We often make the mistake of thinking that the best way to deal with uncertainty is to remove it from our lives.
It makes sense because without all these unknowns there is less risk and you will feel safer.
But the problem with this approach is that you can’t control everything. Uncertainty will always be a part of life.
However, just because you can’t control it doesn’t mean you should let it control you. Think of the uncertainty like a wave in the ocean. There are small waves, little uncertainties like whether the bus will be on time. Then, there are the big waves, the major uncertainties like whether you’ll be made redundant or how long the pandemic will last.
The small waves can be annoying or frustrating but they pass with ease. The big waves on the other hand they have the power to totally consume us. And so we have to embrace the uncertainty and or else you’ll get caught in the wave and wipe out.
The familiarity of what you know might be the thing that keeps you from exploring other ideas or options.
Let’s take the example of food.
Imagine you go to a restaurant and order the duck. Now imagine the duck is incredibly delicious and so each time you go back, you order the same thing.
You find yourself sticking with what you know because you know you’ll like it. But there are many other options available to you that are worth exploring. It’s not that you’ll like them more but instead a reminder of the important of taking advantage of what is available. I think sometimes in life we take our options for granted.
As much as there are so many other options available for you to experience, you turn them down because you’d rather play it safe with wat you know than venture out into the unknown.
But what you end up forgetting is that the very thing you’re clinging to because of familiarity was also once unfamiliar, you just got used to it over time.
I am a firm believer that in almost every moment, you know exactly what you need to do and exactly what decisions you want to make.
So often we see advice from others because we feel stuck or get overwhelmed by possibility and uncertainty. However, what I’ve learnt even is that when you allow yourself to get swept up in the situation it becomes difficult to navigate.
Think of a boat out at sea, once it gets swept up in the waves the boat has very little control.
Or lets take it back to a previous analogy of a boat with no oars, that was the idea of how little control you have without a sense of direction. In this case it’s more about settling your mind and letting the answers come to you instead of seeking them out.
In my experience, in quiet moments I am able to gain answers or clarification on situations where I previously felt like I didn’t know what to do.
It’s something that you have access to if you want to use it but you have to trust that you are capable of figuring out the situations you encounter.
Right now there are a lot of discussions about what is right and wrong.
More often than not we consider it to be black and white. Of course in some cases it is that clear but there are also many cases where the waters are murky.
Robin Hood was known for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. stealing is considered wrong in society yet Robin Hood was never promoted as the bad guy becuase he had good intentions and was helping people.
I think a key part of figuring out right and wrong is looking at the intention behind the action. It also helps to put yourself in the other persons shoes.
Just because you don’t agree with a persons actions, doesn’t mean you have to bring out the pitchforks.
We often underestimate the role that belief plays in our development. But the truth is you could be so much more if only you believed.
Take something as seemingly insignificant as walking across a balancing beam. The people that make it from one side to the other will be the ones that believe they can get across.
Sure they might fall off a few times but because they already believe it’s possible they’ll have the determination to keep trying.
On the other hand, the ones who don’t believe, well they’re more likely to fall off and less likely to keep trying.
Or they won’t even try at all.
So often we think that we have to have everything worked out.
We convince ourselves that an idea is not enough that we have to have everything mapped out from A to Z and all the steps in between.
But life will never go exactly as you plan, no matter how hard you try to control things.
I’ve learnt that the more you try to control things the less prepared you are for the unexpected. Granted it’s good to have some kind of plan and not just be like a boat with no oars. But you have no control over the flow of the waves.
The optimum circumstance is to be adaptable and often that means being able to figure things out as you go because you can’t plan for every possibility.
It might not be such a bad idea.
When it comes to creating content, you have so many options: blog posts, Instagram feed, Insta-stories, IGTV, YouTube, podcasts, tweets etc.
I’ve been thinking about how instead of just creating one thing, you can share one piece of content across different platforms.
That’s a great way to reach more people because blog readers might not watch YouTube and people that listen to podcasts might not be on twitter.
I think it can also be useful when building a brand and trying to grow your audience to not just be in one place.
With this blog I’ve been reluctant to do anything apart from write a blog posts each day because I don’t want to create more work than I can handle alongside a full-time job, part-time study and my lifestyle blog.
But I’m at a point where I’m close to 1 year of daily blogging and I’m opening myself up the idea of sharing things on Instagram and possibly having audio versions of the post or perhaps a podcast.
And so the blogposts are the molehills but the potential to create a variety of content from these posts is the mountain.
I’m realising that this writing practice based around personal growth and random musings can become so much more than I initially intended.
It’s easier said than done.
We grow up having people tell us to be more or less of ourselves.
And for many at a young age you follow the words of those older than you. That’s fine when it comes to things like eating a balanced diet, doing your homework and being kind to people.
But on the flip-side when you’re being told to what career path to pursue or who you should be, I think that’s a problem.
How are you ever going to figure out who you are and be yourself if you’re always listening to other people? Sure this person might mean well and think they’re being helpful but they could also be projecting.
You’ll get told not to pursue something creative because it’s risky, to get a job in a particular sector because it’s more stable, to dress in differently… the list goes on. But often this advice has nothing to do with your happiness or life goals, it’s about conformity, a lack of belief, other peoples discomfort or even control.
And if you listen to all these voices and follow along with what you’re told you slowly start being less and less yourself and therefore less happy.
It’s not much fun living your life as an actor and allowing everyone else to direct.
And so in order to ‘simply’ be yourself you have to let go of all that stuff and be okay with other people being frustrated that you won’t do what they say.
In exchange for that, you get to be you.
Often in life there are things we go through in order to reap the rewards later on.
To study for a degree because you’ve been convinced that having one will make things easier in the future.
To stay in a relationship that isn’t great but you hope that it’ll all be for the best once you’re married with kids.
We rationalise it as short term pain for long term gain but sometimes it’s a lack faith.
Maybe you don’t believe there’s better out there so you settle for what you can get.
You say ‘I’m willing to brave the storm’ in the hopes that the calm will follow (and that the storm won’t totally rip you to shreds).
And that’s cool because it’s an option that you can take if you want but maybe there’s more out there for you.
Maybe you could also choose the calm without the storm because you don’t have to settle and you don’t have to go through ‘hard times’ in order for ‘good things’ to happen.
I could probably write a book on things I’ve learnt from Seth Godin.
Seth taught me that maybe this fear is something I can work with instead of work for. As in, I can do everything I want to do and still have fear, instead letting the fear dictate what I do (which always ends up with me not doing what I actually want to do).
Learning to dance with fear is often uncomfortable (because it’s new) but it’s taught me valuable lessons about moving through life.
The best place to start is somewhere small because it’s like a form of immersion therapy. Imagine if you’re learning to swim, diving in at the deep end with no arm bands is probably a silly idea. You might end up panicking, swallowing water and needing to be rescued.
If that happens you’re unlikely to dust yourself off and try again. You almost died, it’s too dangerous, how could you even think it was a good idea. And your body will do it’s thing in letting you know it was dangerous and that you need to protect yourself. At that point even the shallow end will seem too risky.
But if you start at the shallow end and do the smallest uncomfortable thing that doesn’t feel too risky you might be willing to do something slightly bigger bit by bit overtime.
And then eventually diving in at the deep end won’t seem so risky. Because you’ve done everything else before that and it’s turned out okay. You’ll be at a point where you know what to do if you feel overwhelmed and even if you need a little help or support it you won’t feel like a failure.
Then once you’re out the deep end you’ll be okay to go back in again.
Turns out it wasn’t so scary after all.