Minimising uncertainty

One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.

It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.

This can be done by asking more questions.

Questions like:

When would you like me to complete this?

What time do you want to meet?

How do you feel about this situation?

You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.

Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.

The power of taking space

It might feel easier to hold on but maybe what you really need to do is let go.

Taking space is a powerful thing. When you spend time away from something you have developed an attachment to it gives you room to find clarity and to come back to yourself. So often you may find ourselves getting caught up in other people and trying to please or appease them that you forget yourself and your own values or ideas.

And sometimes when you’re not ready to let go you convince yourself that there is something for us in the attachment, something that we need. But even if it is true that the attachment offers us something it can’t possibly be placed above that which we can offer ourselves.

So go forth and take space, then when you’re ready you can return and figure out how you really feel without attachment cloud your judgement.

Pace, pace, Lead

Something I read in a book about NLP.

Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to embrace every aspect of NLP because using methods to influence people in your favour is potentially unethical or at least comes across as manipulative.

But other times I find that NLP can provide a useful guide on how to word things when you want your intentions to be clear.

When asking for what you want just blurting it out can sometimes be too aggressive. You need to approach things gently. You need to pace, pace, lead.

Check out changing minds for more information on exactly how it’s done.

How certain is probably?

The idea of language, the way we speak and what we choose to say is fascinating.

There are words you may use without really understanding exactly what they mean or how they could be interpreted.

I recently received a message that included the word probably. My first thought was how far from definite it was.

I found myself asking google ‘How certain is probably?’. The answer I got, is that it’s more likely a yes than no. However, that no is not a no without a shadow of a doubt, it’s more like a no with a shadow of doubt.

For example, if you asked someone of they would help you with something later in the day and they responded with ‘probably’, you haven’t really gained any clarity from the answer.

When you’re looking to someone for some form of clarity, you’ll want responses like yes, no or certainly, you want an answer that you can rely on.

Two steps back

When you feel like you’re making progress having to then take a step back is a big deal. It feels like you’ve wasted your efforts but more importantly time that you can’t get back.

But if you change your perspective, those steps back could actually be a good thing.

Perhaps you were heading down an unhelpful path and now gain clarity.

I think the main thing is to understand that a setback doesn’t stop you from reaching your end goal it just changes the path you take to get there.

Overstepping boundaries

I wrote about boundaries in a recent post but upon reflection I had more to add.

Sometimes even when you are aware of a persons boundaries and you know it has nothing to do with you, you still try to overstep the mark. A person will do it in small or subtle ways because they are curious whilst also being aware they have to tread carefully.

But when you catch them overstepping in the moment they’re likely to respond by telling you that they didn’t mean it or that they didn’t relaise that it was an issue. perhaps they try to tell you that there is no issue at all.

When it comes to over stepping a boundary it’s really about respect. When you can see a clear boundary you have to decide if it is more important to follow that curiosity or to simply respect what the other person does and doesn’t want

Saying what you mean

There’s no need to skirt around the issue.

Being clear with your words might seem like a simple thing to do. Yet if you reflect on conversations you’ve had and the things you’ve said recently you might find times when you haven’t been so clear.

It might have been because you weren’t really thinking in the moment but upon reflection you can see that you should have chose your words more carefully.

However, it could also be that the words you chose in the moment weren’t totally honest. Maybe you were scared to say how you really feel.

Either way what ends up happening is you’re not happy with the response you get from the person you were talking to. It’s not because you didn’t agree with them but instead because their response wasn’t addressing what you really had to say.

Next time try being a little clearer and say what you really mean.

Reasons to take space

Taking space is something we’re often reluctant to do.

It could be space from a person, a habit or even just social media.

For me the purpose of space is to gain clarity.

It’s difficult to get that when you’re in the situation which is why it is necessary to remove yourself.

At first you always miss the thing that you’re taking space from because you’re so used to it being part of your day to day life but then you feel refreshed and wonder why you clung to that thing so much in the first place. Then after that comes the sense of knowing that without this thing in your life you’ll still be totally fine.

I don’t think we always anticipate that that last realisation will come which is why we can be reluctant to give things up.

I think we quite often think the opposite which is that we’ll feel as though we can’t live without the thing or come to crave it even more than before.

It could be something like snacking on sugary foods, a person you believe yourself to be so totally in love with or maybe it’s Instagram.

Whatever it is in your life, don’t be too afraid to take space from it.

You might even find that you no longer want the thing in your life and if that’s the case, be willing to let it go.

Not everything is meant to last.

Total Clarity

You know there are these moments that occur every so often where you just gain total clarity.

The stuff that you thought mattered suddenly becomes irrelevant and you find answers to all your questions.

It’s like you just see yourself as you truly are, no judgement and everything becomes clear.