Fear of what we know

Photo: Jurnal fotografic

FEAR is one of the four primary feelings we have. It is instinctive, and it is planted in our subconscious because we need it to keep us safe.

If we think of the old times, when people lived in cages and hunting in forests, fear was necessary. If they met a giant predator, of course, it was essential to listen to fear so they can save their lives and run or hide. At the time we are talking about wild animals and warriors attacks from other tribes.
What is happening today is that we still have those instincts because we still need them to keep us alive. In the world we live in today, the wild animals have been replaced with Thieves, Lack of Money, What people think, or Overprotective families, and the list can continue.

Each of these elements or all of them together appear in a different context, but our subcounscient fear, the instinctive feeling, cannot distinguish between them, and it makes it hard for us to see if it is accurate or not.
This type of FEAR is an element that influences our decisions in pretty much everything we do. Depending on where we live and how safe the environment we are living our everyday life is, it will influence the way we look at other places in the world.

Fear is a feeling of the future. We are afraid of something that may or may not happen in the future. We have no idea if what we imagine in our heads is true or not. Yet, we continue to write books in our heads about the scariest things our minds have been filled with through the personal experiences we’ve grown up with, media and films, whatever information comes to us in our immediate environment.

Our background, the family we grew up in, and how safe our childhood has been play a significant role in the picture of fear. If some of us have been unfortunate to experience a lot of uncertainties coming from the close guardians (parents, siblings, close relatives, and friends), it will be hard to break that pattern. The safety net around us is already ruined, and the need for control shows up. Or, in other words, the fear of losing control in a different environment where one does not know people/language/system and the surroundings will kick in.

We think about 50 to 60 000 thoughts a day, and research shows that all this huge amount of thoughts are pretty much the same every day and that they shape our reality.
If we keep feeding our minds with the same type of information and do not put in new and different information, we have little chance to change both the way we think and our environment.

If we grew up in a dangerous home and community, where our trust has been broken by people supposed to hold us safe, like family and friends, then there are two choices. We stay in that environment either because what we know is safer than what we don’t know, or we run/travel to see if there is the same in other places.

People who do not yet travel have a more significant need to keep their comfort zone, and therefore, it is easier to stay with what they know, even if that may not be safe either, than to go for something they don’t know.
In the second case, as travelers and people who move to other countries, controlling and making own plans not depending on other people is essential.

So, where is the “unknown” here that they may feel afraid of? The unknown is right there, coming from people they know well. We do not know how those people they know well and call friends and family are going to react. So the biggest unknown is happening right under their noses. To travel someplace else gives much more control even if they travel to unknown places. A foreign country and a foreign language is much easier to “control” than to control people in their lives.

At the same time, many people travel to see how it is in other places, and this way, they are “killing fear with fear” and discover that the world is much friendlier than what they expected. Simultaneously, some may observe how they carry with them invisible luggage, they may not have been aware of.

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