When is being afraid of an elephant not about the elephant?

Everyone has fears they would like to conquer. The fear of roller-coasters, the fear of spiders, the fear people, and the fear of elephants. Some people ignore it. Some run away from it. Others have no choice but to face their fear.

What I have discovered is that fear is a cascading set of smaller events and actions that build up into a suffocating tidal wave. And often those actions and events occur so fast with such subtlety that they are hard to recognize in the moment. It requires a lot of deep thinking and replaying of events in your mind. Step by steps. Until you can determine with some assurance that you’ve discovered the trigger. That one moment that when your body suddenly stopped functioning. And the fight or flight response kicks in and determines flight is the best course of action.

For me, building habits to adapt to these events is what has worked. And these events are usually made of three components: expect (predict), keep calm, avoid.

When I find myself in a similar situation I try to predict what will happen next, expect that particular event to occur. Then I breathe to keep calm waiting for Armageddon to let loose. And I enact my avoidance measures; take evasive manoeuvres to avoid an event collision until I’m past it. Over time I’ve been able to build resistance over these events.

But be warned that while you may have defeated one event, there most surely will be more hiding behind it. The trick is to write down all these discoveries and resolutions in a journal to help program them into your subconscious. Remind yourself of these on a daily basis to build them into habits.


As you build on these fear busting habits, you’ll eventually start seeing a clearer path ahead. It takes time. A lot of self-reflection. And a lot of emotional turmoil. If you feel emotionally raw after a session, then that means it’s working. It’ll take a few days for your emotional system to rebuild itself. It’s like you’ve thrown a fork in your emotional soup and stirred it; a lot.

It’s important to write everything down; just reflecting on it isn’t enough. You need to let your knowledge pass through as many senses as possible. Write it down. Read it. Speak it. Hear it. Draw it if you must. Art is a great way to open up the pores to the subconscious.

Habit Journals FTW!

Every once in a while I go on a Googling binge researching ways to improve myself. How can I better organize my writing, my thoughts, and see what others are doing. This time I decided to Google YouTube (is that a thing?) and I found Habit Journals.

Habit Journals are effectively what you might think they are, journals to track the progress of your habits. But what I found on YouTube was a lot more impressive than just that. There is a whole community of people keeping of their habits in an artful way. They’re taken the Bullet Journal method and threw crayons at it. The ladies usually go for the colour look while the guys usually go black. But any way you look at it, they’ve turned the Bullet Journal into a hobby of sorts.

So I decided to do my own Bullet Journal and experiment with the artsy part of it like the ladies do. What I immediately discovered is that art makes deep thinking much easier to achieve. It seems to allow the brain to relax and open up. And writing my thoughts a lot easier. And in turn, helps in programming my habits more effective.

Habit Journal Tools

If you Google Habit Journal you will get two sorts of results, fill in the blanks books that guide you through the process of habit journaling. And tons of blogs that describe how to track your habits in blank paper books like the Leuchtturm 1917 with dotted pages. If you browse through the videos and blogs you’ll discover the tools used and how those tools are used.

Daily Greatness Journal

Pinterest is another place to look for a great source of ideas for habit journals. For those who are looking for creative ways to lose weight, or eat healthier, or whatever part of your life you want to improve, Habit Journals are the way to go. But if you want some guidance in working on yourself, purchasing a professionally made habit journal may be the way to go. Something like the Daily Greatness Journal which has a page for every day of the year with prompts.

Myself, I plan on learning to draw so I can improve my creativity and thinking process to make this a great year.