Scared of the Future? How to Conquer the Fear of the Unknown
Deer and Headlights
Atop a balcony, two stories high, I sit staring into the horizon, wondering what’s next for me, where am I headed?
I have just graduated from the university and I have very little sense of where my life is headed. Up until this moment, life’s most important decisions have been made for me, and now I have been let loose, I am on my own. What to do, what to do? The big question.
I am afraid.
How do I survive and thrive after school? I do not want to work a boring job. I want to do what I care about, true freedom of expression, to give life to my ideas and watch them become a reality.
Am I being stupid, naive and ignorant? Is the real world different? How do I pursue my dreams and still provide for myself? I am confused and scared.
So many questions, so few answers.
So far, I have carried out a couple of exercises to help me find answers.
A few weeks back, I decided to take time off; look deep within myself and find out who I am, my strengths, my natural inclinations; the things that fascinate me. I have tried to define what is important to me, what drives me and what I would love to spend my time doing.
Answer the question: Who am I? Define your Strengths, your Values…
There are so many opportunities, each one taking me on different paths in life, it seems so difficult to choose. I don’t want to make mistakes I’ll regret. I want to make the perfect choice.
However, there is no perfect choice, no winning recipe. I have discovered that life is a journey in which I am bound to make mistakes, to fail, to fall, what matters most is that I continue learning and keep rising after I fall.
Do not be defined by results, but by your daily effort, by the knowledge that you are giving life your all. Explore life, make bold decisions, and most of all; put your happiness first.
3. Mastering Fear
Fear: our biggest foe, our biggest ally. A paradox right? Yet deep inside each and every one of us, we are afraid. Scared that we would fail, scared that we would not survive, that we would not fit in, that others would not like us.
It’s funny how that fear could drive us to work hard and succeed, or stop us from trying at all. It’s interesting how that fear could push us to climb the ladder of success (fear of being mediocre and unable to provide for our basic needs), and that same fear can keep us stagnant (fear of rejection of our ideas, products and solutions by our friends and the public. Fear that we would be a disaster; a failure, laughed at and tagged stupid).
Every choice we make; to risk our pride and let ourselves make mistakes, learn, improve and achieve our goals, or to ignore what we need to do. Every time we go the extra mile to complete the task or procrastinate what is truly important. These are the times in which we decide if fear is our friend or enemy. You can make fear a force that keeps you going, or let it imprison your potential. It’s up to you. We can make small choices that help win the battles we shall face throughout our short stay on planet earth.
Each time you are faced with a task that seems challenging; JUST DO IT. Don’t let anything get in your way, don’t procrastinate; GET IT DONE.
Yes there are some situations that seem out of our control, like there is little we can do to avoid a catastrophe, this saddens us. My dear friend, do not be weighed down, focus on what you can influence, on the things you can do, and execute away.
Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.
Know who you are, Explore, make Fear your Friend today, Be Happy and live life to the fullest.
“Deer and Headlights” is a metaphor for how scary it is for a human in the face of the fogginess of the future, unpredictable, unclear (deer caught in the headlights).
This piece is dedicated to the graduating class 2015 of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, University of Ibadan. You guys are the very best, I have spent 5 long years with you, and I will miss you. It has been great knowing you all, and if I were given the chance to travel back in time and re-select classmates, I won’t change a thing. You are kind, honest, humble, brilliant, funny, caring and inspiring…
I wish you all the very best in life… Love, Fulfilment and Happiness.
Greater times lay ahead,
Keep Moving and Be Happy