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The Gift of Uncertainty

The Gift of Uncertainty

Posted on 18. Jul, 2016 by gilly in Coach's Wisdom

Tony Robbins says: “Your level of passion and aliveness is directly proportional to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

At the risk of lapsing into current cliché, we are living in exceptionally uncertain times. Whatever news outlet we follow, the daily reminders of how much uncertainty our governments and societies are fielding, come at us fast and furious. I’d  like to take the grappling-with-uncertainty challenge down to the individual level because guess what? Surrendering complete control and absolute knowledge of a situation can be liberating! This may seem obvious but it bears repeating that, in a state of uncertainty, or not knowing, we can enjoy “hits” of deeper wisdom and insights unsuspected. Several years ago, I discovered that it can actually be energising and freeing to just… not know. Call it beginner’s mind or fresh perspective, this is a new way of coming at things through which life can feel more precious.

There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I absolutely had to know it all, cover all bases and secure all guarantees before making any plan, choice or decision. Happily, those dull days are long gone and I now function more effortlessly and sail through myriad life choices with only approximate certainty, yet far more confidence. I went from needing absolute predictability to embracing the unknown (ok, maybe not with such open arms, and maybe not every day), from risk-free-über-alles to what-the-hell, from let’s-confirm-it-all-before-we-take-another-breath to let’s-leave-some-bridges-to-when-we-get-there. Taking myself through this transformation has enabled me to support my coaching clients in adopting similar attitudes.

If your life has become ponderously predictable or uninspired, there may be a link with your need to cover every contingency or flush out any uncertainty.

If you sense this could be the case, take time to intentionally dip a toe in uncertain waters, dare to go where you have not gone before. And fear not: you can achieve this more simply than you think. Start by carving out some personal Dream Time (take yourself to your favorite cafe or corner of your garden or park) to reflect on:

  • What matters to you most today?
  • What is no longer true for you?
  • What are you doing that no longer feeds your soul?
  • What might be compromising your integrity or hampering your calling or interfering with your heart these days?
  • What change you could make, starting now, to live in greater integrity with both your heart and your soul?

Now grab a pen and paper and do it!

Be honest with yourself, be authentic, don’t filter these questions–or the answers that gently percolate–through your sophisticated brain, let your gut do some of the talking.

And don’t be afraid of the answers that pop up, no matter how they rattle your safely guarded beliefs.

The answers that emerge may usher in unexpected uncertainty, but in the long term, they might just make your life a whole lot simpler.

For more inspiration on welcoming uncertainty see also: Pemma Chodron “Comfortable with Uncertainty”

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