The unknown. Those mere words inspire feelings of awe, trepidation, and even danger. To venture into the unknown is to risk — well, who knows what? It’s the unknown. And yet, the unknown is also where the greatest adventures take place, the biggest discoveries are made, and where we truly learn who we are at our core, unbound by the constraints of our normal life.
There’s also incredible beauty and freedom in the unknown, which is why mindbodygreen and Corning® Gorilla® Glass have teamed up to send adventure traveler, blogger, and Wanderful founder and CEO Beth Santos to check out the Navajo Nation region of Arizona and Utah. Full of landmarks like the Betatakin Ruins, Alstrom Point, and Slot Canyons, the area offers stunning vistas and spectacular encounters with the natural world to those courageous enough to trek into its depths.
Gorilla Glass 4 is the perfect partner for a journey like Beth’s. Gorilla Glass is the cover glass that has been used on nearly 4 billion devices. It helps protect your devices from everyday wear and tear, and the latest iteration, Gorilla Glass 4, offers dramatically improved performance against drops on rough surfaces and protection against the damage that comes with the everyday use (not to mention travel-related use) of your smartphones and tablets. Corning Incorporated scientists replicated common drop situations in their lab to create Gorilla Glass 4, a cover glass that survives up to 80 percent of the time when dropped from 3 feet onto rough surfaces.
By following along with Beth’s journey, you can enter to win prizes — a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ of your own as well as a hand-curated wellness prize pack from mindbodygreen. So, follow @CorningGorilla on Twitter and come back to experience this tough journey brought to you by Gorilla Glass 4.
In the meantime, if you can’t imagine what an expedition like this would be like, enjoy these four tips for preparing to journey into the unknown.
1. Choose the right unknown for you.
It’s healthy to get out of your comfort zone. Being comfortable isn’t necessarily “good” or “bad” — it’s just that getting too comfortable actually isn’t that comfortable at all. When we get too comfortable, we feel bored and unchallenged, and we’re more easily shaken up when the world throws unexpected change at us. Above and beyond all that, life is about growth. If we were meant to stay in a warm, safe place where all of our needs were always taken care of, we’d just exist in the womb forever!
So you do want to push your boundaries — but you also get to choose which boundaries get pushed. If Deep Blue Sea terrified you, skip the scuba diving. If just looking up at a skyscraper gives you vertigo, then rock climbing probably isn’t for you. But if you love to run, maybe a hardcore obstacle race could be a good time. Pick something that aligns with your interests, rather than agreeing to do something you seriously dislike just because you want to escape your routine.
2. Reframe your anxiety as excitement.
You’ve heard that cliché about how there are no problems, just opportunities? It’s annoying when the HR trainer says it, but it hits upon an important truth: Perception and attitude make a difference.
If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming brand-new experience, first of all, pause and remind yourself that that’s normal. Feeling anxiety doesn’t make you a coward or a bad person — it just makes you human. Observe your anxiety, sit with it, and let yourself accept it. Then ask yourself if it’s the only possible response to your situation. Isn’t it conceivable that instead of being scary, taking a weeklong canoe trip with your friends could be a blast? (Why would they suggest it otherwise?) Don’t fight your anxiety — just acknowledge it, own it, and recognize that it can be accompanied by other, equally valid and more positive emotions.
3. Imagine the worst-case scenario.
But I am imagining it, you might be saying. Are you, though? Or are you just caught up in a bunch of nebulous, unarticulated fears? Take a breath and actually stop and identify the absolute worst thing that could happen if you go to that party or take that vacation overseas. Will you die? Probably not. Will someone openly make fun of or hurt you? Again: unlikely. In all likelihood, the worst thing that could happen is that you don’t talk to anyone at the party (or you spill on your new outfit), which sucks, but it’s hardly a tragedy, or that you don’t have the whirlwind foreign romance you’ve fantasized about. But you definitely won’t have it if you don’t go.
4. Research and plan.
If you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet you have internet access — and the collective wisdom of thousands of other people at your fingertips. And chances are good that at least a few of them have survived, and even enjoyed, the experience you’re about to embark on. Research is a great way to get a handle on anxiety, because it gives you an idea of what to expect. (Just don’t overdo it — if you find yourself stressing over a pile of books and list of links to check out, pick three or four that look most appealing and give yourself permission to forget the rest. After all, you want to leave some unknown to uncover!)
Remember: We’re all constantly venturing into the unknown — it’s called the future, and no one knows for sure what it holds. Taking on a more specific unknown is just a slightly advanced version of what you’re already doing. And the more you do it, the more you’ll know what it’s like — and the better it will feel.
Photo courtesy of the author