Exploring the Unknown

Photo courtesy of https://soundcloud.com/user-929588390


Photo courtesy of https://soundcloud.com/user-929588390

The greatest obstacle people have in life is themselves. As an individual, we face our own thoughts that may frighten us in the future. This obscure obstacle can lead to trouble with success, self-growth, or learning opportunities. Having fears, such as the unknown, can bring misfortune which will lead to a paralyzing lifestyle. 

The fear of the unknown is the sensation of anything that lies beyond one’s personal comfort zone. When we begin to have thoughts that push past the strong, safe, comforting walls we have built, scary images, thoughts, and beliefs take control of our minds. These thoughts can be derived from stepping out into a rainstorm with a new umbrella as you wonder, “Will this protect me from the rain?” Or it may come from an experience or thought much bigger like, “Is there life beyond Earth?” Whether these thoughts are little or big, being anxious when you cannot predict or see the outcome is the fear of the unknown. 

This fear is also known as Xenophobia: the fear of something that is foreign or strange. This term is derived from the Greek word “Xenos,” which means stranger. Having this fear of an unpredictable future could come from the comfortability with the life you are living in. Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker once said, “The challenge of the unknown is so much more exciting than the stories accomplished of the past.” He implies that one needs to experience new things rather than repeating the past. Sinek shares that people should take a step out of their comfort zone rather than remain comfortable in their own shoes.  

Similarly, a quote by an anonymous author shares, “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” This quote reveals the secrets of history. Christopher Columbus sailed across the sea when people were fearful that the earth was flat. Without taking that extra step to confirm this theory, Columbus would have never discovered America. With numerous years of research, NASA was still uncertain what would happen when they decided to send a man into space, launching him up to the moon. From here, NASA discovered many exciting things leading for more space expeditions to occur allowing us to learn about our solar system. 

While these examples are on a larger scale, things like moving out of your house, trying new foods, or writing an article on a subject you do not normally write about still constitute a fear of the unknown. Making the decision to move out of your house, whether it be to college or to a new community, is a difficult one. Wondering if there will be job opportunities or friendly people, unpredictable outcomes can make someone fearful of the future. However, we do not know if something is positive until we try. Trying different and unique foods may be frightening by just looking at the texture or color. But in the end, you never know until you try! 

Personally, this is how I felt writing this article. The journalism class was challenged with a task to write something we felt uncomfortable writing. I, too, am afraid of the unknown. The thought of not being able to see how the future lays out terrifies me. But, while writing this article, I have learned that looking beyond the unknown or as Rafiki from The Lion King says, “Look beyond what you see” allows surprises, excitement, and new possibilities to arise. 

Understanding that the unknown may hold treasures and opportunities, it is important to take that leap not knowing exactly where you will land. From here, the unknown will open doors that have been locked in the past. The unknown will welcome you to take more chances, be more courageous and accept change. 

“We all have a fear of the unknown. What one does with that fear will make all the difference in the world” – Lillian Russel