Fearing the Future Will Drain You Quicker Than Anything

Andrei Tapalaga

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As much as we like it or not, as much as it may be neglected we all think about our future and what will happen if we don’t make the right choices in life. 

If you haven’t already you will encounter a period where life just simply stagnates as if time paused but it is only your life that feels in an eternal pause whilst everyone else around you moves at two times the normal speed. 

The fear of our future is brought by two main factors.

Uncertainty 

Fear is mostly associated with uncertainty as we do not know what is waiting for us around the corner. This isn’t even about us achieving our dreams but even in our daily expectations that we set based on short term experiences. 

Our subconscious always thinks of uncertainty and tries to access our consciousness with diverse questions that apply to our daily life and our most empirical assets.

  • Will I still have a job next week? 
  • Will I afford to pay the rent?
  • Will I be able to maintain my social status?
  • Will I be promoted?

In most cases to neglected this constant uncertainty, we try to speculate reliable information based on facts. For example, if we want to lower the level of uncertainty we would look for possible ways to create a sense of contingency around every uncertainty brought up by our subconsciousness. 

At which point the same question would come up but with a “How” in front of them, therefore assessing the problem from the perspective that this uncertainty may occur, therefore how do we plan to solve it in case it does happen. 

Expectations 

The second factor is the expectations that we create based on our competencies as well as the environmental factors that surround us. This can correlate very much with the level of uncertainty that a person is affected by. 

The more uncertain a person becomes the lower their expectations will be and vice versa. 

We set expectations based on the long-term goals we set as well as the goals we have already managed to achieve. Based on the size and importance of these goals, the expectations for future goals will most probably double. 

For example, if you finished your university degree with a high grade you will most likely expect to get a very good job, whilst those that finished with an average grade will have lower expectations. 

Don’t take this example wrong, as this can be one of the numerous factors that influence our expectations. The problem is that once an expectation is set there is this sort of race that starts in your mind towards achieving these expectations.

With this race comes also a fear that you could lose by not meeting your future expectations. Making you push yourself over the limit whilst you start neglecting other important factors in life and most imperative, you start neglecting yourself. 

Live life one day at a time

In order to avoid being drained by all of the uncertainty, expectations, and stress created by all this you need to focus on the present.

This does not mean that you should not set long-term goals, by all means, that is vital, but you also should focus on having a hypothetical to-do list for every day. 

As every finger from your hand is different, so are the days in our lives, that is why you should not feel as if you haven’t met your expectations if one day you don’t manage to think everything off the to-do list. 

Another important factor in avoiding this mental as well as physical drain is to stop constantly daydreaming about the future. This is something that I kept doing and it was frankly quite distracting. 

Having a vision of the future can be motivating, but constantly focusing on that vision can take your head away from the short-term goals that have to be achieved in order to accomplish that vision. 

Stop trying to predict the future 

As much as you work towards improving the success of your future you don’t know what tomorrow might have planned for you from a positive as well as negative perspective. 

That is why we need to focus on the present whilst analyzing the past.

In all this, you need to stay positive and have hope that things will work out the way you envision them, but there will be drawbacks that can’t be forecasted. This is something normal as it happens to everyone, but it is not something that should make us live in fear, but something that should make us embrace the hardships that come with our development. 

I do fear for my future as I don’t know where I will end up or if I will end up in the place I want to be. Along the way, I encountered hardships that almost made me quit that race inside my mind, but somehow I managed to work my way around every hardship by solving one problem at a time. 

Rather than trying to predict what problems you may encounter, focus on building the necessary competencies to face those problems with no fear. 

So stop fearing the future, embrace it with its positives and negatives!

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