Have you ever experienced that moment when you’re excited to try something new like journaling and the minute you crack open the cover, you’ve hit a blank wall. There’s that nagging voice and feeling in the back of your head that scares you from putting pen to paper. That’s the fear of journaling.
There are many reasons and factors that contribute to why you may experience the fear of journaling but I’m here to tell you that there’s plenty of ways to overcome this distracting force.
With just a few smart tips and tricks, you’ll be able to start journaling without any fears.
If this is something that happens to you on a regular basis or if you’re a beginner who wants to avoid the fear of journaling, here you’ll find out the reasons why you’re afraid, how to overcome it, as well as a few other issues to watch out for.
By the end of this, you’ll feel brave fenough to push past those negative thoughts and feelings while enjoying the process of journaling.
Why You Feel Afraid
Before anything, let’s look at the reasons as to why you may feel scared to start journaling or to continue where you left off.
You may be experiencing at least one of these things or maybe quite a few of them but to know why you’re feeling afraid may help you overcome this issue.
Not Being Good Enough
It’s a funny thing that we allow ourselves to be controlled by those negative inner thoughts that run around inside our minds stopping us from trying new things.
However, in order to actually experience different ideas and situations, we have to get rid of those bad feelings of not being good enough because it stops us from living.
You may also be feeling like you’re not a good writer or worried that you won’t find the words to put it on the page.
In actuality, it really does not matter whether you’re good at something or not. What’s most important is the fact that you enjoy what you do.
Tip: Remove that inner critic by rebelling and doing exactly what you mind is telling you not to do (in this case, grab your bullet journal and get started!)
Similar to having low confidence, you may feel ashamed for journaling about your deepest thoughts and feelings which is totally understandable.
We can often beat ourselves up over our own thoughts but the only way to heal is to go through the good and bad so that we can discover new things about ourselves and improve who we are and how we live our life.
The one suggestion I can make is to remove the feeling of being ashamed when it comes to journaling.
Think of your journal as a scared outlet that will allow you to be who you want to be because, at the end of the day, a journal is an object that will never judge you.
Fear of The Blank Page
Another reasonable fear you may be experiencing is the fear of putting words to a page and making those words real.
We may be afraid of ourselves and what we’re going to write on that blank page.
It’s scary at times but you have to be courageous and willing to push past your fears to discover the meaning behind your words and the intentions of your actions.
Scared of Making Mistakes
This particularly relates to bullet journaling. I’m guilty of this myself after purchasing a bullet journaling just after watching these fantastic tutorials and browsing images on Instagram.
However, the moment I had the bullet journal in my hands, it was so new that I didn’t want to ruin the pages. It sounds silly, right?
I also didn’t know where or what to start with and that made me even more fearful of ruining the pages.
Related: How To Fix Bullet Journal Mistakes
If you also experienced the same thing or currently having that problem, here’s a tip I wish I knew sooner. Flip the book to the last pages and just start scribbling a few lines or draw a few doodles.
When you do this, it’s a great way to get that silly fear out of your system of ruining the pages and you’ll feel more confident to start journaling.
Worried About Other People Seeing It
In addition to keeping a bullet journaling, I do have a separate journal dedicated to writing down my thoughts and feelings or just to run a few ideas that have been bugging me emotionally but when you’re new to journaling, it can be seriously stressful to know that one of your family members or friends may stumble across it.
It is indeed possible but you have to decide what’s more important. Bottling up your feelings and never having an outlet to let go of your thoughts or that chance of someone finding your journal?
With the potential benefits of changing your life for the better journaling, I personally opt for the latter.
One of the few ways to ensure you get rid of this fear is to:
- Accept the fact that you have chosen to journal
- Make your journal more private
- Hide it really well if possible
- Use an app with a secret code instead
If it’s still a problem that someone might read your journal, there are plenty of ways to make your journal private.
Here are a few options that might work for you:
1. Keep your journal in a locked cupboard or grab a journal with an actual lock and key. This will definitely reduce the anxiety of someone reading your journal even if they do find it.
Here’s a quick tutorial that will show you how to make a lock as well as a few other ways to make your journal more secure for ease of mind:
2. Another option is to use a fake cover. If you’re a student, you can write down the name of a particular subject or label it as a scheduler.
3. Don’t use real names in a journal. You could try using acronyms or code words to refer to a particular person and this way no one would know who you’re really writing about.
4. If you have a really close bond with someone and trust them not to invade your privacy, have a chat with them and make them understand why you’re keeping a journal as well as informing them that you would not want them to read it.
Not Knowing What To Write About (& How To Overcome It)
Another issue as to why you may be feeling hesitant to start journaling is not knowing what to journal or write about.
This can lead to you procrastinating further until the journal ends up in the back of a closet or used for something else entirely.
You may be feeling lost or confused as to what to write about but you know what’s great about this particular block? You can write about not knowing what to write about.
It may seem a bit silly but it’s an incredibly effective way to put your foot through the door and begin journaling.
This is why journaling prompts are so incredibly useful.
There can challenge you and spark new and creative thoughts to explore while discovering more about yourself and the things that surround you.
It is an effective way to get rid of writer’s block so you never have that moment of not having something new to write about.
Examples of journaling prompts:
- What did you do today?
- If you could change something in the world, what would it be?
- Your favorite way to spend the day is?
- List 10 things that make you feel loved
- Who is the most inspirational person you know?
There is an extensive list of journaling prompts to use that will encourage you to keep writing.
Let Go of Your Excuses
We sometimes tend to create excuses to procrastinate or accept our fears for not doing something.
You may be saying to yourself, ‘I just don’t have the time, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’, ‘There’s nothing important going on in my life’, or you may journal once or twice and decide it’s not for you.
You have to recognize when you’re forming these excuses and the reason why you’re making them up. For one, it could be that mental resistance that you have to get passed in order to begin something you want to do.
Every time an excuse pops into your head related to journaling, question them and have a conflicting thought that challenges it.
For instance, you might be thinking ‘I just don’t have the time’ but can you make the time? Is there a 5-minute break you can fit in journaling? Perhaps before going to sleep or waking up a few minutes earlier to fit in a morning page?
Rather than focusing on the negative little ‘trolls’ running around your head, focus on the positives of journaling.
And this will encourage you to try again.
Essential Journaling Tips For Beginners
Knowing a few tips and tricks can make things much easier when you’re a beginner (or a pro) and when you’re just starting with your first journal, these tips could potentially help you improve your experience.
1. Keep it short – Especially if you’re not used to writing long passages. Just a few words or sentences a day can help build up that habit of journaling.
2. Carry it with you everywhere – If you always have your journal on hand, it will be easier for you to write things down or never forget something again.
3. Leave the first-page blank – This will reduce the pressure of having to be perfect.
4. Allow for mistakes – Give yourself a break and be okay with making spelling and grammar mistakes.
5. Create a routine – Having a set routine either in the morning or evening will ensure you’re journaling every day and it will become a habit you’ll enjoy doing.
6. Have your own format – Don’t feel pressured to stick to a particular layout. Create one that will suit your needs best.
Can The Benefits Overcome The Fears You Have?
My one advice to you would be to find out the reason as to why you’re afraid to journal and write about that. It’s a great way to trick your mind into doing something productive.
There are many benefits to journaling as you may know that range from improving your mental and physical health while helping you make smart decisions in life through the use of analyzing and assessing past and current decisions.
It’s a means to self-reflect while an effective way to that opens the path to self-discovery. Journaling can also boost creativity, organize thoughts, record important memories as well as a way to set and achieve goals.
But the number one benefit that stands out the most to me is the fact that it can relieve stress.
It’s so incredibly hard to balance the pressure of the world and issues that we go through and using a journal to relieve some stress is one of the best reasons to pick up a pen and start journaling.
At some point, you’re going to realize that the fears you have are not helping you but instead stopping you from experience something that could be life-changing.
Because the only way to really experience the benefits of journaling is to go through the journey. Only then would you know if journaling is something that works for you.