How to conquer your
fear of the unknown

What will happen? What will they say? What if I fail? What if they reject me? What if I lose? Can I handle what is out there?

We all grapple with one or more of these questions every day - perhaps even multiple times a day. Not knowing leads to feelings of dread and anxiety that cause queasiness and panic. It would be nice if the road ahead were wide and well-lit; it would give us the courage to take it fearlessly.

However, the reality is that many times, we have to walk down dark and narrow routes to unknown and uncertain destinations. Therein, arises our innate FEAR – of the unknown.

FEAR - False Emotions Appear Real.

It could be the fear of change, death, commitment, failure…even success! Whatever cannot

Why should you get over the fear of the unknown?

You die the proverbial thousand times with fear lurking in the corridors of your mind. You tend to shun relationships, competitions, tests, functions, events, jobs, life itself. Simply riding an elevator, flying in an airplane, being alone or in the dark could become matters of concern. Such is the power of the fear of the unknown.

be ascertained brings on doubt and tension. We all just want to know what will happen next!

The mystery of life could, actually, be exciting. And, typically, like all suspense stories, the thrill disappears with the unfolding of the mystery. Similarly, if you just face your fear, it will leave your system. The question is, how do you do that?

How to overcome the fear of the unknown

Of course, fearing the unknown is a natural emotion, but it also diminishes the scope and quality of your life. You cower, shrink and squirm instead of opening up, growing and embracing life. Overcoming fear is a mind game. See, if any of these strategies help you win this game.

1. Identify the root of your fear

What do you fear? Is it change, heights or the very uncertainty that is life? Perhaps it is the

inevitability of the end – death? Once you get to the root of your fear, you might be able to identify a common factor.

It is your need to control the situation or people that have given birth to the fear.

You might even succeed in getting the upper hand in some cases. Unfortunately, it is not always possible.

You cannot make the mountain smaller, or the plane run on the ground or ensure people or situations remain the same. Once you realize this inevitability, it will become easier to surrender the need to control everything. This will lead you to accept and embrace the novelty and uncertainty that life brings - with willingness and grace.

2. Have faith, foster love

There is so much that is unknown in life – our whole future lies blank and uncertain. Who can reliably tell you what will happen tomorrow, day after and next year? Of course, soothsayers and mystics have tried to inject their theories but no one knows for sure.

When you forget that you are part of the infinity, fear comes.

- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In the face of the unknown, your only real ally is your faith – in a higher being, the cosmos or the infinite. If you can trust that there is something or someone out there who will look after you, your fear will disappear.

This also works with love. When you are filled with love, you tend to focus on increasing it. This removes fear.

When you are on a rollercoaster about to dive down almost 90 degrees, do you feel fear or excitement? Probably both, right? Your heart races, but at the same time, you have butterflies. Interestingly, the same hormones are released when you are scared and excited. So, it is possible to put your spin on it. Choose positivity over negativity, i.e., excitement over fear.


I want to learn The Happiness Program


3. Equip yourself with knowledge

‘Knowledge is power,’ and you can exploit this to strengthen your position. It is important to understand that knowledge is not just information. It is the ability to process the information to your benefit.

For instance, let’s say you are going to play a tennis match. Of course, your first preparation is to fortify your own game and practice diligently. Additionally, it would help you to learn about the temperature, wind, rain and moisture conditions on the day of the match. With a higher temperature, the ball bounces higher, so more spin will help your game. Higher the humidity, the slower the ball moves, as it becomes heavier. So, such conditions will favor hard-hitters.
This sort of analysis will reduce your fear of the unknown elements involved in the match. You can apply it to any situation that intimidates you.

4. Use the natural remote for your mind: Breath

There is no magic button that can help control your mind directly. However, the next best thing is your breath – the most natural remote you could ask for!  

Breath is the source of life. Naturally and, yet, ironically, we pay so little attention to this aspect. Its importance lies in the fact that if you can control it, it can help drive away your baseless fears.

Doing pranayamas or breathing exercises daily instills fresh energy into your system, purifying your inner being. Your focus shifts from your fear of the unknown to the known positives in your life. With a calm and clear mind, your actions and reactions can be well-thought out and measured, rather than random and accidental.

5. Meditation for conviction

What you fear is what life will throw at you NEXT. This happens when you live in the future because of what has occurred in the past. If you focus on your present, you save yourself from all the apprehension. That is the gift meditation bestows upon you.

You stay in the present – aware, calm and ready. It helps you surrender your fears and anxieties of the past and the future. When you fully experience your present, you become aware of the positivity and abundance around you. This gives you the confidence to take on whatever has been and what will be.

While it is not much fun to live a half-life with fear as a companion, fear does have another side. It motivates you and encourages you to take on tough challenges. At the end of the day, no one likes to leave their comfort zone. The hollow and sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach tells you that.

Even so, think of the early explorers. If they didn’t venture off into far off and unknown lands, half the world would be undiscovered! They chose to disregard their fears and inhibitions and tasted sweet success. You can do the same! Be brave, discover your inner lion and face your fear of the unknown!

The Art of Living’s Happiness program is a program that harmoniously blends yoga asanas, meditation and breathing exercises like the Sudarshan Kriya. It can help you overcome your fear of the unknown by tapping into your inner strength and courage.

The Art of Living’s Intuition Process is a program aimed at helping children come into their own. They learn to overcome their fears, discover their natural and innate skills and stride bravely into the great unknown world.

Learn Sudarshan Kriya - the world's most powerful breathing technique