Journalling has become quite popular as a self-care tool; although, have you ever heard about the fear journal? If you love writing things down as it helps you organize your thoughts, a "fear journal" could be a great addition to your writer collection.
What is a fear journal?
A fear journal might sound a little hideous, but it's not. Exploring your fears and where they come from is the first step to make them less daunting.
When is it helpful?
While experiencing some degree of fear is considered normal, if it stops you from enjoying activities or progress in life, it is time to take action and put your fears into perspective instead of allowing them power over your life.
Writing your fears on paper can help you reduce the anxiety stemming from them and develop alternative thinking patterns.
Taking the time to explore and identify what's hidden behind your fears enables you to see things from a different perspective.
"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises,
is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." Henry Ford
Everyone struggles with fears; the range of fears we experience is vast.
Missing out on something
Not having control
Not being able to realize goals.
Being stuck in a job or a relationship
Like any other emotions, also emotions related to fear are experienced as real. Leaving them untold gives them power. You have to face them to tame them. Your fears tell stories about you. These may have started from recent experiences or in your past; it doesn't matter; now, it is vital to take the time to explore those stories.
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.' Marie Curie
You might start by asking yourself some questions like:
When and where did this fear arise?
What is the story I'm telling to myself?
Is this story realistic?
Why are these thoughts so scary?
Are these fears amplified by negative emotions or images?
How can I change this story?
What will change?
This way to explore your story helps expand the view you have about yourself. By splitting your experiences and challenge old and unhealthy beliefs, your mind opens up to alternative ways of living, showing a more authentic and healthier story. Through your fear journal, you'll start separating the self from the problem. And by realising that you and your fears are not one, you'll be able to apply a different approach toward them.
"Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them.
How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.
To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it." --Judy Blume
Now you can challenge old, unhelpful stories embedded in your beliefs.
Widen your view and explore new information. From now on, there will be room for healthier thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The space created between you and your problem allows you to examine and determine what is helpful and what is not.
Rewriting your story doesn't aim to change you as a person; rather, it allows you to get closer to the person you want to become.
Remind yourself that it is ok to need help when it comes to change lifelong habits. In the next blog, there will be more about self-exploration.
If you need support with your journey, get in touch.