In a previous article, we discussed how our nature (DNA) and nurture (news cycles on our phones) are set up to create an extreme desire of avoiding uncertainty. We proposed a different direction of solution: questioning your avoidance tactics and experiencing (some of) your uncertainty.
Why on earth would I want to experience the thing that makes me feel uncomfortable/anxious/fearful/depressed?
Because certainty never taught you anything.
All the growth you have had in your life, and which is yours to keep as long as you live, came from some level of discomfort: growing pains – remember those? – made you taller; exam stress made you mentally tougher; new job jitters made you perform better; relationship blues made you understand yourself and your partner more.
Let’s go one level deeper: If you desire something of significance in your life, I can almost guarantee you that you will be required to face UNCERTAINTY. But that means that the inverse is also true.
If you face UNCERTAINTY in your life, it is there to assist you in getting the significant thing you desire. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
Yes Ann, but I don’t want to feel this way, it hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not what I’m used to, I don’t like it, I want something different… My most heartfelt advice to you is:
Suck it up, Cupcake, this is EXACTLY what you need.
How do I know? Because it’s here and you are living it! Is it easier to avoid? Sure! Will it go away? Maybe, but it will come back again later, probably in a different way. So either give up your desire for something significant OR learn how to deal with the uncertainty Life is throwing at you in an effort to get you off your emotional ass.
I know what I am stating is simple, but it is definitely not easy. What I am asking you to do, is to give up a lifetime’s worth of negative programming and to embrace the thing you have been learning to do so well – avoidance.
So if it took you years to get to this point, it will probably take you a bit of time to fix. However, the higher your level of awareness, the faster the process goes. There are also awesome tools to enhance your awareness and help you build a skill set and set of behaviours that quickly enables you from a) being fearful of uncertainty to b) enduring uncertainty to c) understanding the need for uncertainty to d) accepting uncertainty to e) possibly, sometime in the future, embracing uncertainty.
You have heard of these tools many times, I don’t need to explain them. But I can tell you that if you feel uncertain and you have these tried and tested tools in your corner – and you know how to use them- then uncertainty is no longer the big bad monster that you think it is.
Here are a few of these tools:
- Meditation: there are lots of studies on what it does physiologically and psychologically. Even 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference.
- Spirituality: whatever you pray towards, asking for help from a Higher Power is a tradition that is thousands of years old. If you don’t ask, then you won’t get. Don’t ask for it to be easier, ask for you to be better equipped to deal with the uncertainty at hand. Then… expect an answer. Best done when your ego is not involved, so when you are on your knees (metaphorically speaking).
- Yoga: Following your breath while being present in your body is one of the most powerful ways to remain in the moment. Just don’t try to avoid your current situation by doing yoga. Rather experience it fully while remaining present, where you are not depressed about the past or anxious about the future.
I trust these tips are useful and that they can empower you to face your uncertainty and even embrace it as one of the most powerful forces of change in your life.
To your ever continuing uncertainty!