8 ways to deal with fear of the unknown

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1. Find an internal source of control

In psychology , there is the concept of “locus of control”. It can be external or internal and determines the position from which we look at life. In the first case, we transfer control over the events that occur in our lives to external factors, such as political, economic or social. In the second, control is based on a different principle: only we ourselves are responsible for our lives, we take responsibility for our actions and decisions.

People who view the world through a lens of internal control are much better at suppressing fear than those who rely on an external locus.

2. Let go of things you can’t control

To cope with the fear of uncertainty, we need to figure out what we can control and what we can’t. Everything that is out of our control, it is important to learn to let go. Here are a few of those things:

  • the opinion of others about you;
  • actions and responsibilities of other people;
  • global economic processes;
  • weather;
  • traffic jams;
  • future.

3. Let go of things you can control

Even if we can control something, this does not mean that we should do it. Usually we take everything into our own hands, because we believe that if not us, then no one will cope. We feel our influence and how it changes our lives, and we no longer want to give this power to someone else.

However, sometimes it’s worth doing just that and focusing on one thing. In moments when you start to take control of more and more things, it does not hurt to remember the proverb: “If you chase two hares, you will not catch one.”

4. Be smart about planning

This means that you need to think and plan for the future, but you also need to be able to adjust your plans when it comes. We cannot predict what will happen next, but competent preparation will help mitigate any vicissitudes of fate .

It’s like starting your own business and planning how it will generate income. Thus, the vector of development is determined, but the entrepreneur will still change the strategy depending on the situation. In addition, the ability to make plans helps develop new skills that can greatly help in the future.

5. See the world from the point of view of an eagle and a worm

The worm sees only a few centimeters in front of him. The eagle, on the contrary, has a wide field of view. The worm notices details: leaves, puddles and stones. The eagle sees forests, seas and mountains.

In life, one must be able to look at the world through both lenses. The eagle’s point of view gives a big picture: where this road will take you, what you will be doing in 10 years, where you plan to work next, what chances your relationship has for a happy future. The point of view of the worm is the consideration of each next step, daily habits and rituals.

Fear of the unknown can appear when we lose the ability to view the world in one of these ways. If you are concerned about general trends in what is happening around you, you need to return to the eagle lens, try to see the distant perspective and understand what has changed and how you can adapt to the new situation. If you’re worried about not being able to effectively move towards your goals, go back to the worm’s lens and change your daily habits.

6. Avoid “what if” statements

Another way to overcome the fear of the unknown is to fully immerse yourself in something. You don’t think that Frodo from The Lord of the Rings went all the way to Mordor with the goal of throwing the ring, and then suddenly wondered, “What if I go back?” No, he’s already crossed the line.

This concept is explained in the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, where the author analyzes the hero’s journey. At the very beginning of the journey, the hero crosses the line, after which he can no longer return to his past life. He just has to move on.

If you are not sure about your future, this may mean that you are still giving yourself the opportunity to deviate from the intended path. Do you want to start exercising? Buy a gym membership, uniforms, and other essentials. Thus, you will cross the line after which you will have no way back and no other choice, and the brain will convince you that the decision made is the right one .

7. Adequately evaluate media resources

A few centuries ago, a whole city could burn down a hundred kilometers away from us – and we would never know about it. Today we are aware of every catastrophe and tragedy that occurs in the world, even if this information does not affect our daily life in any way.

Media resources feed our fear of the unknown in many ways. If possible, try limiting your intake a bit, such as checking the news only twice a day instead of every hour. This will help at least briefly restore internal balance.

8. Be kind to yourself

Each of the described ways to overcome the fear of the unknown works. But, unfortunately, this does not mean that absolutely all of them will suit you personally. There may come times when nothing will work out for you, and experiences will flood with renewed vigor.

At a time like this, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Yes, you stumble, but you keep moving forward. It’s like going to the gym. Sometimes you skip workouts , but still do not quit playing sports. One defeat is just one defeat. Tomorrow you will do better.

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