If you’ve ever stopped pursuing a goal because you were uncertain about what lay ahead, and it scared you, you’re in the right place!
Have you caught yourself making any of these excuses and began doubting yourself or quitting all together? “No one’s ever made it before,” or “I have no idea where this will lead,” or “This may be a bad idea.” They don’t really sound like excuses, do they? They actually sound somewhat legit. However, they are, in reality, nice ways of letting ourselves down.
Remember, all excuses boil down to three common fears:
- The fear of failure
- The fear of what others think
- The fear of the unknown
This post is the third in a three-part series, and today we are focusing on the third of the three common fears: THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.
Related Post: FEAR OF OTHERS
The unknown makes us uncomfortable.
We can’t just glide through it without thinking.
The unknown is unpredictable.
There’s no way to fully plan out our route or know exactly what we will encounter. We can’t be fully prepared and equipped because we don’t always know what we need to be equipped for.
The unknown takes us out of our comfort zone and into a place of change.
Let’s get real, no one likes change! We love predictability. We love our routine. When there’s change, there’s usually a backlash. We just don’t like anyone changing things on us. Change isn’t comfortable. It is a learning curve, and we don’t like having to learn something new.
The unknown is just a downright scary place!
When it was time for me to begin the process of walking again after I broke my ankle and spent months off my foot, the unknown was extra scary! I didn’t want to mess anything up. I was sick of my ankle hurting. I even wondered if I’d remember how to do things the right way!
Because of that, I avoided putting full pressure on my ankle for quite some time. I was unwilling to take a risk, step into the unknown, and change. This slowed me down in my recovery, and once I DID take the chance and take the first step, I found out it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The unknown was actually the place I needed to be.
The path less traveled is rarely the easy one
You never know what may be lurking around the corner, and that makes it rather nerve-wracking. On the other hand, if you like adventure, it really can make life more exciting!
The path less traveled has more scenery
It hasn’t been developed yet, so there is an abundance of greenery and beauty. The views are mostly spectacular, the landscapes grand. World changers were willing to forge into the unknown territories and discover land that was beautiful beyond description.
The path less traveled has more opportunity
It may be tougher, you may have to work hard to avoid the roots in the path or the branches along the way, but there’s less competition and a better chance at advancement if you have the fortitude to stick it out. When we purposefully move into the unknown, we have to be ready to tread through murky waters, navigate our way through thick forests, and immerse ourselves into that unfamiliar territory we were so hesitant about in the beginning.
The path less traveled changes us
Stepping into the unknown means we have to be flexible and able to adapt at any moment. We have to be ready for anything to come our way. That ideology changes a person. In order to come out strong from the unknown, we have to be willing to grow. Stepping out of our comfort zone can do that for us, take us to a place we never thought we were capable of going.
What are some other advantages the path less traveled has for us? Have you experienced any of these? What was it like to take that first step into the unknown? Was it scary, unpredictable, refreshing? How did it turn out? Did you stick to the course, or did you turn around back into your comfort zone?
This Week’s Challenge
The last two weeks I had you write a list identifying all the excuses you may have been using. This week, go back to that list, and I want you to note any excuses that seem to stem from a fear of the unknown, and write that next to those excuses. Now you should have a list of all your excuses with a fear attached.
We’ve identified the three fears in which each excuse stem from, and now it’s time to get rid of them once and for all. I want you to tear up that piece of paper into a zillion pieces and throw it away! It now has no power in your life!
Anything that makes us have a fear of failure, a fear of others, or a fear of the unknown is a falsity in our life. We cannot listen to that voice of doubt. Listen to the voice of truth in your life — the voice that says you are strong and courageous. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is experiencing the fear but being willing to go anyway.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. — Corrie Ten Boom, Holocaust survivor
Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Take the path less traveled and enjoy the challenge, the breathtaking views, and the moments of learning. Change can only happen in the unknown, when we leave our comfort zone and are willing to grow.
And, remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!