Our fears and phobias are a sleeping monster, and if we can find a root in our fear of change, especially when that change is an unknown, then we can begin to think about how to overcome it. For this, we will tie back to the original post and the link to Finding Your Path. In this Tedx Talk, Amba Brown, the author of Finding Your Path books talks about a change we have all faced, or will face: What will you do when you leave school?
So what does this have to do with this series? It’s the same concept and struggle we all face. The question could easily stop at:
What will you do when…?
As Amba says in the video, an 18-year-old doesn’t have the experience to make an informed and permanent decision on which of the infinite paths ahead of them they should take. We get scared when we don’t know what will happen or what is out there to meet us. My grandma was scared because mice are fast and could run up her leg. People are scared of thunderstorms because they don’t know where the next lightning bolt will strike, or because loud noises frighten them and become associated with something else (Little Albert is an interesting study on this). We fear the unknown.
So how can we fix it? It’s not simple, obviously, but we can start by accepting that our lives are not meant to be road maps planned to the finest detail. We have to allow room for the unexpected, for things to change, and for the unknown to be less scary. I have a friend who is an amazing architect (seriously, if you need something built check out these guys) who says that a blueprint is about 80-90% of the finished product. It’s a foundation and a framework. Customers change their minds and there are problems on the site, factors that are both human and environmental bring about a need for new ideas and perspective. We need to use blueprints, the designs from which everything develops, but we also need to allow enough flexibility to change course.
Here are today’s three takeaways:
1 – It’s OK to say “I don’t know”. It’s OK to explore life. It’s OK to take steps on a path and realize you want to take a different one.
2 – It’s OK to be afraid of the unknown. It’s normal. But think of where you are today and how the world you are in would be scary to 3-year-old you. The more we experience, the less we fear.
3 – Not everything in life is nice. Not everything is bad. Everything is an experience that we can use to learn and grow.
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but bad things happen. They will happen whether we carefully plan every area of life, or if we live completely in the wind. We can’t hide from them. The only thing we miss out on by not taking the adventurers path is the chance of finding more good, more experiences, and more growth. The moral of the story is that there are infinite possibilities, but instead of exploring we allow our fear to tie us to one path, mostly a well-trodden calf-path. Fear not, and go boldly into the unknown!
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