Addressing Fear of the Undiscovered

Posted on 13, February 2012 by


Have you ever been afraid to try something new? The “something” can be as simple as an exotic (to you) food, an expensive yarn, a new programming language, or even visiting an area you have never seen. Through my life’s travels I have met people who are afraid of attempting anything new. They seemed to fit one of three profiles: lazy, ignorant, or unconfident.

Okay maybe “lazy” would be a bit harsh, but when a person will not make an effort because s/he does not feel like it is worth the energy to do so, I had to pop that reaction out of my mind.

So how do you address that fear after acknowledging it? Sometimes we need to step back, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that we are scared of what makes us feel out of our comfort zone. I have seen folks react negatively when other ethnic or social groups sit down next to them. I have witnessed old guards of industry say, “How dare they come into my world without my acknowledgement!” regarding up and coming newbies. I have also been on sides that were met with attack and negativity. Unfortunately such behavior never ceases in surprising me anymore. Sad, is it not?

In the technology world, I have seen changes quickly appear out of nowhere throughout the different areas I worked: medicine, financial, manufacturing, and software. What I learned in these fields is that you need to be prepared for downsizes and competition for your job. The first time I experienced a layoff, it shattered my self-esteem. I had to address not only what I felt, but take in all the various factors that lead to those of us who lost our positions. My reaction was that I would become fearful and would tiptoe on eggshells around everything. It soon became habits which affected further job choices in the technology industry.

When I left that world for the fiber realm, I had no idea what I would do. Was I scared? As my friends from Wisconsin would say, “You betcha!” I was terrified on whether I would find a career that did not involve designing fashionable patterns. But the key I had in my heart was that I was addressing my fear, and I would soon unlock the undiscovered world that brought me to my place today. =:8