Saturday, June 30, 2012

Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown?

How do we do it?

Although the answer to this question seems complex at best, the answer is really quite simple. We fear the unknown because of how we perceive it. Our imagination is usually far more frightening than the actual experience. I tend to believe having a fear of the unknown is an evolutionary mechanism for self-preservation and self-protection that keeps us within the boundaries of maintaining control and having access to ample resources.

Wilkins (1998) considers fear of the unknown inaccurate and self-limiting, and because the unknown is devoid of information, we should not place fear there. So, possibly examining the fear itself is more worthy of exploration than exploring the unknown, especially once we understand that it is the fear that scares us. Wilkins (1998) suggests by "letting go of all beliefs that this change...will result in a negative outcome" (p. 60). Then try to create positive anticipation for the unknown. Of course, this may not work well if you are facing a 40-year jail sentence, but for most intents and purposes, I agree with Wilkins.

Wilkins, W. (1998). Overcoming fear of the unknown. Futurist, 32(7), 60.

Roosevelt, F. D. (1933). Speech presented at Inaugural Address in White House, Washington, DC.

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