Archive for December 7th, 2007

Fear of the unknown

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Q. Masters, whenever I am in a group of people whom I don’t really know I feel totally uncomfortable. My response to the situation is to flee. What’s wrong with me?

A. You are like a tiny mouse in a huge maze. As long as you are traveling along familiar corridors, you are fine, you feel a sense of control. Fear rules when you enter passageways and have no clue where they may take you. The same can be said for the intrusion of new mice into your domain-you are afraid that they might do something to disrupt your life. You’re stuck in a self-imposed box where you control the parameters. The problem is that you have no stimulation and no possibility for growth.

Now, remaining in your self-designed cage is not right or wrong. It is an exercise of your freedom of choice. However, the longer you remain in there, the harder it becomes to envision ever getting out. Each time you shy away from exploring new possibilities you miss an opportunity to expand the size of your living quarters.

To change your world you need to face your fear of the unknown. What is it that you fear the most? New people and new situations, of course. To start getting comfortable meeting new people you need to know that they won’t hurt you when you are in a safe environment. Join a group at your church or a local community center that specializes in your favorite pastime. There are knitting, sewing, reading, computer, cooking, and photography groups. Start slowly and interact with only one or two people at a time.

When you share an interest with others it is easy to share yourself and accept that others are sharing themselves as well. You will soon feel excitement at being surprised by something occasionally. The need to control will fade away and it will seem more and more comfortable to be in new situations. Go slowly and enjoy the possibilities!