Journal Prompt #2: Identifying and Challenging Your Fears
Our fears are our greatest obstacles to living with joy and peace. We can be fearful of not having enough money, experience, love, success, friends, being alone or not living our dreams, but how do we get past our fears?
The act of journaling has the effect of allowing one to express their unconscious and repressed feelings, as well as come up with new insights and solutions. I invite you try this journal exercise featured in Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth by Kathleen Adams, M.A.
Create a list of ”100 Fears I Am Having Right Now”
Adams states when you write your list of 100 that don’t worry if you repeat the same thing more than once. Take it as a sign that its something that requires your attention. To really tap into your unconscious, let the list flow by writing as fast you can. Don’t worry about sentence structure or grammar–let it flow!
Review your list for “themes”
Possible themes that could arise in this exercise could be related to love and relationships, success and career/workplace issues, money and financial security or stress and physical health. Create a symbol for each theme, and categorize your list to get a sense of what kind of fear is standing out the most. Once you prioritize your list, you will have a better sense of what’s most important to work on, and what may be underlying that fear.
Adams shares in the case of a woman who discovered the theme of a fear of failure, that she took a sheet of paper and drew a line down the center of the page and on the left- hand side entitled the section with “Fear of Failure” and entitled the right-hand section “Reality.” She then listed each fear of failure and countered it with a factual statement about the fear on the right–a “reality check” so to speak. Applying your new insight, you could create a list of “100 Truths About…” list for you to keep as a reminder to live in your truth instead of your fears.
Adams suggests numbering your list and getting it done in one sitting. Your list may also signal that there are other things to explore deeper. Consider doing a “List of 100” for another issue. This exercise is meant to help you process your thoughts and feelings. Other examples of ‘Lists of 100’ Adams includes: 100 Ways I Could Nurture Myself, 100 Blessings, 100 Things I’ve Accomplished in My Life, 100 Things I’m Feeling Stressed About, 100 Ways I Beat Myself Up (Sabotage Myself) and 100 Lessons I’ve Learned.
Get to writing!