Of all the things we tend to be anxious about, our fear of the future might be one of the most common and also among the most debilitating. To have some anxiety about the uncertainty of the future is normal. We question the unknown. The unpredictable can be scary. Many of us take comfort in being able to plan ahead and know what’s coming. In addition, our difficult experiences can make us apprehensive. We so desperately want not to repeat the same mistakes or live through the same struggles. When we are overly afraid, our fear of the future can paralyze us and keep us stuck. We can be so scared that we stop taking any action for ourselves. We fear transition and are afraid to make any kind of change in our lives, including the change necessary to grow. We fear doing the hard work of recovery. Our fear of the future can be so pervasive it completely dictates the direction of our lives. We choose inaction. We limit ourselves, we give up on ourselves, and we lose sight of our potential. We keep ourselves small. Our fear of the future can alter the trajectory of our lives, robbing us of the blessings we have in store for us and depleting us of our faith.
While the unknown can be scary, it is also full of promise and possibility, but our fear blinds us. When we’re afraid of the future, it’s often because we’ve convinced ourselves that the worst is yet to come, and that failure and struggle are inevitable. We’ve developed thought patterns of pessimism, doubt and cynicism. We’re afraid to try, so we take the easy way out and give up. We’re afraid to do the work, so we do nothing instead. We use our addictions as ways to distract ourselves from how unfulfilling our lives have become, and to numb ourselves from the pain we’re experiencing. We use our relationships to avoid feeling our fear, and we try to escape into the better feelings of affection and comfort. We might experience panic about the future so intense that we can’t leave the house. On the other hand, we might avoid thinking about the future altogether and use avoidance and denial as our go-to coping mechanisms.
Any time we allow fear to stop us in our tracks, we give away our power. We don’t rise to the challenge of growing into the people we’re meant to be. Recovering from our addictions and our emotional issues means learning more about the fears that are holding us hostage, so that we can then take steps to transcend them.
Bayview Recovery is here to help you learn about your fears, move through them and overcome them, all with the support of a nurturing community in recovery. Call 888-570-7154 today for more information on how we can help.