Why You Should Keep A Fear Journal

Have you ever heard of a fear journal? If you’re a big believer in writing things down to organize your thoughts, a fear journal might be the best notebook to add to your collection.

So what is a fear journal?

A fear journal might seem a little morbid and negative, but it’s really not. It allows you to see your fears on paper, which can help you cope with the stress and anxiety stemming from the fear. It helps you identify fears and allows you to examine them. You may not need an entire journal dedicated to your fears, but you can add it as a section in your bullet journal or planner.

For me, fear is something I’ve always struggled with. I absolutely hate scary movies. I can’t even watch the previews. It’s actually really embarrassing going to the movie theater and closing my eyes during a horror preview.

So a month or so ago, I decided to overcome this fear. I’ve started watching movies I’ve always been afraid to watch.

Get this: I never watched The Sixth Sense until a few weeks ago, when I watched it with my husband. Once it was over, I felt so dumb. It wasn’t even close to being scary. Now, mind you, I still can’t watch those Saw movies, but I’m taking it slow.

Here is how to handle fears that aren’t so silly.

Ask yourself some hard questions

Are you afraid you won’t get into medical school? Afraid you’ll never pay off a debt?

Write these fears down and everything associated with them.

The following questions may help:

– Why am I so scared of this?
– Where did this fear come from?
– What happens if this fear comes true?
– What can I do to overcome this fear?
– What steps can I take to avoid this fear from happening?
– Is this fear a lie? If so, why do I believe it’s the truth?

Some fears, or phobias, are based off past experiences. In order to overcome them, you have to be willing to self-evaluate. You have to think about what scares you and why.

Your fear may also have different branches. For example, maybe you are terrified of public speaking (many people are, including myself). Over the years, I’ve had to deal with this fear of speaking up during meetings, or presenting information in front of a group.

But what the fear of public speaking really is at the root is insecurity. You’re afraid you’ll mess up, and people will laugh at you or think of you as incompetent. That’s a branching sort of fear. It might seem like one thing but in reality, it’s actually something else that you have to overcome entirely.

Once you’ve identified the origin, or the root of the fear, you can work toward letting it go.

Put your fear into perspective

One fear I can honestly say I have overcome is my fear of rollercoasters. I used to be terrified of them. They looked so scary to me because they’re so tall, not to mention the speed of them. It wasn’t until I was about 16 when I rode on the Superman at Six Flags that I thought, “Ok, this isn’t so bad.” Then I tried the Mr. Freeze, which goes backwards part of the way, and I loved it. I realized that not being able to see the direction I was going in really helped. My mind caused me to think the roller coaster was worse than it actually was. I no longer felt that pit of anxiousness in my stomach.

Of course, roller coasters can be dangerous, and yes, sometimes, they stop working in the middle of a ride. But has that ever happened to me specifically? No. And how many people ride those things without any issues on a daily basis? Thousands. So what are the odds that I’ll get on a roller coaster and end up dead? Probably very slim.

Take small steps to conquer your fear

Maybe you’re afraid you won’t pay off something. If you have a large debt, chances are you will pay it off because you’re so concerned about it. Start small. Pay the bill as consistently as you can, and set aside any extra money so you can gradually add more to your payment. It will take restraint, discipline, and patience, but eventually, you’ll see the day when your bill has dwindled down to $0. You will have accomplished such a big goal! And, oh yeah, I bet your fear of that debt will be gone, too.

Of course, there are much more serious anxieties and phobias that can hinder your daily function. If this is the case, please consult a psychologist or psychiatrist. That’s the first step, seeking professional help. With time, you can work on the fear so that is it not so debilitating to your everyday life.

Don’t be afraid to tackle your fear with courage. I know you can do it. It can seem really daunting at first, but once you’ve identified it and put it in perspective, I promise it won’t seem so scary. In fact, it might even turn out to be fun! Hence, rollercoasters.

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