As I highlighted above, there are many ways we can uncover in ourselves a fear of the unknown, or a fear of uncertainty. It is ok to have a little bit of ‘real’ fear to help us focus on what needs to be done, but too much fear lessens our joy, affects our health, reduces our potential, closes us to love, and causes us to miss out on the true magic life has to offer.
Tony Robbins talks about two of our basic human needs being our need for ‘certainty’ and also paradoxically a need for ‘uncertainty’. We actually need uncertainty in our lives. I believe we need it for excitement, adventure, growth, creativity, innovation, success, joy, and to tap into the full potential that resides within us, which does not operate by any small-minded rules (unless of course we know everything there is to know in the universe). 😉
So the more we can embrace, find comfort and make peace with leaning into the unknown, the greater our lives will become and the more our fear will dissipate.
Why we need ‘it’
I was once working with a client over a week, with a focus on relationships. She struggled with the uncertainty with her current partner, and the fear and anxiety it exposed. Over the week we spoke of all her previous relationships to get perspective. Then in the last session, she said “I almost forgot. There was one other relationship in my life.” Do you know why she forgot it?
There was 100% certainty in the relationship. She knew exactly what this guy would do or not do, and how and when he would show up, or even how he would respond in a situation. In other words 100% certainty equaled boring.
This was a serious light-bulb moment for her. She realised that passion and excitement and spontaneity and adventure, hung out in the realm of uncertainty. So she decided to lean into uncertainty (being ok with not knowing 100%), because the opposite was a little on the dull side.
We only know what we know
And yes, I say this a lot. It is a reminder for me as much as for you. 😉
I wrote an eBook about Becoming an ELITE Goal Setter, which was a combo of 20 years of high level strategic planning, plus what I know now about life, the mind, and a working understanding of quantum physics. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favour (if you ask nicely, I will send you a copy). What I realised is that as important it is to have a great plan, and stay focused on your end goal, the HOW to get you to your goal often changes – FOR THE BETTER.
If you get so fixated on doing something the way you think it ‘should’ be done; there is a very good chance you may miss the magical piece of the puzzle (sitting off in the ‘unknown’) that will have you quantum leap 20 steps. If you are closed off from the unknown or if you are too fixated on what you think you know, you may be missing the key piece to your greatest masterpiece.
Get clear about your end-goal, come up with a great plan, move in that direction, but don’t become overly controlling in the ‘how’ or you will miss the helping hands that are always there.
We sometimes have short memories
I want you to think of something that worked out well for you. Maybe you landed a great job. Maybe you have found your ideal partner. Maybe you made a major life change. Maybe you found a new passion or mission in life. What is something awesome in your life?
Now I want you to follow the threads back to what may have been a catalyst for this amazing thing in your life.
Here are a few of mine:
Explored the world, traveling to over 50 countries. The catalyst: a VERY painful relationship break-up.
Doing work that I love, that inspires me, that helps others and makes me feel good about myself. The catalyst: leaving a high-paying (and easy) job.
In an amazing relationship for the last 7 years (anniversary in 2 days). The catalyst: getting dumped.
Getting into personal development 15 years ago and changing my life entirely. The catalyst: huge discontentment with my life.
All of these apparent ‘bad’ things threw me into the UNKNOWN. There was a lot of uncertainty and fear. But in the end, they were the BEST things that could of happened to me.
Maybe life is for us, and not against us. And wants us to succeed. Maybe there is some weird unmeasurable, unexplainable thing at play here, where everything always works out in the end.
Has that been your experience?
Then next time you are floundering in the unknown, remember…surprisingly enough, everything always works out in the end.
Can we ever be 100% certain?
Is there anything we can be 100% certain of? The old saying was death and taxes. But we can cross off tax if you have an extremely high paid tax accountant or are in a developing country where most people pay no tax. So are we certain of death? Yep. Are you 100% certain of what it means or what is next? Nup. We can have our beliefs, but 100% certainty of the bit after our last breath is still uncertain.
We are not even 100% certain of death. So how sensible is it to try and create 100% certainty in our own lives. It might be one of those truly IMPOSSIBLE goals. So aiming for 100% certainty is guaranteed to make you feel bad. So don’t do it!!!!!!!!
There are teachings in Asian cultures about being unattached to the outcome. You may be trying to establish a particular outcome, so have the right plan in place, but maybe the right outcome for you now (and what is right for the greater good) may be different to your idea of the ideal. Maybe loosen up on the certainty of the end result and you will create a true masterpiece. Think POST-IT Notes. Glue that didn’t work becomes a multimillion-dollar business.
Are you hanging on to something too tight? Are you so attached to the outcome you are making yourself stressed-out? Are you blocking out the light and magic by your control?
ACCEPT a level of uncertainty exists in everything you do (and is ok) and you will not only feel less stressed, you might create something TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!
The land of possibility
I want to finish with this idea. The land of infinite possibility actually resides smack-bang in the middle of your unknown.
So my hypothesis, goes like this:
Most of us don’t know what we are capable of. If we keep doing what we have always done, and expecting what we always expect, then we won’t fully evolve into the greatest expression of ourselves. I believe we need to lean into and embrace uncertainty (not recklessly), even though it feels uncomfortable, to discover what is on the other side for us. And trust that everything will always work out in the end, because life is for us and not against us. And wants us to fully shine, because when that happens, we enhance and expand life.
KNOW we need uncertainly to have a healthy, happy and adventurous life.
Be focused on your goals, but be aware of the peripheries where often unexpected and synchronistic help resides which will quantum leap your results.
“Things always work out in the end and if not; then it is not the end.” From the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
KNOW we can never be 100% certain, so let go of this false idea and practice.
Pick a mantra that works for you: 1) ‘It is what it is’, 2) ‘When I lean into uncertainty I feel myself grow’, 3) ‘I release my hold on certainty and embrace the adventure called life’, 4) ‘Uncertainty lives in the land of infinite possibility’, 5) ‘I embrace the mysteries of life’.
As always, please ask any questions you have. Or tell me how much you love these tips (or hate them). 😉 Also do me and others a huge favour and pass them on. Knowledge used in the right way is definitely a way to access our incredible power. All the very best and take care.