How to Deal with Uncertainty

“What scares me the most, is the uncertainty”.

This is a phrase I’ve heard the most over the past six weeks with clients and in conversations outside of my business, when the topic of fear or control has come up.

At 25 I got married and we were certain we’d be together forever.  The marriage lasted 5 years.

I was certain I’d spend my career in the corporate world leading and coaching sales teams – I loved it.  But in 2015 I left it behind and a year later,  I set up my own coaching business, SwellCoach.

In January this year, when I booked flights back home to NZ, I was certain I was going to see my family again in May. Now…who knows when we’ll be able to see each other again in person?

This idea that we have ever had, or ever will have control over anything external, is an illusion.  It’s an illusion we take great comfort in but it’s like the Emperor’s New ‘Blankie’ – it’s not really there!

One thing I’m certain of, there is no certainty.

Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman emperor and philosopher said, “You have great power over your mind – not external events.  Realise this and you will find strength.”

Placing our psychological wellbeing in an external event – a situation, circumstance, person or thing – is like planning an outdoor party in the UK in the middle of January.  You can do it but you’ll likely get soaked.  And this is often where our psychological struggles are created.  An innocent misunderstanding of how our mind works.

An external event, does not have the capacity to give you uncertain feelings.  Your uncertain thoughts ABOUT the external event, creates your uncertain feelings.  Thought and feeling are two sides of the same coin.  You can’t have one, without the other.  And all feelings arise and dissolve from within, through Thought in the moment.

That’s helpful to know because it means you don’t have to wait for the external event to change, in order for your uncertain feelings to dissolve.  You just have to wait for a new thought to come along.  And that is available to you in any moment.  Our capacity for fresh, new thinking, new ideas, a new perspective, is limitless.

There IS a certainty that we can all take great comfort in and that is the knowledge that we are built for reality and designed to thrive. Humans have been doing it for millions of years.

Think about every tough situation you’ve been in and you’ll see that in the moment of need, you had clarity of focus, you had the wisdom to act on instinct and to know what to do next.   In addition to that, when you’ve been knocked down, you were able to bounce back up again.

Think about that now.  When you were in the darkest moments and you wondered how you were ever going to get through.  You did.

And here you are.  Still.

So that shows that you can sit in the realm of uncertainty and know that you are equipped with everything you need to deal with it. Because you’ve done it before.

This situation is no different.

Your strength, wisdom, clarity, resilience and peace of mind is innate.  It’s always there, like the sun behind the clouds of your fearful, worrisome thinking/feelings.

Trust in it.  Trust in you.

You are capable of far more than you think because you are far more than you think.

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