Friday, April 22, 2011

7 Ways to Get Comfortable With Uncertainty (Read Time: 3 min.)

Are you a control freak? Do you have to figure everything out before you make a single move?
Are you afraid to take risks?
Do you have to know that there's at least a 70% chance that things will work out before you step out?
Does uncertainty drive you crazy?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I have one question for you:
How's that working for you?

Life is filled with uncertainty. What makes life an adventure is the uncertainty. If you knew everything that was going to happen in your life before it ever happened, you'd end up in one of two states: 1) bored out of your mind or 2) simply out of your mind. There's a reason why most of us can't see into the complete and total future. Uncertainty is not an obstacle of life; it is the course of life. The sooner you get used to that idea, the more successful you will be in going after what you want.

When people talk about not pursuing a particular dream or goal, the first thing that comes up for them is the uncertainty. How will I know if this is the right path for me to take? What if this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing? What if things don't work out? How will I know when it's the right time? Here's the best part: there is no right time. The only way you'll know if you're supposed to have what you say you want occurs after you've begun pursuing it.

When you go for a goal or dream and doors keep closing in your face and the pit of your stomach keeps telling you that something in this situation just isn't right, that's all the sign you need to know that you're probably on the wrong path and need to make a few adjustments. That doesn't mean you give up the dream entirely. It simply means you need more discovery time to change your plans, be flexible in your approach and try things differently. As you tweak your strategy, your path will become clear. But, if you never leap out on faith and begin the work, you never get to find out if that's what you're supposed to be doing at this time.

Getting comfortable with uncertainty is a course in every single person's spiritual curriculum. Some of us do better in this class than others but we all have to pass it. The key to getting comfortable with uncertainty comes in understanding three points

  1. You don't control nearly as much in life as you think you do. Most of the major life events that will take place will happen whether you like it or not. It's not the occurrence of the life event that you control but it's your response that will dictate to what extent that life event affects you. You don't control people living or dying, getting pregnant, somebody staying or leaving you, getting fired from a job, losing a home in a fire. There are so many life transitions that will happen without your consent. When you truly understand how little of life's occurrences are in your complete and total control, you'll get good with the fact that being comfortable with uncertainty is the skill that you need to master. When you are good with uncertainty, it doesn't matter what comes your way. You know you can handle. You believe that things will work out for the best. This faith and ability to transcend circumstances makes you invincible. Don't live from the lie that you control everything. Live from the truth that no matter what comes your way, you can handle it because you aren't afraid of uncertainty.

  2. You are not Manager of the Universe. In our technologically savvy world, far too many of us think that God isn't required in their lives, that the click of a mouse or the creation of a new scientific treatment is all that they need to cure every ill of life. Here's the deal: God's one thought can fix a lifetime of problems and He operates bigger and faster than anything you can do. Why would you try to subconsciously take on His job when you simply cannot fill those shoes? Why would you want to? There's no employee alive who's going to do the work of the CEO for the production line rate of pay. When you get that you are not Manager of the Universe, that the world doesn't rise and fall based on your ability to "figure things out", you free yourself from the burden and pain of feeling like every decision you make has centuries of consequences. Resign as Manager of the Universe. Let God do his job. Put your intentions out there, take the actions you can take and do all that you can with all that you are but let God be God. There are certain things in life that are God jobs and those things, no matter how hard you try, are not up to you. The sooner you resign, the faster God can work.

  3. It's okay to not be 100% on board with a decision before you make it. When you don't have complete information, there isn't 100% certainty that things are going to work out. Some people have faith that gives them that feeling of 100% certainty but alot of don't. There are some areas of life where we can believe like nobody's business and have faith for years. There are other areas of life where we doubt from moment one. Just because your faith doesn't feel strong enough doesn't mean you don't keep moving in that direction. It takes a mustard seed of faith to move mountains. Resist the temptation to make your faith the reason why you aren't moving forward. Understand that in much of life, you'll have to walk with some doubt as you build up your faith. The problem with uncertainty isn't that you doubt your ability to make the right choice. It's that you live on the fence somewhere between one choice and the other and that paralyzes you from making a move at all. The paralysis is the problem, not the uncertainty about your options. Be okay with not feeling 100% sure. Step out and trust that whatever you need to know will be revealed to you. Take time to get quiet each day and listen for the messages from your intuition. When you get those messages, heed them and move forward in the direction you're feeling called to move forward in. Once you make a choice, don't second guess it. Go with it, listen for guidance and change as the guidance changes. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will you be stuck in doubt and fear? No.

At the end of the day, you'll be in this spiritual class until you get this spiritual lesson. You'll be presented with uncertainty in every which way you turn until you can finally release the illusion of control and be willing to learn along the way. Why fight a part of what life is when it's not going away? Uncertainty is here to stay. It's not the uncertainty of your life that needs to change. It's your perception and dealing with it that needs to shift...

You weren't built to be broken...

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