gratitude practice; a common recommendation to help you become more positive and feel better. I pretty much did everything I could think of to fix things.
And while all of these things did make me feel better and made life more tolerable, I still lacked confidence in myself and my ability to create the life I wanted. After spending some time thinking about what I could do to stop focusing on my failings and instead build self-esteem, I had an idea! That idea was to start focusing on the actions I took each day, no matter how small, to feel better or achieve a goal – in other words, my wins!
I started by taking a plain empty notebook and writing down my wins inside, but the empty pages with no guidance felt daunting and overwhelming – I found the habit too hard to build and I just couldn’t stick to it.
Still seeing promise in the idea and unwilling to give up, I decided there had to be a better way. I taught myself to use Adobe InDesign and started working on a simple template that would make recording, reflecting on, and rewarding wins both easy and fun.
Multiple iterations and months of testing later, I designed a template that worked for me, my partner, and some friends. A template that took only a few minutes a day to complete and was easy to catch-up on if you forgot and missed a day (like we all do sometimes). After using the template daily for over 4 months and experiencing the benefits firsthand, I knew this was something I needed to share with the world.
Now, I am on a mission to help others focus on their wins to feel better, win more, and accomplish their wildest life goals. Whether you are an ambitious achiever, an entrepreneur, an athlete, a student, a busy parent, someone struggling with your mental health, or you simply have the goal of becoming more positive – The Win Journal is a tool that can help you on your journey.
If you have any questions, feedback, or just need someone to talk to – please, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to connect with new people and respond to all emails personally.