You can’t hide from uncertainty.
Surprises will always wait for you in the future.
Embracing the unknown at least involves less suffering than resisting it.
Fear comes from doubt around your ability to influence reality.
You may approach someone hoping to make a new friend or lover, but fear rejection. Where does that approach anxiety come from? You don’t know if they will greet you happily or ignore you. You have no way of predicting the future accurately. The fear, comes from doubting your own ability to convince that person to pay attention to you.
The same is true of most fears. When we don’t believe in our ability to influence people and decisions it causes fear. With more confidence in our ability to create our own reality, fear of the unknown melts away.
Fear of the unknown is deeply connected to your self-worth. If you feel dominated by the world and powerless to change it, your fears multiply greatly.
Do you Fear Your own Potential?
You may have heard that question before but please don’t dismiss it this time.
It’s difficult to believe in your own potential when reality crushes you under mountains of dirt and other people’s expectations.
But there are many different paths available to you. It can be scary to choose which path you will take because you don’t know if you will succeed. Have a look at my article on How to Overcome Fear of Failure if you need help with that.
People fail because they don’t know how successful they could be. They don’t yet have the memories of a successful person, so they don’t yet believe it could be possible. But in some alternate universe out there, you have accomplished so much more than you can ever imagine.
What is Fear of the Unknown?
It’s anxiety about not being capable of getting the results you want from life. It leads to failure because you give up before even trying. You avoid opportunities for growth multiple times, every day!
That is not hyperbole. If you could take a look at all the potential future lives you could live, and know exactly what actions that version of yourself took to become successful, wouldn’t you mimic their productive behavior? At least, you’d be much more likely to try! right? Because you know that’s YOU! and you see your potential.
Every day you have opportunities to contribute to that potential! But you might neglect those opportunities because you don’t even seen them for what they are. Instead fear of failure and unknown consequences leave you stuck in lazy habits and procrastination.
How to Overcome Fear of the Unknown
First, stare accepting new and unfamiliar things into your life. Fear of the unknown is fear of changing our routines. We go to the same places, meet the same people, and do the same things every day. Be willing to develop new habits, make new friends and go to new events. By allowing newness into our lives, we condition ourselves to accept the unknown. We also train ourselves to accept when those new experiences don’t provide ideal outcomes.
Unfamiliar surroundings and people often trigger anxiety. When I go to a new event, I still sometimes feel the slightest bit of nervousness.
But I tell myself, “Why I am I afraid? I don’t need to be afraid of this! It’s just a stupid event and I’ve been to so many new events before and nothing horrible has ever happened.” Or something like that. I realize how irrational that fear is, and convince myself to get excited about the new situation and people I’m about to meet. I accept that nervousness, but at the same time, I realize how irrational it is.
Admit you are afraid
Hiding your fears is not the way to overcome them. They will only keep coming back into your consciousness to remind you to handle them. Fear of the unknown is a reminder that you are giving yourself pressure to achieve a certain outcome. When you allow yourself to run far away from your comfort zone it expands. You start growing up.
Feel the fear, and take action anyway. Move forward into the unknown no matter how afraid you feel. You will gain inner strength. You will never know your true potential if you let fear stop you.
Once you are face to face with the moment you fear, you can start practicing methods of dealing with it. For example, become outcome independent. Don’t become attached to succeeding at every action you take. Be satisfied just to try and learn from the experience.
When facing fears, maintain awareness and be careful, but don’t give up. Acknowledge your fearful feelings, and trust in your ability to handle situations on your own. There will always be more fears to overcome. If you need help overcoming any fear in your life, please schedule a coaching session.
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