In the first part of the blog I introduced some ideas about why we might experience a fear of the unknown. In this 2nd and last part of the blog I shall explore some further fears that are very common amongst individuals who feel anxious when thinking about the future.
Many of us speak about their fear of failure which prevents them from taking risks or gracefully accepting unexpected situations. Being afraid to fail can be quite paralyzing. No one wants to fail, especially in a society where we are exposed to images and videos of seemingly perfect people who are successful and lead a great life. Everyone makes mistakes in life, and most of us would agree that mistakes can provide us with a great opportunity to grow and to learn. It’s ok to acknowledge our vulnerability and seek support when needed. The more we try to do things perfectly and avoid unexpected outcomes, the more we sometimes end up failing as we might not have enough experience of how to do things successfully unless we make enough mistakes which we can learn from.
It is not only important to learn, but to accept that we might need to wait until we reach a place in our lives where we feel satisfied with how things have turned out. We have an idealized version of life because we often believe that we are not supposed to suffer. However, suffering is intrinsically part of being human. Pain and joy are two aspects that we meet the moment we are born and which accompany us till our very last day.
Most of us would agree that life is mostly out of our control, even when we are standing still. However, this does not mean that we should not invest in ourselves and try our outmost to go for what we want and need. It also doesn’t mean that we should not acknowledge our feelings of sadness or anger when things go wrong. No one is exempt from such feelings as no one knows what the future holds. It is liberating to reach a point where we can learn how to enjoy (rather than fearing) life’s journey. Life does not only bring with it unexpected pain. If we look closely we will also realise that life often brings great, wonderful things which we would not have anticipated.
I would like to conclude by sharing a quote that sometimes helps me to stay with life’s uncertainties… ‘‘What’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.’’
Claire Borg is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on email@example.com or call us on 79291817.