avatarTania Lynne

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Conquering the Fear of the Unknown: A Journey to Self-Discovery

Embrace the Uncomfortable and Find Growth Beyond Your Comfort Zone

So, I’ve got this big trip coming up…

I don’t want to go. I mean, part of me does. I’m excited to meet people I’ve only seen through a screen. I’m excited to meet my hero. I’m excited to try the Wim Hoff method.

But… my family. I’ve never left my kids that long. And I only left them overnight 3–4 times, but at our house, except once. And one time I went away for 3 days. But it was with my sister in law who had cancer. She wanted to hold pigs in the Bahamas. I’m so glad I went.

Anyhow, also my husband’s birthday is that week. My kids have 2 days off from school. My husband’s mom, stepdad, and grandma are coming to visit from Florida. Now my (other) sister in law and her husband are probably coming.

We never get company.

And I’m going to be off in another state with a bunch of people I don’t really know at all.

And it doesn’t sound so cool anymore. I don’t want to go. I want to stay home and celebrate my husband’s birthday. I want to be with my family.

But I can’t. I’m pretty much obligated to go at this point. And I’m feeling more bummed by the minute.

So, Brian says when we notice this resistance, this fear, you need to lean into it because it’s exactly where you need to go. That voice trying to make you run and hide is Part X (Which is what Phil Stutz & Barry Michels called it in The Tools).

And Part X isn’t you or even who you want to be. It’s your monkey mind seeing lions where there are none. Through the fear is where growth happens.

What I mean is Part X is an aspect of your psyche that emerges when facing uncertainty or discomfort. It is the part of you that wants you to stay comfortably the same, never changing, never doing anything new. It’s the inner resistance that you face when you consider making significant changes in your life or stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s the voice that tells you to stay safe and not take risks.

Part X is a bitch.

Your mind — specifically your amygdala — is there to process and regulate emotions, particularly those related to fear and the detection of threats in the environment. When you encounter a potential threat or danger, such as the presence of a “lion” or any other perceived danger, the amygdala plays a central role in the fight or flight response.

The amygdala sends signals to other parts of your brain and body that trigger various physiological responses, including an increase in heart rate, heightened alertness, and the release of stress hormones like adrenaline.

Then, you decide to either confront the danger (fight) or flee from it (flight). Our brain’s ancient ‘fight or flight’ response continues to influence our decisions, even in situations where there are no actual lions, making it easier for us to resist change or avoid taking action — even when we want to. Because…

Part X — who is a bitch.

So I’m wondering what it is I’m afraid of? I keep saying I’m worried about the kids and the house and the dogs. And I will miss my family so much… but I’m not REALLY afraid of anything happening.

Why don’t I want to go, for real?

Brian also says a change of scenery can cause a mental shift. And I know he’s right. It’s probably really what I’m afraid of.

I mean, after all, I know what to expect here. I’m not really worried my husband can’t manage the house and the dogs and the kids for a week. He’s perfectly capable. And even if he weren’t, he’s gonna have a whole tribe here for most of the days I’m gone.

Nope, what I’m really scared of is stepping into the unknown. I’m afraid of what happens when I have to go out in the world and mingle. When I am faced with other humans that I’m not related to for the first time in YEARS…

What is going to happen? Am I gonna make an ass of myself? Am I going to get overwhelmed and burnt out? Is it gonna feel like volunteering at the school for lunch duty? Are the people gonna be nice? Will anyone like me? What’s gonna happen while I’m there? What can I expect?

How am I gonna go 7 days without hugs?

Oh, my heart.

But the best version of myself knows sometimes we have to do things that hurt a little — get uncomfortable — to move ahead. I know I have to do this. And I will do this. And everything will be fine. Probably better than fine.

But that doesn’t mean I want to.

And that’s ok.

Here are some things that help me keep going:

Self-reflection

Take some time to pinpoint the areas in your life where you’re resisting change or being uncomfortable.

Acknowledge your fears

Recognize that fear is a natural response to the unknown. It’s not about the actual dangers but the uncertainty itself. Embrace this fear as a sign that growth is on the horizon.

Seek support

Talk to friends, family, or someone you trust about your concerns and apprehensions. Sometimes, sharing your worries can provide valuable perspectives and encouragement. When I told my husband I didn’t want to go, he had all kinds of support to offer.

Change your perspective

Consider how a different viewpoint might look at what is ahead differently than you are now. Embrace the idea that discomfort often paves the way for transformation and new experiences.

Prepare mentally

Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, visualize positive outcomes. Envision making new friends, learning new things, and gaining valuable experiences during your journey… or whatever benefits might come from what you are afraid of!

Set goals

Establish clear goals for moving through the fear. Whether it’s personal development, building relationships, or simply enjoying the moment, having a purpose can make stepping into the unknown more rewarding.

Stay open-minded

Be receptive to the unexpected. Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to amazing and unforeseen opportunities.

Self-compassion

Understand that it’s okay to have reservations and hear Part X. Self-growth is a journey, and it’s perfectly fine to take it one step at a time.

Embrace discomfort

Challenge yourself to lean into the resistance. Know that it’s precisely where you need to be for personal growth.

Celebrate your achievements

Once you’ve faced the unknown and overcome your fears, take time to acknowledge your courage and growth. Use these experiences as stepping stones for future adventures.

Life is full of opportunities to explore, grow, and discover your true potential. Embrace the discomfort, and you’ll find that amazing things can happen when you step into the unknown.

Just keep moving forward. A little bit better every day.

As always, much love :)

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Self Improvement
Self-awareness
Personal Development
Personal Growth
Comfort Zone
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