Transformative Writing: From Fear to Fortitude
Fear can be a powerful emotion. Your fear of heights can keep you from enjoying that roller coaster with your kids. Your fear of the dark can make it next to impossible for you to sink into the restful sleep that you so need and deserve. Your fear of commitment can hold you back from meaningful relationships that will enrich and transform your life. And given the seemingly endless number of phobias out there, the list (quite literally) goes on and on.
There’s another kind of power to be found in fear, though. We’re not talking about power that stops you or holds you back. We’re talking about power that inspires you to dig deeper than ever into your heart and soul, that drives you to find your inner strength, that inspires major breakthroughs and transformations. With this in mind, our Fear as Muse Transformative Writing Series will guide you on how to creatively channel fear so that we can strengthen our inner spirit and create fortitude. These courses will open an opportunity to use your fear for good. Wouldn’t that be a nice change?
To give you some insights on how you can start to shift your fear to fortitude, here are some of the steps that can put you in control of your fears…
1. Give your fear a name. That’s right — a first name, like “Sam” or “Karen.” When you stop thinking of the terror that hangs over your head as “fear of flying” or “fear of loneliness,” it becomes less intimidating and more manageable.
2. Do a fear brain dump. Grab a pen and paper and get comfortable. Spend time writing down every last thought or feeling associated with your newly-named fear. What does that fear tell you? How does it make you feel? How is it holding you back? Remember: there are no rules to a brain dump. Stop stressing about spelling or punctuation and simply get things on paper.
3. Find patterns. Review what you’ve written and look for repeating thoughts, themes, and words. Circle them! There’s a lot to learn about your fear from these patterns.
4. Control your “thought schedule.” It may be hard to believe, but that fear — whether you call it Sam, Karen, or something else — doesn’t get to have a place in your life unless you allow it in. Start establishing some boundaries. In the moments during the day when you do feel ready to address your fear, write him (or her!) a note sharing the details of a situation in which you effectively worked against him. If, for example, your fear leaves you with low self-esteem, share the story of a time when you felt especially confident and strong.
5. Establish some simple motivating routines. Get proactive about creating rituals that will help you overcome your fears when you’re feeling low. Whether this looks like taking a yoga class, meditating, or picking up a good book, it will build a mental escape hatch that will ensure you can leave those fearful feelings behind and get strong instead.
Learn more about how to build fortitude through fear in our Transformative Writing Series. Check out the details of the remaining courses below!
Fear as Muse Transformative Writing Series
Into the Woods (Nov. 16 @ 6-7 pm)
This second class builds on story and setting. Like Hansel & Gretel lost in the woods, a place of mystery and the unknown, where and when have we been lost? What was — or needs to be — discovered?
Exposure (Dec. 7 @ 6-7 pm)
Winter exposes us to the elements and temperature, external, as well as our own internal weather. What do we expose of ourselves and what do we keep hidden?
Fears & Phobias (Jan. 11 @ 6-7 pm)
Here we explore the craft elements of “premise” and theme. What fears do we cling to? Think: fear of flying or heights, fear of bridges, of water or enclosed spaces, or cats or spiders (arachnophobia, anyone?). How are our fears holding us back from manifesting our desires or doing the things we love?
“Hello, My Name is Fear” (Feb. 8 @ 6-7 pm)
In this class, fear is personified and embodied. We explore voice and how to recognize and embrace our own authentic voices amidst those that hold us hostage and fearful.
Featured image: Robb Leahy/Unsplash