"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily." - ZigZiglar

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fear of the unknown - overcome the fear of the unknown

Change is the only constant in life. Life is all about change, yet when it is time to change we find it extremely difficult to move forward, people are comfortable in their routines and the things that they are used to doing day after day. 

To budge from this place of comfort means to be moving into the arena of the unknown. Fear of the unknown and the discomfort that arises from the fact that people are not sure of the how, what, where and why questions makes change seem like a daunting task. 

Why the fear of the unknown? 

Change makes most people feel as though, they are uprooted from the place where they considered themselves to be established and  flourishing. To be set in a new place makes them feel insecure and lost. The new environment also means they have to learn the ropes all over again.  They fear that they may fail, yes the fear of failure sets in.

The second factor that seems threatening is the lack of knowledge in that area, may be of the way the place works, how would people respond, what processes or customs or routines are followed there all add up to the feeling of insecurity and discomfort.. .. it is almost as if they expect people to be hostile or unfriendly towards them. The bias sets in even before they start. 

How to recognize the fear in you? 

Some are confronted with a dullness that they are unable to think, act or react; almost as if they have become numb. There may be no fear or discomfort on the outset, yet the lethargy is there. 
Other physical symptoms like quicker heart rate, sweating, feeling like your stomach is churning, nausea could all be part of the feeling of fear. 
It is mentally paralyzing in that they may refuse to think about it or act on it, all they can do is just wait and see what happens. They may even rationalize that they are cool about the whole thing and don’t feel stressed out. This is another avoidance mechanism.

How to over come the fear of the unknown 

  • Take a hold of your fear, recognize it. 
  • Decide to act, act with urgency, commit yourself to it and don’t look back. 
  • Facing your fear is the only way to get out of this state. Jump into activities that take you out of your comfort zone. It is the unknown only as long as it is not ventured into. 
  • Procrastination and finding excuses to put it off is just your unpreparedness to face it. Have you ever watched a bungee jumper at the edge of the cliff, can you feel what is going on in his/her mind, the longer they stand there contemplating the task the faster they are going to turn back and run away from facing their fears. The success rates are higher among those who just do it. 
  • The ones who go ahead and take the leap are not free from fear, but they do it despite the fear
  • There is no soft pedaling on this one, just face your fears. 
Here are a few tips to prepare you to face your fear 

Do your home work, get information about the new organization, or workplace or school that you need to move to. Study maps and routes etc. if that is your area of fear, well in advance. 
Acquaint your self informally with the place, people before you actually get in. 
Visualize yourself doing it a few times over in you mind until the fear is not there any more. 
Visualize the success, the reward that comes from getting into the new venture. Make sure that you emotionally relish the experience in your visualization exercise. 
Most importantly see people as friendly and believe in yourself. Take the support of friends, or well wisher to back you up emotionally before the task. 

I wish you all the success to face your fears, once you have done it, your self confidence grows steadily and you are ready for your next adventure. 

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