For several years I have heard so many people talk about ‘fear of the unknown’ and it’s something they say when they have not taken a step that needs to be taken or when it is obvious they are tired of where they are. If you get an opportunity to meet with so many people in the corporate world, you will find out that they are not enjoying their jobs and when asked why they have not resigned, some will tell you it’s because of fear of the unknown. Having heard this statement for so long, I began to wonder what it really means and also decided to demystify it so that some people can break away from it. We must recognize that ‘fear of the unknown’ is not just a type of fear but a big shackle that so many people are trying hard on daily basis to free themselves from.
Fear of the unknown has kept some people from getting married even though they have all that is physically needed to get married and they also have regular incomes. Fear of the unknown has kept some parents from resigning their jobs for fear of what will happen to their children’s education and how the family will be able to feed. Fear of the unknown has kept some singles in relationships that they should have broken long before now. What this thing does to us is that it unconscious takes over our mental freedom and instead of thinking about the way out, we keep thinking about how to stay safe in our security zone. At the end of the day, the mental freedom we have lost will translate to physical bondage!
What exactly is ‘fear of the unknown?’ I think a nice way to break down this parlance would be to pick two key words and they are ‘fear and unknown.’ We have heard so many people talk, preach and write about overcoming your fears but so many people just cling to their fears without knowing it! When we say ‘fear of the unknown’ it means there is also ‘fear of the known.’ Under fear of the known, you will find cases where people are afraid of darkness, afraid of water, afraid of heights and so many others. Under fear of the unknown, we can then say people are afraid of what can happen to them that they do not know about. We can also say that people are afraid of how their future turns out if they take a step away from where they are. There are people who already have a comfort zone where things seem to be working perfectly well but deep within them, they know they can do a lot more or they know they have more potentials locked up within them. Some people want to stay with their fixed salaries instead of stepping out to do that great business on their minds. They do not want to take the risk of not having regular income or having to wait for so long in some cases before money comes in.
If we are going to be real with ourselves, each time we say we have not done something because of ‘fear of the unknown,’ it simply means we do not have another plan or have not been able to come up with another plan. Fear of the unknown means I have to stay here because I have not been able to identify another opportunity or create an opportunity for myself and move on to the next level. Fear of the unknown means ‘I am scared and do not know where to go from here so I have to bear anything they do to me!’ We need to come to terms with the fact that fear of the unknown means we are not willing to take a risk even though we have seen some of the risks that we can take.
Remember, if you stick to fear of the unknown and refuse to move on in life, that same fear will come and give you a big shock of your life in that your comfort zone. Keep moving and free yourself from that fear called unknown!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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