Are You Comfortable with Uncertainty?
Recently, I had a fascinating conversation with my daughter about uncertainty that left me thinking about it a lot. Are you comfortable with uncertainty? I’m not.
Uncertainty is a state most of us find ourselves in at some point in our lives when we don’t know what lies ahead. If you’re like me, you prefer certainty to uncertainty because you just like to know what’s ahead. That’s reasonable. The question is, why do we dislike uncertainty so much? Why do we fear it?
We fear uncertainty because we don’t know that we have the ability to handle life changes, particularly the ones that come with adversity. The irony is that we never know our own strength until we’ve had a chance to test and build it in adversity. Uncertainty is an invitation to us to enter more fully into our power.
I like to believe I have some control over what happens in my world, that I am at the helm in my life. And I am. But being at the helm comprises a constant balancing of intention and flow; setting a course and waiting to see where the wind and waves take me. Control is an illusion.
Nobody anywhere ever is completely certain about the future. We can’t even be completely certain about tomorrow. Certainty, too, is an illusion. But that’s okay because though we may not have absolute control over what happens in our lives, we have the power to handle it with elegance and grace.
Uncertainty and the Community Building Framework
I’ve come to recognize that uncertainty aligns with the third stage on the community building path, the stage of emptiness. This is where we empty ourselves of our need to control events in our lives, where we drop our judgements and our belief that our opinions are the best ones. We empty ourselves to make space for new possibilities and fresh ideas.
When we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty, we can view it not a crisis but as an opportunity to purge preconceived notions that need to go. It signals the beginning of a whole new chapter, an unknown path to explore. Who knows how wonderful that could be?
Ironically, the reality of uncertainty in life is the only certainty we can bank on. It serves us, then, to develop a tolerance for uncertainty.
We are all smarter, stronger and more resourceful than we believe ourselves to be. Facing uncertainty with gusto demonstrates this to us. That’s empowering.
Are you uncomfortable with uncertainty? How do you handle it? If you are comfortable with uncertainty, how did you build that tolerance?