You probably don’t know what that word means which is okay because many people don’t. Xenophobia is derived from the Greek word ‘Xenos’ meaning “stranger or foreign,” and Phobos means ‘morbid fear.’
Simply put it’s the fear of the unknown or beyond a person’s comfort zone. It can even come in different guises. From this point on I’m probably going to say the word fear a lot, but please continue to lend me your ears well, in this case, your eyes for a bit if you’re intrigued.
There are many types of different fears. Fear of change, swimming, going on a date, taking a test, buying a house, driving a car, starting a relationship, jumping off a plane, going on the Joker (newest roller coaster in Six Flags). Things like starting a new job, getting a divorce, buying a car, being intimate with somebody, going on a vacation to a place you have never been to before, thinking of death. Thinking about their weight or appearance, even fear of a particular race or nationality, and I honestly could go on and on because the list is endless. However, maybe some of the scenarios I have mentioned didn’t relate to you which is okay. Every human being is different. Such thoughts though can overwhelm a person to affect their daily lives and activities.
Some of the symptoms could be that the heart races, your mouth gets dry, shallow breathing, overthink and start to panic, feel anxious and want to escape, and more. Is any of that going to change the mental obstacle that things could go wrong in your life though? No.
Some of the steps to overcome the dilemma:
Knowledge is Power
Without understanding why you are afraid you’ll never really get past it. It stems from either a situation you’ve experienced or memories in your life. Ask yourself what do you fear the most and what circumstances cause you to run. Look at the pros and cons of why you’re afraid and what could go wrong. Once you can name the cause, that’s when progress can begin because then it won’t feel as scary to you or have the same control over you anymore.
Dreaming is Believing
Visualize and meditate on the positives of whatever situation you fear, rather than dwell on the negative all the time. Find a quiet place if you have to and visualize in your mind how you can fight it. Imagine different scenarios at least once a day where you can confront the mental obstacle in your mind first then deal with reality.
Don’t hide in a closet for hours on end thinking of what you may have to face in the future. Allow yourself to hang out with friends, listen to music, or watch a comedy. Don’t worry about the unknown because you’ll only be wasting precious time out of your life.
Like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus always use to say “take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
It’s okay to dive into the unknown sometimes but in doing so always listen to that voice inside your gut. Not the voice of fear, but your gut. That my friend will never steer you wrong.