Fear of the Unknown
I love this quote, as it really resonates with me and my fear of the unknown.
When we don’t know something about our future or even a situation in general, we tend to make up or fill in the missing details ourselves. Our perception becomes reality to us. So maybe, when we say that we fear the unknown, what we really mean is that we fear our perception of the unknown. We fear whatever crazy story line our mind has created about the future.
And where does this lead us? I’ll give you a hint: nowhere great.
Instead, our minds get caught up in not only worrying about the future, but also worrying about what we think about what we have imagined the future to be (Did you catch all that? Maybe go back and reread that last sentence!).
What a complete waste of time!
So, what do we do about it? Well, it starts by relaxing our mind and allowing ourselves to turn over some of that fear, worry, and anxiety over to God. “Let go and let God” is the popular saying associated with this practice.
Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this isn’t easy. It takes time and conscious effort to reframe our thinking. But, it can be done.
In fact, just recently I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my words and actions, especially thinking before I say something I may regret. It has been hard, but the more and more I consciously work on my thoughts and actions, the better I get. I’ve also been implementing more deep breathing during times of high anxiety or worry. Something about taking a minute or less to focus on my breathing helps to slow my mind and ease my fears.
This week going forward, I challenge you to reframe your thinking towards more conscious, rational thoughts about your future. And remember to keep this phrase in mind when your brain starts racing and thoughts about the future start popping up:
We do not fear the unknown. We fear what we think we know about the unknown.