Replace the fear of
the unknown with curiosity.
We turn a corner, climb a flight of stairs or open a door only to feel as if fear of the unknown has slammed into us without mercy. It’s out of the blue and totally unexpected, or at least most of the time it’s unexpected. Occasionally even the most fearless of us fall down the stairs into an emotional morass labeled fear of the unknown. That label flashes on and off in our mind like a dollar store neon sign, short circuiting in front of us.
If we put aside the times when around the corner there is really something tangible to be afraid of, we end up with a bucket full of wasted energy. Fear of the unknown or fear of change can be actively transformed into a much more interesting and possibly productive energy, that energy is Curiosity.
I once signed up for private Ballroom dancing lessons so I could surprise the woman I was dating. At the time my dancing skills were to say the least laughable and so I avoided going out dancing. As the date for the lessons got closer I started to experience symptoms of anxiety and dread. And as these sensations invaded my mind I became fearful of the unknown. What if I embarrassed myself I thought or was so terrible the instructor asked me not to return…
Yes, I knew I was being irrational, but nonetheless the symptoms got worse until I bumped into a friend who suggested I stop thinking of the symptoms as fear and instead tell myself I was excited and curious about all I’d learn and experience. I started talking to myself out-loud in the mirror and while driving, about how great taking these lessons would be. Additionally I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to learn and took a trip to the library (no internet yet) to spend a few hours reading about ballroom dancing.
It turns out excitement and curiosity feel pretty much the same as fear and anxiety minus the negative self-talk. the transformation worked and after 10 lessons I was able to go dancing and have a wonderful time. Infusing ourselves with curiosity to know and do new things will open not only new doors but also new and exciting worlds.
Make a resolution today, replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity…