How to create a Fear Journal

The best way to overcome fear is to look it dead in the eye each and every time it arises in your mind.

To truly understand what fear is, and how to rid yourself of these harmful thoughts, you need to pay attention. Don't just accept fearful thoughts as a part of you – because they aren't.

The feeling of fear – high heart rate, sweaty palms, you know the feeling – comes from a part of the brain called the amygdala. Back in the day when we lived in caves, this was pretty useful. Being eaten by big animals was a real threat, and the amygdala was great at letting us know when we were at risk.

Now though, the threat of being chased by a lion isn't quite comparable to giving a presentation at work, or applying for a new job. The amygdala and the feeling of fear is therefore, to be honest, pretty useless.

But unfortunately just knowing that doesn't make it go away. One exercise that will help, however, is what we call the Fear Journal. Every time you begin feeling fearful, or worried that you're going to fail, get rejected or fall flat on your face, just take notice.

On a notepad or online journal or app or whatever you use, every time you have the opportunity, write down the answers to these three questions:

  • What happens if I fail?

  • What if I do nothing?

  • What if I succeed?

You'll probably notice that the rewards far outweigh the risks. Getting that dream job is infinitely better than the risk of receiving an email telling you weren't successful with your application.

Give it a go, and let us know in the Forum if this helps you take control of your fear.