Conquering Uncertainty: How to Overcome Fear of the Unknown

HJ: Uncertainty is a fact of life.  No matter how much you try to insulate yourself from it, it cannot be avoided.  Furthermore, fighting it or fighting anything for that matter, will only increase its appearance in your life. Instead, learning to embrace the unknown will make it your ally and help you to realize that indeed there is truly nothing to be afraid of at all.  The process of releasing fear and more specifically, fear of the unknown will simultaneously bring you deeper realizations about the fundamental nature of reality and your true self, which will help you to understand how uncertainty is an integral and beautiful part of life.

Fear typically arises from (among a few other things) a lack of understanding and trust in your role as the creator of your reality.  If you don’t fully believe you are responsible for what you experience, then you may feel as if anything could happen to you at any time, not perceiving that indeed it is you who control what the universe brings to you.  Always preparing for and thinking about fear inducing scenarios and events will cause them to manifest in your life.  Instead, you must trust your role as a co-creator of your reality.  Have confidence in your vision and your abilities. Fear often signals that one may have self-worth issues as well, which is extremely common these days.

However, with the above being said, realize that fear is not to be eliminated, but rather understood for what it really is and observed rather than reacted to.  This is how one disarms it.  Our goal here is not suppression, but rather acceptance and understanding.  From this perspective we can extract the lessons and knowledge our emotional states offer us about ourselves.

– Truth

Fear of the Unknown on the Spiritual Path

By Vajrapani | Serious Seeker

Fear of the unknown can be one of the biggest contributors to failure for someone on a spiritual path. It may even be more correct to say fear itself and not just fear of the unknown that inhibits many would be travelers of a spiritual path from realizing any progress. For this discussion, we will focus on fear of the unknown as a specific reason for not reaching our spiritual potential.

What is fear of the unknown? How do we recognize it, and once it’s recognized, how do we overcome it? Fear of the unknown can come in many guises, it can be a subtle thing that causes hesitation at the crucial moment of self-realization, or it can be a powerful, overwhelming thing that causes us to retreat in full flight from the unknown terror. And it can be anywhere in between these two extremes. Regardless of where it falls on the scale for an individual on a spiritual path, it results in a failure to achieve the desired result of our spiritual practice. And, it is this failure that can lead to even more fear, causing a cycle of trial and failure that ultimately takes the individual from the spiritual path.

To begin with, understand that fear of the unknown is basically an unwillingness to deal with or accept anything new or unfamiliar. This unwillingness can pertain to people or situations. Undertaking a spiritual path with all its unknown processes, techniques, and rituals, certainly qualifies as an unfamiliar situation for the beginner. Finding a quality teacher and group of like-minded individuals to help facilitate the journey on the path certainly qualifies as unfamiliar people. In either case, the unfamiliar often causes feelings of apprehension or unease on some level. These feelings may or may not be recognized as fear, but they can be the seeds of it.

Whatever the cause of your fear, one of the very first things that I find helpful is to confront the fear. There are some specific steps that can be used to begin the process of confronting fear. First, acknowledge that you have feelings of concern or fear about the thing that you must do. It does no good to turn from these feelings or to try and pretend they don’t exist. If you do try to submerge them without acknowledging them, they will only surface later and much stronger. Realize that the feelings are there for a reason. You are about to enter an area in which you may need to exercise awareness and caution as you proceed. Notice I said, “as you proceed.”

Fear is not an emotion that tells us to stop. It is far from that. Fear is an emotion that simply tells us to be very careful as we go forward. It tells that we are stepping out of what know and are comfortable with. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to truly learn and grow. When we take to a spiritual path, we are faced with many challenges and opportunities to move out our narrow comforts and begin to explore our potential for spiritual growth.

The next step to dealing with fear is to be able to feel it and do what needs to be done regardless. Everyone feels fear at some point or another of for one reason or another. It is the successful person that feels the fear and goes forward anyway. One way this can be looked at is like the warrior or soldier who is faced with battle. He or she may feel apprehensive or nervous, or downright scared about the prospect of dying, yet they go forward into the fray because they know that they do it for those they love and are charged to protect. The warrior knows that the fear cannot be permitted to keep him from his duty. Instead of letting the fear stop them, they use it to motivate them to higher level of awareness and physical power.

Like that warrior, we can use fear to motivate us through the dark, rough times of our spiritual practice. We can feel the fear of the unknown and transmute into a positive energy to sustain to the other side of that darkness and by doing so, we become stronger in our own right. There is much to be gained and little to be lost by going forward despite our fear. However, we stand to lose so much by letting fear stop us before we get started.

Moving forward in the face of our fear brings us to the next step in learning how to deal with fear – Don’t be too attached to outcomes. If you undertake a spiritual path with expectations of attaining supernatural abilities, you could find yourself disappointed after a year or two have gone by and you aren’t able to move objects with your mind or have developed ESP! Learn to keep moving toward your goals and doing the practice and know that the results will come. Success in these matters doesn’t come all at once, it comes in pieces here and there, but only if you keep moving towards the goal.

The last thing that I recommend for handling fear of the unknown is trust. Trust that you were wise enough to get help from your chosen teacher or guide. Trust that you are strong enough to make through the obstacles of the spiritual path. Trust that you are smart enough to be patient when things don’t appear to happen fast enough. By trusting in yourself, your teacher, and the wisdom of the ages, you will find that you continue to attract the opportunities for growth and enlightenment. By trusting that things will work out for the good, you can go forward through the darkness of fear and come out on the other side shining in the light of perseverance.

Fear of the unknown will come to us all at some point when we walk a spiritual path. It can be daunting, insurmountable, and all encompassing, making us want to turn back. When faced with this fear, that is the time to proceed with heightened awareness, extended caution, and careful attention to process. Acknowledge the emotion of fear, transmute the feeling to positive energy, and trust that a higher purpose is at work on your behalf. You will come to realize that fear, like any other emotion does not control us unless we allow it to. In fact, we can use the fear to make us better, stronger, and able to face the next challenge as it arises.

As one fear is conquered, others will try creep in to fill the void. Remain humble in successfully conquering a fear. Take strength in that humility for meeting the next fear. Never let fear keep you from the side of Justice. Have compassion for those in the grip of a fear beyond their current ability to handle.

Vajrapani (Birth name Tony Griffin) has over 35 years of martial arts experience and is currently studying and teaching Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Vajrapani is a Priest in the Mahajrya Buddhist Tradition and is a Master practitioner and teacher of Kuji-in. In addition to Kuji-in, he also specializes in Kuji-Kiri (Majutsu) and ESP. Secondary abilities include Reiki, Healing Touch, and Warrior Awareness training.

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  1. Thank you alot. Am blessed by the article

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