If you’re anything like us, you probably do your best to avoid confronting your deepest fears on a daily basis. The world is already stressful enough; the last thoughts we want to bring to the front of our minds are, like, the girl from The Ring coming through our TV or, you know, the failing at life. But according to habit expert, coach, and serial entrepreneur Michael Chernow, making it a habit to write down our fears will actually give them less power over us, not more.
“Fear, when looked at closely, is the most unique emotion in the human condition,” Chernow says. “Fear can absolutely debilitate us mentally, physically, and spiritually. However, at the same time it can motivate us to climb the highest mountains, take the risk we need to take in order to hit that goal, or to commit to the husband or wife who you have designed your life with.”
That’s why he makes sure to keep a list of his fears—all of them—as they come up, writing them in the back of his daily journal. “The beauty of this practice is that when I look back at the fears I wrote months or even years ago, I come to find out that very few, if any, of those fears came to fruition. I spent so much time stressing out about things that just never came true.” (Relatable.) “What that has taught me is that fear is mostly fabricated, created into a story we tell ourselves, and the more we are self-aware, the easier it will be to live with fear rather than in fear.”
TL;DR: Fear journals are pretty much the new gratitude journals and help us think about if our fears are taking up space for no reason. Making it a habit to write down our fears gives them a place to be seen, heard, and let go if necessary.