Have you ever felt stuck by fear of the unknown? What do you do when you’re faced with uncertainty? Do you kick it into high gear and work to remove every factor of uncertainty you can identify? Or do you distract yourself, hoping that by ignoring the the tension of uncertainty it will somehow resolve itself?
Or maybe, like me, you do both? Yup. I hear ya. My first response tends to be a panicked attempt to control the situation, without actually acknowledging there’s a situation being handled. It’s confusing to me, too.
This fear of the unknown is the real deal in the realm of fear. Isn’t it? Uncertainty can rule our minds and hearts with worry if we aren’t on guard against it.
Here’s my best advice on the subject: Overcome the fear of the unknown by deciding what you want your future to look like.
Determine who you want to be. Decide what you want your life to be about. Then make your story about that, and not about fear.
What do you want your life to be about?
I’ll bet you a pretty penny that you don’t want your life to be a story of insecurity, shame, regret, doubt or fear. I know that, because I don’t want that for myself. And I think we have a lot in common.
Fear of the unknown is a mental trap. It keeps you from moving forward when an unfamiliar situation arises in your life. And if you don’t intentionally step in and stop yourself from letting those fears rule you–they will.
The fear of the unknown tells you that it’s better to do nothing than to try something out of your comfort zone. The only problem with this, is that often that means you are risking opportunity, and, often times the right decision for your life. Because often times the right decisions are those that are out of our comfort zone. They right decisions are usually the ones that require courage, trust, hope and discipline.
I want you to live a life you’re proud of. I want you to trust yourself. More importantly, I want you to trust the God who created you and designed you for a purpose. And I promise you this, that purpose is not to be stuck shaking in fear and insecurity.
There are a lot of things we can’t control about our stories. We don’t always get to determine our surroundings, our family, our health, or the many unexpected trials we each eventually face. But what we can control is who we decide to be in the midst of these things.
Your Story is a Journey of Growth
Your story is the journey of your growth. It’s how you get from point A (birth) to point B (death) and all the amazing, painful, beautiful and scary things that happen to you in between. Think about who you want to be by the time you reach point B.
Here are some examples, these are all words I hope describe me by the end of my life: peaceful, joyful, gracious, generous, welcoming, passionate, diligent, leader, comforter, disciplined and patient.
How do you hope to be described? What do you need to do to become that person? What doubts or insecurities are standing in your way? What tensions do you feel as you face the uncertainty in your life?
Instead of viewing the unknown with a mindset of “What might I lose?” think of it this way: “How could I grow as a result of this situation?”
Think of your story as a trajectory
Hopefully you have an idea of how you want to be defined by the end of your life. Now think of your life as a trajectory. You have your starting point (today, because everyday is a fresh starting point!), and you have your point B.
What small actions can you start taking today that will help you to become the person you want to be? What barriers or stumbling blocks do you need to overcome? You don’t need to make all the changes at once. A trajectory is a path, it’s meant to give us direction and hope.
Take account of your story up until this point. If you aren’t satisfied with where you’re life’s trajectory is headed, reevaluate what needs to change. Then muster up the courage to make that change.
Your story has so much beauty and purpose in it. The more you trust that, the easier it will be for you to overcome the uncertainty that is inevitable in the human life.
With peace & courage,