Fear of Exploring
I once attended an in-person class where I observed someone experiencing the fear of exploring. A classmate had to pee badly because the only rest room that they were familiar with was temporarily closed for cleaning. They said that they were too afraid to explore the building to locate an alternate rest room. Yikes! I felt bad for them and wondered how this was similar to facing other fears.
Fear is normal when we’re getting out of our comfort zone.
The fear of exploring is the fear of the unknown. What’s unknown is unfamiliar and might be scary for us. Being apprehensive about something new is a normal fear response. However, in most of our daily lives, our fear is usually too exaggerated to be helpful to us.
Being curious, rather than fearful, will help to calm your nerves.
Adopting an attitude of curiosity can go a long way to quell your fear response. Rather than assume that a bad outcome is the only possibility, guide your ‘what if’ questions to more positive imaginings. For example, what if your discovery led to something better?
When you’re exploring, learning is your reward.
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll find something better as you venture beyond your comfort zone, if you don’t explore, you’re guaranteed that you won’t learn anything new. And we can’t grow without learning something new.
Don’t underestimate your ability to take care of yourself.
Exploring beyond your comfort zone isn’t easy, but you can ask for help if you get lost. You can use your innate survival instincts to keep you safe as you venture beyond what’s familiar. Keep on exploring. You’re bound to expand your comfort zone and learn something. And you never know, relief may be just around the corner.