How To Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

A Change In Perspective

“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, Infinite Possibilities open up in your life.” — Eckhart Tolle

There’s a well-known Chinese proverb which reads: “If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.” Life is filled with uncertainty. We rarely have a precise picture of what lies ahead of us, so we take what arises with courage. It is natural to think we are in control of our life, yet uncertainty is required because the seeds of opportunity lie in the unexpected. At a deeper level, we fear uncertainty because we lack the life skills to navigate through it. Known as a negativity bias, it is a mental predisposition to notice and ruminate on negative information while neglecting the positive. The security we crave is an illusion that draws us into a false sense of safety. As a result, our mind looks to our external environment to reinforce a sense of balance.

To believe we are in command of our life can be a blessing and curse. In one way, it affirms our sense of safety, while on the other it is misleading because we have limited control, if any. It’s no surprise given the mind is notorious for exaggerating situations more than they appear. Known in psychology as catastrophising, it refers to the inherent bias to perceive events within a negative context. So, how can we embrace the unexpected without being overcome by the accompanying emotions? To embrace uncertainty requires a change in perspective. We must yield to the intrinsic forces of life, not oppose them. However uncomfortable, we learn to lean in to our fears and insecurities, not run away from them. We inhabit our body when anxiety arises and choose a time to examine the cause of the anxiety.

Create A Compelling Future

“Faith means living with uncertainty – feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark.” — Dan Millman

For example, have you experienced similar anxiety in the past? If so, are you repeating these feelings instead of dealing with them? Fear is a confronting emotion, yet we gain the self-assurance when we embrace it as a useful emotion. We can turn down the volume on fear by being exposed to it a little each time. Uncertainty is an inner knowing that everything will turn out exactly as it should. It strengthens our commitment to abide with the natural order of life. We ought to be comfortable with uncertainty because it is apparent in our lives and we mustn’t retreat from it but expose ourselves to it a little each time. It was the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who once declared: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

The key is to find balance between uncertainty and maintaining control, without manipulating outcomes. We let go of any tension, anxiety and fear by embracing the unknown. Uncertainty helps us re-evaluate the past and make new choices in light of what transpires. It presents opportunities to create a compelling future based on new information. Often, the most ambitious plans emerge through the obscuring veil of uncertainty. Therefore, we must learn to welcome curiosity and excitement and slowly we can become comfortable with it. Similarly, we ought to be aware of our present actions as we embrace uncertainty. In doing so, we move toward the unfamiliar with a firm ambition to resolve the past.

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