Future Anxiety

The human condition - always (somewhat) anxious

Originally posted on Medium.

Everyone is anxious about the future.

How do I know this and how can you deal with it?

It is the essential human condition. The future is the quintessential “unknown” and anxiety about the unknown is a basic feature of humans. It also means we all start out in life needing to cope with the future.

We have fears for ourselves, others, the world… But what’s the common thread?

I think it is about control. The future is not controlled, is uncertain, so we fear it. The consequent anxiety leads to many partial solutions, such as cognitive bias, selfishness, risk avoidance, change avoidance and magical thinking.

So what is the best solution? Learn to be future proof.

Becoming future proof is a lifestyle choice rather than a one-off fix.

Why is learning to be future proof different from what most of us already do to fend off the fear and anxiety?

It is an achievable goal with side benefits that helps provide a sense of control rather than avoiding facing the issue.

When dealing with uncertainty (e.g. climate change, business needs etc.) you need knowledge and confidence that you’ll be able to use this knowledge to ‘create’ solutions to what comes at you!

Having this personal resource gives you a sense of control and is therefore, if not the cure, then at least the means to cope with your future anxiety.