If you are anything like me, the word “uncertainty” makes you feel very uncomfortable. Who wants to be uncertain? Don't we do everything in our life to try and avoid this (I know I sure do). We research, we predict, we plan and organize ourselves to avoid any negative possibilities. We do everything in our power to control our circumstances in order to avoid uncertainty.
Yet, uncertainty is inevitable despite our best efforts and intentions. We will never know what the future holds or what the full impact will be of whatever it is we are doing in this moment. So, if uncertainty is unavoidable, how the heck do we get comfortable with it? Here are some suggestions that I hope will add value:
Let Go - Letting go means not to control. For a ‘control-freak’ like myself this is completely unnatural and usually only occurs when things are not going my way and I am forced to throw my hands up in the air and say “Okay, I give up!” So before being beaten into submission, try letting go of your investment in any specific outcome. It's okay to have a plan and to hope that things will go in a certain direction, but you have to let go of the need for things to go in the direction you want it to.
- Be Open - This is tied to letting go - you have to be open to whatever the outcome may be. This is a tough one because the whole point of planning, organizing, researching and controlling is to assure a certain outcome. However, if you believe in universal intelligence or divine wisdom or something along those lines, then you can appreciate the possibility that the universe has got this and knows much better than you and me what the right outcome is for any situation.
Bring Acceptance - Life is happening whether we want it to or not. For example, if I get stuck in traffic when I am already late for work, the traffic is happening and I am late. No matter how much I yell, scream, and curse everyone on the road - I'm still late and stuck in traffic. As a result, bringing acceptance to my situation is my only refuge. It enables me to not waste my energy in resisting what is happening but instead begin thinking about how I might be able to respond to the situation. Acceptance allows the creativity to flow, so I can come up with a solution or recognize that maybe it really isn't that big a deal that I'm late and stuck in traffic. Maybe the world will wait for me to get to it when I can.
Have Faith - This is the most essential component to being comfortable with uncertainty. You absolutely, unequivocally have to have faith! A belief that no matter what, the universe has got your back and it will all be okay. You have to believe that everything that happens is happening for your well-being, even if it may not look like it at this moment. If you hold on to this kind of faith, the anxiety in being uncertain will begin to melt away because although you may not know what the outcome of a situation will be, you can hold on to the certainty that the universe is taking care of you, so you will be just fine!
Hold on to Wonder – The truth is, life really isn't about planning the whole thing out or controlling the outcome of every situation. Instead, it is an adventure! Although control feels like it will bring us happiness, how many times can you look back on something you desperately thought you wanted but didn't get and instead life took you on a different path that was so much better. If you know what I am talking about, that is the gift of wonder. Always hold on to the possibility that the outcome will be so much better than you could ever imagine it to be!
I would love to hear from you about your tips on combating the discomfort with uncertainty. Please share your wisdom at the bottom of this post.
Helping people get comfortable with the uncertainty in their life is my passion. If there is any way you think I might be able to help you with this, please send me a message and we can schedule a free 30-minute-initial consult.