• Michael Dahdal

What You Don't Understand

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

We fear what we don’t understand.

Uncertainty, not knowing, unpredictability, new experiences and navigating new terrain – is meant to scare you.

Your brain is doing its job, that fear is what keeps you alive.

Your brain has evolved to err on the side of caution and with that comes a natural tendency to fear the unknown.

It’s built into your biology, into your amygdala; the most primitive part of your brain.

It’s the centre for emotion, memory and your survival instincts.

It’s always on the lookout for predators, for threats, for anything that might be perceived as risky.

If it doesn’t understand it, if its unfamiliar terrain or it’s somewhat unpredictable, it will outright reject it.

Sending you into a crippled frenzy.

It puts greater value on negative experiences, highlighting them in your memory over the positive ones.

Because it’s the mishaps and failures that are most likely to get you killed, so it’s plan for you is to simply avoid them.

To hide away in your cave, because doing nothing, will at least keep you alive.

It’s the same reason you read 100 reviews, 99 of which are good – yet the single bad review is the one that gets all your attention.

But you’ll only remember it as bad until you’ve actually had the opportunity to experience it for your self.

Until you’ve managed to turn the unknown into a known and;

Not understanding, into understanding.

Until you’ve managed to turn uncertainty into certainty and ambiguity into a sense of clarity.

It’s developing your understanding that will ultimately allow you to conquer your fears and move forward.

And understanding can only be achieved by experiencing.

So maybe the things you spend your time worrying about aren’t that bad after all – but the only way you’ll ever really begin to understand if that’s true, is to build the courage to plunge yourself into the unknown.


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