Write to Heal Your Fear of Speaking Up
Ironic, isn’t it? I’m talking about how to write to heal your fear of speaking up when writing itself can be a scary thing to do.
Writing gives you nowhere to hide from fear.
If you’re afraid of sharing your voice with clarity, authenticity, and power in your content, your words will reflect your fear. You’ll get the unmistakable sense that you’re hiding yourself. And your writing won’t sound like you.
It can be frightening to confront the sound of your written voice with this level of intimacy. Thing is, fear only heals when you meet it face-to-face.
You may have an impressive resumé and remarkable gifts. Still, only when you speak up with a strong voice can you serve your audience. Otherwise, you’ll withhold yourself and your gifts from the ones who need them—including yourself.
Write to Heal Your Fear: A Journaling Exercise
The following journal prompts can help loosen fear’s grasp so your voice resonates. Consider spending at least fifteen minutes freewriting, drawing, and/or meditating on them so you can develop your authentic voice.
To help guide you, I’ve included my own answers to these questions.
1. What comes up for me when I consider what it means to express my authentic voice? Ambivalence. On the one hand, I crave a genuine and joyful connection with my writing and my audience. On the other hand, I don’t want to fall prey to judgment from others or from my own inner critic.
2. What do I fear I would lose? I fear I would lose respect from those who feel that I don’t deserve my success as a visible writer and prefer me when I’m quiet. I fear that the more successful I become, the more security and privacy I lose.
3. What am I resistant to feeling or receiving? I don’t want to feel unsafe or receive unwanted attention. I resist receiving rejecting or shaming comments from others.
My answers to the questions above clarified what I needed to change so I could cultivate my authentic voice. In reviewing my responses, I saw that I was allowing my fear of being attacked or abandoned by others to dissuade me from “the genuine and joyful connection with my writing and my audience.”
I made the decision to focus on the rewards of authentic self-expression rather than the perceived risks. As a result, I’ve allowed myself to be more vulnerable so I can build authentic and healing connections with my audience.
If you want to engage your audience with your writing, know that by writing to heal your fear of speaking up you gift your readers with a genuine, flesh-and-blood human presence from which to learn and grow. This presence makes you and your writing magnetic to the people who need you.