There is nothing certain but the uncertain. When nothing is assured, everything is possible.
Indeed, uncertainty can be the most stressful feeling, especially for those who are driven by certainty. In psychological safety, certainty is the need to feel secure in one’s environment. It’s the need for stability so to make one feel comfortable with their surroundings. Having control and consistency is a high need for some, but… certainty doesn’t exist.
Instead, let’s look at uncertainty as a superpower. Let’s view it as a way of allowing life to surprise us, as a way of having variety in our life and as a way to expect the unexpected challenges.
That’s where the real excitement is.
Although our brain doesn’t like change, the sooner we accept that change is constant and inevitable, the better we can work with changing our mindset that the only certainty is uncertainty.
Greatness never came from comfort zones.
Certainty is a closed door
Certainty can keep you stuck in unhealthy relationships, unhappy work environments and energy-draining friendships.
Let’s say you grew up in an environment where your father drank a lot, your parents argued daily and things were thrown around the house.
Now, let’s fast forward 30 years. You now find yourself in a miserable relationship. You can’t seem to agree on anything and you don’t know how you got to this point, when you were so madly in love.
For some, it is a repeating pattern. It happens over and over again, but they don’t know why.
Well, the reason is that the brain loves certainty. Consequently, it opposes change. Your brain loves something that feels familiar, intimate and recognisable.
The opposite of faith is certainty
Therefore, if you grew up in a hostile environment, your brain is going to go with someone who does like a drink or two… or more. It will be drawn to a person who will challenge you, scream at you and even throw some of your furniture around.
Additionally, your brain will feel comfortable when you feel scared, distressed and confused because that’s all it knows.
You see? It’s not your fault. It’s your brain’s conditioning. It doesn’t know any better.
This is the very reason why we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable with uncertainty. Otherwise, you always go for the second denomination – the toxic relationships, debilitating jobs and unsound experiences.
The future is no more uncertain than the present
Some of the most inspirational and transformative chapters in our lives won’t have a title until we have experienced them much later on. As Socrates puts it nicely, ‘the only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing’.
Nevertheless, there is a little trick you can do called the inversion technique.
Inversion is a way of thinking about what you want to achieve in reverse. In other words, instead of only thinking forward about what you need to do to get what you want, you would flip it in reverse and think backwards about what you don’t want to happen.
Essentially, you can reverse engineer your thinking.
You learn to think backwards, which is very helpful when you want to deconstruct and interpret a problem or a thought pattern.
By going back in time, to see what worked and what didn’t work, you will be able to bring forward the practical and positive strategies you applied. In turn, it will help build your brain’s resistance to change. It will link familiarity to a time in the past.
It’s an effective method for minimising gloom, grief or repeating patterns. You are only taking the good bits out of the past and bringing them to the future.
Big changes start with small steps
Focusing on small steps and small, actionable impressions will ensure that you won’t keep repeating unnecessary patterns that no longer serve you. Plus, it will start training the muscle of uncertainty and your brain’s desire for novelty.
These small steps will help you build security in order to gradually make bolder decisions and push yourself forward to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Even when you start to ponder the ultimate consequences of a specific course of action, you can eventually make yourself feel calmer and more grounded.
As a result, it will spark new brain chemicals that will lead you to success by accepting change. When you can carefully identify the parameters that may increase the chances of success and reduce the chances of failure, your ability to deal with uncertainty and change makes you become more confident.
Embrace the perfect chaos
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. It is how we respond and react to life’s surprises.
Uncertainty never goes away. It is with us for life. Still, it can become our perfect chaos – unfamiliar yet so very adventurous. You see, in the midst of chaos, there is always opportunity that presents… if we choose to see it.
That’s why we must embrace uncertainty and watch our unpredictable, hectic and exciting lives unfold.