Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown

Overcoming the fear of the unknown is a challenging endeavour, but it can be done. If you suffer from a fear of uncertainty, understanding what fear is, and how it affects you, can start you on the road to conquering it.

Fear has been defined in several ways; however, the most basic definition of fear is an emotional response based on the fact that we’re faced with something unfamiliar or impending danger.

When we experience fear, several psychological and physiological responses take place all at the same time.

Psychological events include feeling emotionally overwhelmed, having high levels of anxiety, and even feeling terrified. Physiological responses include a faster heart rate, shallow breathing, and similar effects.

Experiencing fear can greatly impact your view on life, your confidence levels, and even the potential that you have as an individual.

Here’s an example of a situation where a woman had the crippling fear that everything she did would fail

Janice was very successful in her career and personal life. It seemed that people were instantly drawn to her and her ideas, but on the inside, Janice was a mess.

Every time she worked on a project, she would throw herself into it. In the end, she would ultimately succeed, but on the inside, she was always worried that she would fail or that her completed project wouldn’t be good enough.

For the most part, she recognized the fact that her fear was irrational. However, Janice grew up in an abusive home. She was physically beaten and consistently ridiculed by her father. Regardless of what she did, it was never enough to meet his expectations.

The result was that she grew up to become a workaholic, often struggling to finish several things at once, and leaving very little time for herself.

The root of her fear of failure was grounded in her childhood. Her father harboured unrealistically high expectations and would be mentally and physically abusive towards her when his expectations weren’t met. Once she realized this about her past, Janice was able to ease her expectations and overcome her fear.

Here are some strategies you can use to help overcome your fear

1. Recognize your fears. 
By realizing that you’re fearful, you’re more likely to get to the bottom of what the fear is.
  • You may also have a fear of facing your fears. The best way to conquer this fear is to accept the truth behind what’s causing you to experience limited happiness in life.
  • You might come to understand that you’re afraid of failing or taking chances. You may even be fearful because you simply don’t have confidence in yourself.
  • Regardless of the issue at hand, you must recognize your fear and attempt to define what it is that makes you terrified of the unknown. The key here is not to dwell on your fear, but rather to understand precisely what it is you’re worried about.
2. Determine the underlying root of your fears.
How can you identify the cause of your fears? An insightful look at your life might reveal the answer. By recognizing what causes your fears, you can likely overcome them with great success!
3. Face your fears.
Once you’ve accepted your fear and identified the root cause, you’re ready to conquer it! The best method to do this is to face it head-on.
  • Decide to purposely tackle your fears by indulging yourself in activities that push you outside of your comfort zone. For example, put yourself in a place where you’re safe, yet uncomfortable, or respectfully confront someone from your past. In the end, you’ll find that you can successfully overcome your fears, one by one!

Overcoming your fear of the unknown is a difficult undertaking. However, if you take the time to engage in these three steps, you’ll discover a renewed peace and happiness within your heart!

As you work to unlock the chains that bind you to your fears, you’ll enjoy a freedom that you’ve never felt before.

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