Being Open To Uncertainty
Is your fear of uncertainty holding you back?
There is an old saying, “May you live in interesting times”
There is much debate over where the saying originated with some believing that it is a translation from an ancient Chinese curse, and others tracing its origin back only as far as 1939, being voiced by American politician Frederic R. Coudert. However, I am less interested in its origin as I am its meaning.
On the face of it, it seems to be a blessing, but this statement is meant as an insult.
Interesting times are times of uncertainty and therefore danger. And boy, have we been living in interesting times for the past few years! This is playing havoc with our nervous systems as we seek certainty to regulate them.
Couple that with a lifetime of always having to be ‘right’ in order to avoid scrutiny and ridicule, and we have a recipe for disaster.
We have lived through the pandemic, there have been numerous natural disasters across the planet, there have been mass shootings and now we have an unstable economy to deal with.
All of this uncertainty is doing a number on our nervous systems because we have been taught that certainty = safety.
Think about it…
- In school, it was only safe to answer the class teacher’s questions with the correct answer, or else we risked being ridiculed and shamed.
- In job interviews, being thrown a curveball question could mean the difference between following our dream careers or not. Or even whether we would make rent that month or not.
- In business, we are supposed to have business plans and forecasts for years in advance or else we are not taken seriously as business owners.
All of these things reinforce the idea that we need to be certain.
Undoing this thinking is one of the key areas that I work with my clients on inside the Feminine Success Accelerator®. When we learn how to embrace the uncertainties and unknowns, it opens us up to a whole new world of wonder and curiosity which allows us to explore the answers in a much more expansive and positive way.
Re-read the 3 scenarios above, really imagine that you are living those experiences right now.
- Where do you experience those scenarios in your body?
- What does it feel like? (My clients use words like ‘tight’, ‘constricting’, ‘dark’)
Now imagine entering those same scenarios with no risk attached, only a sense of wonder. Imagine embodying the essence of curiosity, “I wonder what I can learn from this experience?”
- How does that feel different?
- Do you experience it in a different part of your body, or the same place?
- What words would you use to describe THIS feeling?
That is the difference between avoiding the unknown, and embracing it.
If you are a self-identified procrastinator or perfectionist, then this could be at the heart of those behaviours.
Watch this short video as I explain more about where this fear of uncertainty comes from…
Once you’ve finished watching I’d love to know what you think.
Leave me a comment and share your thoughts below.
We’ll never grow from what
Lorraine Hamilton is an award-winning coach.
She is also a former engineer, voracious tea drinker and wannabe race car driver. She is also the founder of the
Feminine Success Accelerator®
and has spent the past 17 years coaching ambitious high-achieving women, writing books and mentoring hundreds of other coaches to greater freedom and success.