How I Used a Mind-Mapping App to Understand One of my Darkest Fears

Last time I touched on this topic, all I knew was that I messed up. I tried to fly when there were still chains wound around my ankles. The truth is: I’m still afraid of love. In my mind, it only leads to pain, anguish, and stress. I know this because I literally mapped it out (as you can see in the featured image.)

A couple days ago, I was reading through Beauty Beyond Bones’ latest post and she said something that really stuck with me, “Do something different. Do what is difficult. Do something radical.” That really got me thinking that if I wanted radical results, I’d need to take radical actions. And I had just the idea.

Writing has always been my preferred outlet; it allows me to express myself in a way that nothing else can. I’m also an extremely visual person who thinks in color and loves to make diagrams, so it probably makes sense that a mind-mapping app would be the biggest fresh of air I’ve taken in a while.

When I tell you lovelies to ‘live boundless,’ I mean in body and mind. No thought process should be off-limits. (Unless it’s needlessly negative or otherwise harmful, but that’s a different story altogether.) I like to think of it as: your head should be a safe place to play. In other words, there should be nothing but acceptance within you; not just because you should love yourself before you love others, but because you’re worthy of your own respect. No matter what happens, you’re good enough.

To continue, I kept this mentality close at hand while I wrote out my thoughts. I’ve found it’s very easy to fall into self-loathing when you’re examining your flaws, so you just have to be careful to do it the right way. Bottom line is you have to keep in mind, at all times, that you’re isolating a single dewdrop from a river. There’s so much more to you than what you’re exploring in the moment.

Once that’s settled, it’s a matter of being honest. If you’re delving into something deeply personal, like I was, don’t be afraid to wait until you’re alone if possible. Another reassuring thing to keep in mind is that nobody else has to see what you put down if you don’t want them to. (All my fellow writers who would burn their first drafts are thinking “everyday.”) Even you don’t have to see it if you delete it. Really, the only risk involved would stem from a lack of acceptance within you. That being said, if you want to be safe, you can be.

Overall, I think I deeply benefited from this experience. It’s one thing to transcribe your thoughts onto paper, but to actually be able to visually represent them is much more powerful. It definitely mimics cognition (human thinking) much more closely. I’ve learned in psychology how our brains automatically organize concepts and ideas into hierarchies (fancy word for “diagrams”) to better understand them, so of course it’s easier to write out our thoughts in a diagram-like format. (If you disagree, I’d really like to hear out your point of view in the comments below.)

Thanks to using this app, I realized that I perceive love has a way higher cost than benefit. (The right side of the mind map is where I listed all the consequences of love and, as you can see, it has way more bubbles than the left side.) Basically, I’m convinced that close relationships will take a turn for the ugly one way because, unfortunately, mine kind of always have. What I need to do, moving forward, is stop feeling so guilty and ashamed of having this belief. There’ll be more than enough shallow people to judge me and think I’m just being over dramatic. I don’t need to be one of them and I refuse to be one of them. Once I can do that, maybe then I can get around to amending my thoughts…but that’s way down the road!

Given how well this little experiment went, I’m a little surprised that I didn’t turn to mind-mapping earlier. I remember reading a news article about one of the most popular mind-mapping apps on the App Store, but I didn’t really bother exploring it because of its price tag. The one I used, SimpleMind+, has a free version and a paid version (which is cheaper than the mega-famous one I may add.) I definitely see myself buying it down the road because it’s an unparalleled way of brainstorming for me. I highly recommend that all of you look into this app (it’s on Android also!) because it has so many applications.

~Live boundless.

P.S. This probably doesn’t even count as a true app review, but I’d like to point out that I didn’t get paid to write this. I reached a higher understanding of my fear and I truly believe that you lovelies could really benefit from this mind-mapping thing. Or at the very least have a cool story to tell. The app is super easy to use, I promise, and it’s free to download (that and it can sync with Google Drive which I’m beyond obsessed with) so you really don’t have anything to lose! 


26 thoughts on “How I Used a Mind-Mapping App to Understand One of my Darkest Fears

  1. “I’ve learned in psychology how our brains automatically organize concepts and ideas into hierarchies (fancy word for “diagrams”) to better understand them, so of course it’s easier to write out our thoughts in a diagram-like format.”

    I don’t disagree, but I’d like to take it a step further if you don’t mind. 🙂

    When I first start learning a new form in my martial arts, it begins just as you say. My sifu will show me the order of the motions, we will go over them, talk about how they flow, etc. At first it is mechanical and intellectual, organizing everything with the prefrontal cortex and THINKING through the process, picturing and diagramming so I can map my way through the form. In my mind I organize things so I can come to understand them.

    Once the mind understands everything though it lets go of the hierarchy and the movements become subconscious. Only then do I ever start to understand things, and that is when the large ‘realizations’ occur. Its hard to explain with words, its one of those things that is perhaps easier to explain only once you’ve experienced it.

    If you’ve ever learned an instrument or second language you might know what I mean. At first its extremely difficult and requires constant thought. Over time it becomes less and less strenuous and one day, often without realizing it, you simply DO it. No thought, no planning. It just happens and its better than ever before.

    Thanks for the read. I think I’ll download this app. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I’m personally not interested in a mind mapping app I think you highlighted some great points about the positive sides to it and I’m glad it seems to help you. As you said it’s important to make sure you don’t get stuck in focusing on the negative.


  3. This is really interesting. First I’m sorry you struggle with this. I don’t think you sound dramatic at all. I think it’s wonderful that you are trying to work through and make sense of something that many people would just live with.

    I found that EFT Tapping really helped me figure out some things. to really get to the bottom of some of my biggest issues. I do like the sound of this app though and will check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It means a lot to me that you understand 🙂 I honestly don’t have many people in my life who get what I’m going through. What is this EFT tapping? You should check out the app! 🙂


  4. This is an interesting post😊
    I have never done mind mapping before.. but the way you put it..i would like to try 😊.
    You talked about acceptance beautifully I’m the post. I think acceptance is the first step towards knowing yourself. Because if you cannot accept what you are you would not want to know any further

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this and like the mind mapping diagram – will mentally keep this in mind for future reference. Your honesty in the subject matter is good and nobody should be judging you for your feelings – those are yours. As an oldie, I’d say I have been hurt quite a lot in the past but can honestly say I’m glad I had the good times. despite the bad… those good times are the things I smile about now and the bad times have somewhat faded. Easy for me to say though, sitting here years later!

    Liked by 1 person

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