Into The Unknown We Go
Fearful of the unknown? You are not alone. Entering into the great unknown and the inevitable fear that comes with uncertainty is part of the human condition. This is the fear of going outside of our comfort zones. I mean they do call it a comfort zone for a reason, right? Because the known is more comfortable than the unknown. It’s part of being a human.
As human beings, fear is part of our genetic makeup. It literally used to save the cavemen from being eaten by colossal wild animals or from other extremely scary things in nature that would maul and kill in an instant. It actually still does that very thing. Fear is our gift to quickly understand real danger in our path so we can defend ourselves.
Fear in Modern Times
Now that humans have evolved and don’t have to constantly be on the defense for our mere survival from giant leopards that we need to fight off with a handmade stick, fear has become more prevalent in our every day choices. Fear has been displaced in modern day times to decisions which are not life and death decisions at all. Decisions like getting a new hairstyle or not, or getting a new job or not.
Now I know hair is important and everyone wants to be looking good, but definitely not a life or death situation that should be bringing up these feelings of fear. Often it does anyway because that is the way we are programmed for survival. We are programmed to fear the unknown.
As a result, we “what if” ourselves to death. What if I get the worst hair cut with all business in the front and party in the back and I never get asked on a date ever again? What if I change jobs and work for a tyrant who fires me? Or what if I change careers and I’m not capable enough? What if I lose every dime I have by investing in the wrong thing and become homeless and destitute? What if I take a chance on a new relationship that I really want and get disappointed or get my heart broken into a million pieces? What if I try public speaking to grow my skill set for my professional development and then trip and bust my tooth out on the podium in front of everyone? What if I say the wrong thing and someone slams the door on me? Any of these “what ifs” sound familiar?
DEFCON 1 Thoughts
This “what if” scenario planning can just keep going and going in that relentless thought loop in our heads. But if you will notice, fear of the unknown instantly takes us to DEFCON 1 worst case scenarios. How often does our brain go directly to the magnificent “what ifs” in life?
Hey brain, how about some positive “what ifs” instead? What if I leave a miserable job and find my true purpose in life that brings me bliss and financial independence? What if I make that investment in something I really believe in and it leads to long lasting wealth and prosperity? What if I take a chance on a new relationship and it brings me the greatest emotional and spiritual fulfillment of my lifetime? What if I knock out that speech (you know instead of knocking out my tooth from tripping) and I get recognition and an amazing promotion as a result? Seriously, why can’t our brains just go straight to these best case scenarios instead of the worst? Wouldn’t that be so nice?
Aren’t best case scenarios so much better than our typical what ifs of: What if I’m rejected? What if I fail? What if I’m not enough?
These are often the real questions every human being asks themselves at many points throughout their lives. In case anyone needs to hear it on the last point, never forget YOU ARE ENOUGH. There may be times you so called “fail” or times when you are so called “rejected”, but that doesn’t change that you are enough.
Why Are Some People More Successful With Facing Fear?
The reason our brains don’t go automatically to the amazing “what ifs” of a particular decision we are faced with is because of the way humans are wired for survival. This is universal.
The difference between people who go into the unknown to claim their victory of what they want and those who don’t move forward to claim their victory is pretty simple. Both have fear, often immense fear. One just decides to move forward regardless of the fear and the other lets the fear stop them from going after what they want in life. That is the difference.
Successful people often expect the fear, get acquainted with it and accept it. They understand it’s part of the process of growing, of achieving, of dreaming for a better tomorrow. This secret is part of their success.
Are You Comfortable in Comfy Land?
So think of it this way. If you don’t feel fear, you are probably snuggled up in a comfort zone somewhere by a warm toasty fire. I’m happy you are comfortable, but then again are you really?
So comfort zones are not always necessarily a bad thing. There are times we push forward and times we lay back in the comfort we created and that’s totally cool. However what if you start feeling uncomfortable in that zone or start feeling unfulfilled? What if you start feeling negative emotions on a consistent basis in comfy land such as anger, aggravation, high stress, insecurity, lack of growth or sadness? If you are having more negative emotions than positive, are you really comfortable anymore? Or are you just afraid to move on into the unknown?
Ironically knowing your misery can surprisingly be a comfort in itself. Your brain is telling you “Me and old Misery are friends. We know each other. I know what to expect from him, and I’m just too fearful to meet new emotional friends out there in the big scary world. So I’ll just hang back here with my best buddy Misery instead.”
We all do this or have done this at one time in our lives. And If you really think about it, it’s kind of insane. We’d rather hang out with misery then go try to meet happiness because of fear. Our brains are not always rational even though we like to tell ourselves they are. Our brains prefer the known, it is more efficient that way. And brains are all about efficiency.
Change Your Thoughts
It is up to us then to consciously change our mindset and thought patterns from the automatic DEFCON 1 “what ifs” to the beautiful “what if” possibilities of life. We have to willingly push the positive thoughts we want in our head to override the brain’s natural tendency to create irrational fearful thoughts of the unknown.
Remember our thoughts create our feelings or emotions, feelings then drive our actions and actions then produce our results. So the first step is changing your thoughts to the more positive “what ifs” that you want in life. Also then fully expect to receive these positive outcomes. Doubt is just a form of fear.
Embrace Fear and Take Action
Even with positive thought substitution, you are still going to have fear when you are dealing with uncertainty and the unknown if you are a living human being. So the key is NOT to try to escape it or retreat back to comfy land; the key is to take action in the direction of your goals or vision regardless of the sometimes heart palpitating fear.
The Antidote is Action
I know this is scary, fear is scary. But the antidote to fear is action. As you continue to take action towards your goals in life, whether financial or anything else you want to achieve, the fear doesn’t go away but instead gets quieter and quieter as you take forward steps. As you take steps and see that yes, you are still breathing. Check 1✔️. And yes, you were able to handle and conquer the unknown situations that came your way as you were moving forward✔️✔️. Actually DOING builds your confidence to handle fear.
Assess Your Past Experiences
Look back on your life when you felt scared but decided to go for it anyway. Looking back, you will realize those were probably your biggest moments of growth and transformation. Even if they were hard to get through, you ultimately did get through! You survived, and you learned and grew from the experience.
What If I Fail? Darling You Didn’t!
Our greatest life lessons often come from facing our fear, taking action toward our intended path anyway and not getting the results we wanted. These are the times that teach us about who we are, how we handle adversity and what we need to do to improve and get the results we want. Just because you don’t get it 100% right the first time, does not mean in anyway you should just give up and retreat back to comfy land. It just means you need to reevaluate, see where it went wrong and modify your steps.
Then go again! Because if you really want something in life, you are cheating yourself if you don’t wholeheartedly pursue it despite the fear.
Dipping The Toe vs. Going In
Some people dip their toe in the water and don’t like the temperature so they quickly retreat before ever knowing what really lies beneath the surface. To fully know, you need to go all the way in.
Do anything and everything within your power to reach your vision! In case you don’t realize it, it’s a mighty power you possess. If you want something, go for it.
Go Forward and Flexible
Just be willing to change course as necessary as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. Go forward and flexible.
As people are living their resolutions this time of year, dig into those goals you’ve set for your finances and every other area of fulfillment in your life. Dig in NOT WITHOUT THE FEAR, but despite the fear. You can do it.
As Mark Twain famously said, “Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” Well I’m your huckleberry, Mark.
Fear is Temporary, Regret is a Different Story
Remember fear is only a temporary emotion. Regret for not following your heart and going for what you want in life can last a lifetime. So Conquer the fear and go for it. Start today.
Sincerely wishing you an abundant year full of prosperity and wealth on every level!
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