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Fear of the future: definition, symptoms, tips

anxiety can have a very specific trigger in many situations. In a high ropes course or on the roof of a building there is a fear of heights, during an important exam the fear can arise that the preparation is insufficient, we get to know new people, there is fear of social rejection and when a big presentation is pending, many are afraid of the appearance and public speaking. The afraid of the future on the other hand, refers to all the things that may still come and that we may have to do in the near or more distant future. Fear of the future paralyzes, burdens and preoccupies us today and in the here and now. We explain what fear of the future is, how it can manifest itself and what you can do about it Overcoming fear of the future ...

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Fear of the future definition: what is it?

Fear of the future is the fear of what might happen in the next few days, weeks or even years. It is above all the question What happened if…? keeps busy people who are afraid of the future. The fear is made up of several components and is often intensified by this combination:

Fear of the future is ...

  • Fear of change.
  • Fear of uncertainty.
  • Afraid of how our decisions will turn out.
  • Afraid of the worst case scenario.

Fear of the future doesn't even need a specific reason or a special trigger that would justify it. Your own responsibility is mainly responsible negative attitude and imaginationwhat could go wrong. We paint the future in the darkest colors and imagine the worst conceivable events and processes - which everyone would probably be afraid of.

A Main cause of fear of the future is low self-confidence. Those who see themselves unable to face life's challenges - whatever they may be - automatically worry about what the future will hold in store.

But also personal experiences can lead to fear of the future or exacerbate it. If someone has already experienced several times that changes do not bring about the desired result at all, but rather end in chaos, problems or even suffering and pain, it is almost a natural reaction to react with fear of the future.

Finally, fears about the future often arise at important interfaces in life. For example, many students suffer from fear during their studies. It is not yet entirely clear in which direction everything will develop, much is still in the balance. The exams, the pressure, the expectations, the problems on the job market. All of this causes great fear of the future in the course of study.

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Symptoms of fear of the future

Fear of the future - like other fears - can express itself in different ways. In particular, the severity and severity of the individual symptoms can vary and depend on the individual. However, it is important that you recognize the signs and interpret them correctly.

  • You look to the future with fear and panic.
  • They do not see themselves in a position to solve future problems.
  • You feel helpless.
  • You feel sick thinking about the future.
  • They basically assume the worst.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You ponder for hours.
  • You rarely relax because you are always busy.
  • You just think about the fear of the future without enjoying the present.
  • You avoid talking about the future.
  • They react with physical complaints - palpitations, loss of appetite, panic attacks

In the next step, it is important that you do not deny your fear of the future, but take it seriously and understand how it will harm you. This is the only way you can really tackle the problem and work on overcoming your fear of the future instead of being restricted by it.

How fear of the future harms you

It can be a big mistake To underestimate fear of the future or even ignore it completely. Nevertheless, the fear of the future is repeatedly downplayed and can thus continue to cause damage regardless. Constant fear alone should be enough of a drive to change something in the situation, but the consequences of fear of the future can be far worse.

First and foremost, you will unhappy and dissatisfied - both with the current situation and of course with the future. If the fear of the future is firmly in your hand, you can no longer be happy about anything, but turn everything into the negative and literally wait for something bad to happen.

Another consequence is that you give up early and no longer pursue your goals. Since you are already afraid of what will happen in the future, instead of being afraid you will give up plans and just give up instead of trying. Fear of the future makes you increasingly face yourself even in the way.

In the worst case scenario, fear of the future can be so strong that it becomes too Depression and serious mental health problems leads.

This is how you can overcome fear of the future

Often the fear of the future is already deeply anchored. Significant experiences are difficult to forget and the character has formed over years or even decades. However, there are a number of things you can do about it and you don't just have to come to terms with fate.

We have some tips and tricks collected, with which the fear of the future can be a thing of the past:

  • Work on your confidence

    A good way to combat fear of the future is to tackle it directly at the cause. The greater your self-confidence, the sooner you see yourself equipped for the tasks of the future - and the less afraid you are of them. With the right basic attitude, you can view setbacks and difficulties positively and grow with them instead of falling into fear.

    A tried and tested strategy for more self-confidence is to keep being aware of your own strengths and successes. Remind yourself of what you are good at and what problems you have already overcome. This strengthens the belief that you will continue to make it in the future.

  • Talk to people you know

    Fear of the future can lead to isolation if you keep pulling back and hushing up the problem. Try to overcome this barrier and confide in friends and family. This can be a huge relief and you have someone to back you up and take the fear away.

    The conversations can also give you a new perspective. Perhaps you are not alone with your fear, but you are reacting incorrectly to the situation.

  • Put the fear of the future in relation

    Fear of the future makes you see everything black and believe that everything will turn out for the worst. But put this worst case scenario in perspective. Even if it does happen, is it really that bad?

    Often things are much more dramatic in our imagination than they actually are in the end. Force yourself not to simply exaggerate, but to make comparisons. Would it really be the end of the world or is it maybe only half as wild?

  • Write down your fears about the future

    Sometimes it can help to write down your own fear of the future from your soul. Keep a journal or write down on a small pad what worries you and what you are afraid of. This is not intended to help you remember it or to re-examine your fear of the future.

    Rather, after a while you can page back again - and discover that the fears were completely unfounded, as none of what you feared has occurred. This can help overcome fear of the future.

  • Live in the here and now

    A difficult, but very effective way to combat fear of the future: Focus on what is happening in the present. You live in the here and now, not in a week, a month or a year. While it is important and useful to have plans, if they are only fearful, it is better to move on to the future later.

  • Stop the constant brooding

    Fear of the future happens in the head. They think about what could happen, imagine horror scenarios and increasingly convince themselves that this is exactly how it will turn out. The way to stop this is to stop brooding and worrying all the time.

    The best way to do this is by distraction. Don't give yourself time to think, do things that require your full attention.

  • Find help

    This is difficult for many and is usually the last step, but if you cannot get your fear of the future under control by yourself, you should seek the help you need. The persistent anxiety affects your quality of life and can lead to serious mental health problems that you should speak to an expert about.

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17th December 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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