On Well-Being: Fear of the Unknown

A photo of a stack of rocks balanced on the beach with the ocean visible in the background. White and gold text on a navy background reads: On Well-Being: Fear of the Unknown. June 2023. The Usher Syndrome Coalition logo is below the text.

Although uncomfortable, fear is a natural emotion that can protect us from harm. For example, looking both ways before crossing the street is a habit driven by fear of being hit by a car.

Fear of the unknown can be overwhelming and often accompanies a fear of the future, feeling out of control, and fear of failure. It's common to feel this way after receiving a diagnosis of Usher syndrome (USH). The fear of the unknown may persist even as you adjust to living with USH because the rate of vision loss can be unpredictable.

Fear can cast a big shadow, but if you shine a light on that fear by doing online research, connecting with a supportive Usher community, asking questions and participating in forums like the USH Blue Book, USH Discord and Facebook groups, you will discover that you are not alone on this journey. Taking these steps shows incredible strength. With a supportive community behind you, navigating through your changed trajectory can be that much easier. 

Although you cannot control the events that occur in your life, you have the power to control your reactions to them.

12 Tips To Help You Manage Your Feelings Of Fear:

  1. Write it down. Notice the thoughts you’re having when the feelings of fear appear. Notice when you think a thought that starts with “what if?”
  2. Recognize the emotion is there. It’s valid. Lean into it.
  3. Thank the feeling for bringing itself to your attention.  It presents a beautiful opportunity to learn how to cope with various life challenges. 
  4. Ask yourself what is it trying to tell you. What does it want you to learn? What is behind this fear?
  5. Accept reality for what it is. Accept that you might fail.
  6. Ask yourself how you want to respond to the situation that’s creating the emotion of fear.
  7. Exercise and meditate to slow down your thoughts.
  8. Talk about your fears to shine a light on the shadow that fears cast.
  9. Focus on the present moment and take things one step at a time. Live your life.
  10. Be thankful for opportunities. Be thankful for the beauty in this world.
  11. Recognize that you have the tools you need to deal with almost anything that comes your way.
  12. Practice! Practice feeling the emotions and working through them. Ride the wave.