Afraid of something? Write it down

Afraid of something? Write it down

I find it to be a meditative process to write every morning. One of the exercises I do when I’m feeling confused or upset  is to write through it. And much of the time the fear is imagined … as Seneca said

“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”

Writing through the process grounds you in reality. It forces you to actively think through and intentionally rationalise the outcomes that are worrying you. 

Start with what’s causing your mind to be upset

Write down the issue and what the internal voices are telling you. Write down your concerns. Then start asking ‘why’ until you can identify the real issue at the cause of it. For example, this morning I identified that I’d been in turmoil over a request from a colleague to participate in producing a short video for one of his clients and how to quote for it.

The dialogue went something like this …

Why am I doubting?

Because I’ve only ever made one video before and I’m not sure I have the skills to make one for profit. Why? Because I don’t want to look incompetent to others. Why does this matter? Because I care what others think. Why? Because I build my own esteem based on what others think of me. Ahh … there we go.

You need to write what comes into your mind without filtering. Just let it go.

To counter that we list out accomplishments and qualities to build esteem

If you don’t already have a list of accomplishments to view, create one. Mine looks like this.

What have I accomplished? Graduating uni with two degrees, getting a certificate and diploma, getting industry qualification, making a profitable business, raising a healthy well adjusted child, being a loving wife, losing weight, improving my own mental state, getting fitter and healthier, changing to getting up early, creating a morning meditation and journalling practice.

Why I can do this

I’m passionate, I’m organised, I prepare well, I learn quickly, I have used video editing software before.

Keep this two lists handy, you can use it again in the future.

Ask yourself why do I want to do this project/task

Go through the process of asking yourself why you want to do this project. Mine looks like this…

Because it’s something new and different. I’ve always loved watching video since I was a child. I’m up for a new challenge. It’s really fascinating to me, the whole process. From writing and organising and storyboarding, to lighting, to interviewing and recording, to the post production of editing the videos and putting them together. Then posting them to social media.

Do these reason look valid to you? Is it really something you’re interested in, or not so much? If not, then pass on the project. But if it’s something that excites you why not give it ago?

Whats the worst that could happen?

Ask yourself this question and provide the answers and if possible the likelihood of the outcome.

I could fail and have no usable footage. Then a reshoot might be necessary. This may cost money, but that’s ok. What are the chances? Small if we prepare appropriately.

I would look bad and like I have no clue. Then you will apologise and return the money. Be prepared and be confident in your abilities. Ensure the client is appropriately prepared.

It doesn’t meet the clients expectations. Clearly define their expectations prior to the event, be confident and prepared.

How to rock the project/task

Ask yourself how you can rock this job. My dialogue looked like this …

By being prepared. By doing some advance research on how to prepare for and conduct a video production shoot. I’m not worried about the editing side of it, I know I can do that or figure it out fairly quickly. Researching some related areas like: interview techniques, lighting video and how to speak on camera. Getting the gear required for the shoot.

You know in your heart of hearts whether you can do this job. Don’t listen to the lizard brain trying to keep you down, listen to your own skills and desires. Can you really do it to the standard required in the timeframe required? If you’ve answered yes to all three, then you can do it!

Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist, this is a process that works for me.

Do you use a process like this to work through your worries? I’d love for you to share it in the comments. When have you used a process like this and have you found it helpful?