>“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
I read this article on TinyBuddha.com about the topic of uncertainty. I’m totally using the quote it referenced to as well because, well, it is extremely true. Uncertainty is the only kind of certainty that is guaranteed. No one knows the future and no matter how much we plan, our plans are never guaranteed. So we are always living in some type of uncertainty.
It’s kind of frightening if you think about it because you never really know what is going to happen. You have an idea, but not a guarantee. And if you’re a control freak like me, it will drive you a bit insane at times because certainty equals control and when we don’t have certainty we feel out of control, which makes us anxious and afraid.
However, throughout this journey of mine, I have been forced to learn how to be ok with uncertainty, whether I wanted to be ok with it or not. There were moments in my life when I really did not know what was going to happen next and I had absolutely no control, but I had to accept it anyway because it was the only thing to do. I even think that by accepting uncertainty, it will give us a sense of control, because we are choosing to accept the circumstance, which in itself is a choice we are making, which means we have control over that choice.
I think focusing on what we can control, like the choices we are able to make, is really the best way to cope with uncertainty. We can control our reactions, our feelings, and our actions. By being able to control these things, we will feel like we have some type of control over the uncertainty that we feel. Yes, we may not be able to create a perfect outcome, but we can do our best to adapt to whatever it is that does occur.
I also believe the next important thing on how to be ok with uncertainty is to learn to not live in the future. Learn to live in the present. Focus on what is today and not tomorrow. When we obsess over what is going to happen next, we miss out on what is already happening in the now. It robs us of our joy for today and that really is not way to live.
Let me tell you one fact that I’ve come to realize: no matter how much you worry, or think, or plan, or obsess, you are not capable of knowing anything further than the present moment.
It’s true. Even the next minute of your life may be something completely unpredictable. You don’t know. And it’s a good thing! Because if we did know, we would have a whole other stress to deal with. Who wants to know every single thing that’s going to happen to them right? It would drive you crazy. So it’s better to live in that uncertainty and to adapt and change as life takes you for a ride.
And it’s ok to not know. It’s ok to simply accept what comes and go with it. It’s ok to not follow your plans. Sometimes better things will happen when you do that. Sometimes you will experience something unexpected that you never even thought of in the first place.
Once I began to accept uncertainty instead of trying to constantly seek certainty, I felt more peace in my life. I felt like I could handle things better knowing that they could go either way, and I would still be fine. I know it’s scary. I know there things in life where you really want to know what is going to happen because you want that security. But in reality, nothing is ever completely secure. Everything is fleeting. It can be here one minute, and gone the next. And that’s why it’s important to enjoy the now. Enjoy what we have now. Allow ourselves to experience the present moment.
Try letting go of those tight reigns of control. Try letting yourself free fall into life just for a moment and feel the freedom and peace that comes along with it. It’s terrifying, but absolutely thrilling at the same time.
The Self Love Daily Challenge #048 – learn to be ok with uncertainty.