"Don't let the fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing a life greater than you have ever known."
- Jeff McClung
I've always been one to love comfort, solidity, stability, avoiding change and any situation that'll make me uncomfortable. Before a swim meet, my stomach would drop, and before I publish anything personal on any platform, I breathe in deep and say a prayer. I like to keep my feelings inside, and I like to stay inside, curling up in my cozy duvet comforter with my cat and a cup of coffee and a good book. Anything not that takes some getting used to for me.
This past Sunday, my cozy little world came to a halt. My roommates were uncertain if they were renewing their leases at our apartment, and if they didn't, I wasn't sure where I was going to go, what I was going to do. I sat on the floor of my cozy little bedroom, contemplating everything, fearing the future. The uncertainty of their responses ("Oh, well, I'm not sure.") shook to me to my core. How could they easily be so unsure? I need an answer now. I need to find solid ground in this situation. I began to dig deeper and deeper in my head, wondering if my friends were truly my friends if this was a personal matter if this was a sign that I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
Eventually, I called my boyfriend, and he rushed over and we got it (mostly) worked out.
For the next two-three days, I felt a shift in my mood. I felt on-edge and uneasy like I had been knocked off- balance. And, during this mood shirt, I realized: I have a fear of the unknown.
In a way, we all do. This fear manifests into anxiety, phobias, long discussions about the meaning of life and finding purpose and doing everything we can with the time we have. When faced with an uncertain situation, we collapse, break-down, try to distract ourselves, find stability in places that don't last forever. But we can find stability, within ourselves. We have to be open to the idea of trusting ourselves.
I thought it would be a great time to write this post, as we are nearing the end of the semester and the skies are gray and everything seems more dramatic than it really is, aha. I've figured out how to release this fear of the unknown and embrace whatever comes next, and I'd love to share my findings with you. So, let's get star
How to embrace uncertainty and manage your fear of the unknown
1. Say your gratitude every day
Wait... what? I know, I know, gratitude seems way too simple, but it works wonders! Try writing three things you're thankful for every day for 30 days, and you'll certainly see change. Once you realize all that you do have, you'll see that even if change abruptly occurs, you'll be okay, because your life is already so full of great things, miracles on every level, and people who care for you, who will support you.
2. Make flexible routines and plans
I love morning routines (you can read about mine here) and evening rituals and I worship my bullet journal and daily journaling but having more flexible routines/daily plans will help you out when change occurs. Know that it's okay to not meditate for one day, or make your bed, or even read before sleep. Things happen, and we can't control the random, spontaneous outcomes. Allow yourself to expect anything to happen, but also make sure to...
3. Always expect the best
Expecting the worse is easy. Living in fear is easy. What's difficult is clearing your mind of worry and always expecting the best. If you're always expecting the best, then what's to go wrong? It only gets better from here, because life is filled with positive infinite possibilities. (It sounds silly, but the more you say it, the more you'll believe it!) Embrace optimism and hold onto it. You have a test coming up? You'll do great! You may have to move apartments? You'll find a better apartment! It's fun to expect the best. It makes life feel more exciting, which leads to my next point...
4. Turn your fear or anxiety into excitement
Fear is natural. It's a normal human instinct to fear the unknown, to prepare for battle, to look for the worst in everything in order to protect ourselves from situations. But, what if we rose above these things, and turned our fear into excitement? When if I were to look at the apartment situation and smile and think to myself: "Wow, I could end up anywhere! How exciting!"
It may sound crazy, but it works. If your mind believes it, so will you. When faced with situations of uncertainty, say to yourself, "I'm so excited to ____" and watch as the fear stays and nearly completely transforms into new, powerful energy.
Because fear and excitement are so close to one another, it's easy to simply turn fear into excitment!
5. Relax/uplift your body in a moment of chaos
Sometimes, we don't want to be full of energy. Sometimes, we just need to relax. When your nerves are kicking in, and you need a quick uplift, sit still, or excuse yourself briefly, and breathe in through your mouth, hold for a few seconds, and breathe out through your nose. Do this 8 times, and you'll instantly feel a slight uplift flow into you. For more ease, breathe deeply through your nose, and out through your mouth. Journaling will also help to clear worry and fear.
Whatever you do, however, don't lie around and overthink the situation. This will cause you to enter a state of panic and anxiety! Make sure to release it, and get it out of your system.
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6. Trust yourself and your inner guidance
In the end, all we can do is trust ourselves and trust that we are being guided. An affirmation that I like to say is: I am at peace and trust that I am being guided. It instantly fills me with comfort.
We are so small, and really, we know nothing about this universe. Rather than forcing things to go our way, we need to trust and enjoy where we are now and know that we'll end up somewhere, and wherever that may be, we'll be okay. Life will happen on its own. We'll catch up to it eventually.
After practicing these above tips, I found clarity and excitment in my apartment situation, friend situations. Even taking this leap to begin a mindfulness blog and let go of my "books" title was daunting, but I made sure to enjoy the process and let go of unnecessary fear.
I do hope these tips resonated with you, and I hope they've helped you in some way.
What are some ways that you release the fear of the unknown or embrace uncertainty? Let me know in the comments!