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Embracing the unknown: How accepting uncertainty puts you back in control
Untethered Mind, Wednesday Edition, 3-min read.
Humans have had an uncomfortable relationship with uncertainty since we were knocking stones together to create sparks.
We don't know what will happen next.
Doesn't sound like too much of a big deal, right?
But uncertainty has brought with it untold struggles for humans.
It's made us nervous, avoidant and unwilling to try new things and explore our potential.
If you've ever been nervous about a seemingly important decision, you'll know uncertainty's power over us.
Uncertainty has made me especially fearful, worrying about upcoming meetings, events and interviews. If I didn't know what I was going to say in the moment to sound clever and funny and wise, how could I feel in control of my life?
This made me either avoid the thing entirely or tighten up and feel more anxious.
It's also held me back creatively. I didn't write that book I wanted to write because I didn't know what it would look like, and I didn't know whether it would be a success or not.
I didn't know.
And that stopped me.
And it stops many of us.
Obviously, it's essential to have some reserve about the choices we make to save us from doing something stupid.
That's why this fear appears in the first place.
But often, it gets in the way more than it helps. It's overkill.
It's a funny phenomenon, really - one that goes hand in hand with our ability to be aware.
We do this funny thing where we fabricate the illusion of a past and a future.
It really is a fabrication, just like we create so many other things with our minds.
These things exist in theory but not in reality.
There's a disconnect.
It's like we have this idea in our heads of what the future could look like, but never receive the confirmation we're looking for. Because as soon as the promised future shows up, it melts into the present.
We realise that the future we were anticipating simply never comes. It's a sobering reminder that we cling to comfort where things don't exist.
We create both a sense of comfort and discomfort in a nest of illusion.
Not accepting that we can't know the future - that's what creates problems for us.
In our lack of acceptance, we resist. We grind teeth in service of a thought. And when we resist, we create stress.
And when we're stressed, we perform poorly.
So what's the solution?
You guessed it, we must accept.
But accepting is boring, Alex.
Not when you realise the joy that sits on the other side of acceptance.
When we learn to accept an uncertain future and the dark, cloudy skies it comprises, we have no need for resistance.
There's power in this seemingly inconsequential thing, and it can change your entire life's trajectory.
We can accept an uncertain future.
We welcome in calm again.
And when we're less stressed, we do better where we're needed most:
Right here, right now.
People continually thank me for the book I wrote on helping you detach from stressful thoughts: Illusory. Support Alex and enjoy the book today ⮕ Buy your copy here.
Thanks for reading.
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