I usually never notice splashy billboards or colourful ads while hurrying down streets but this one made me pause. The design used minimalist black blocks as a backdrop and emphasized white letters in bold. The spare presentation effortlessly commanded the attention of hustling pedestrians. “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity” was tattooed boldly on the hard metal stand.
I was taken aback at how simply a new perspective was presenting itself. Fear can be viewed in two ways- a setback or powerful stepping stone. I always regarded fear as the former, viewing it under an amplified negative light. It made no sense to shed positivity on a feeling that hindered and magnified every difficulty. But fear seems to be the misunderstood and defamed synonym of curiosity. Curiosity has been given much credit for innovation and fresh beginnings. It is portrayed as a virtue that one should never lose in order to grow and expand as a person. What if fear is parallel to curiosity except it serves as a catalyst, pushing and challenging us, therefore attaining a bad reputation? The role is like a case of ‘good cop bad cop’ with curiosity being the nurturer and fear being the opponent that drives us forward.
Identifying your fears is somewhat reassuring because you know what to anticipate while fear of the unknown is especially alarming because you are faced with uncertainty and insecurity. Blindly entering situations without any reassurance or knowledge of what to be afraid of stunts growth and kills progress. The quote presents a new perspective that sheds much-needed positivity on such a daunting thought. Fear of the unknown grips everyone from time to time because we are unaware of our weaknesses. Our fear of being blindsided shuts down our innate tendency to gravitate towards the unknown.
In this stage of self-discovery, our inability to embrace the unknown negates the purpose of being at university. Approaching situations with curiosity lessens the apprehensive uneasiness and helps our mind focus on the potential good that derives from new experiences. Challenge yourself to replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity to ease difficulty and comfort uneasiness.