Lately I’ve been thinking about the fear I feel around sharing my work online and just my life in general.

Selling creative work online is very challenging. Running a business is challenging, period. It doesn’t matter if it’s in person or online. When you’re starting your entrepreneurship journey from nothing—as in zero experience—it can take some time (as in years) to figure it out.

And with my chronic pain, being an entrepreneur really is the only way for me to earn income. Doing so gives me control over my environment, and it’s nice contributing to my household. So all of those things factor into why I feel the way I do.

So this past month I did a series of journaling exercises, not only to help me to let go of the fear that I’m feeling when it comes to my business or sharing my work online with you, but also releasing fear overall. It’s interesting how fear holds us back from doing what we want to do, and how it masquerades as all kinds of things. It can disguise itself as feeling stuck, as boredom, or even as anger and irritation.

My goal with these journaling prompts was to go from being stuck in these negative emotional states to transforming them into a feeling of aliveness. Being stuck in fear and anger is the opposite of feeling truly alive.

I thought about the areas of my life and business where I am struggling with motivation. I also asked myself, what areas of my life feel the most alive? What feels alive to me? I used about 20 questions in all to explore this in depth.

One question that struck me was, “Where in my life do I feel a state of stagnation, of being stuck in a rut?”

Thinking about this made me reflect on where I am trying to make progress in my life, but where I’m stuck in a pattern that causes me to keep doing things the same ineffective way.

Another question I asked myself is, “In what areas of my life do I feel the most motivated?nIn what areas of my online business do I feel the most motivated?” When I looked at the areas where I feel the most motivated, it made me realize that the most motivating things are the things that are most important to me right now. So it’s okay if I’m feeling unmotivated in some parts of my life. The parts where I do feel motivated are the most meaningful. You might find something different for yourself, but that’s what I found.

Doing this made me not feel as bad about being like, “Ugh, I don’t feel like doing this” with some things. In reality, I am actually doing the most important things. That other stuff doesn’t matter as much as I imagine.

Another thing I looked at is how fear can disguise itself as anger. I worked on some journaling that takes the feelings of being angry, annoyed, and jealous and puts them into a more constructive space.

I asked myself, “What areas of my life are provoking me?”

And I really love the word “provoke.”

When thinking of anger, it’s easy to think of the extreme: throwing stuff, temper tantrums, etc…But feeling provoked is an emotion that gnaws at you. It can make you very angry. Or it can make you jealous. Or it can just make you irritated and unhappy. It has this nice range to it.

Along with asking, “What areas of my life are provoking me?” I also asked,”What areas of my business are provoking me?”

Journaling this all out was eye-opening because that word brings into the picture even the little annoyances that we sometimes put to the side.

“Oh, that’s just a little annoyance. Not a big deal.”

But when looking at it, it’s like, “No, this is actually bothering me a lot more than I thought.”

I followed that up by asking, “What things have provoked me into action in my life?”

This question kind of flips the script on anger. Sometimes certain events in our lives show up and provoke us, but they push us into taking positive action. It’s annoying, but you stand up to it in a way that is constructive.

Creating this set of questions helped me to see the actionable good that can come out of my negative experiences and emotions. In the past, I’ve succeeded in turning my feelings of anger, jealousy, and unhappiness into actions that have made my life and the lives of others better. Maybe those emotions are not quite so bad after all. They are a chance for me to transform and become something better.

To become truly alive.


Free Resources…

A Journal for Creating Calm and Recovering from Stress for Highly Sensitive People

Not quite the same, but it has a similar effect as the prompts in this post when it comes to letting go of overwhelm.

From Fear to Action Printable Journal

I enjoyed these 20 questions so much I’ve decided to make a printable mini journal out of them.