Friday, September 10, 2010

Uncertainty - A Success Killer or Your New Friend?

No matter how confident and self-assured we may feel most of the time, we all have times in our lives when uncertainty creeps into our sphere.  If you think successful people don't know those uncomfortable feelings, those moments of fear, confusion, anxiety, short term sleeplessness, hot and cold waves that come over you and make you sweat (no its not menopause!), powerlessness and those niggling butterflies that steal your appetite, you are wrong!  And, if you thought I was going to share with you some secret tool to rid yourself of uncertainty forever, so you never have to experience those feelings again, then I am afraid I have some bad news for you!  Life is cyclical, we will necessarily move in cycles from periods of certainty to uncertainty and back again because as we grow, discover new levels of freedom, influence and desire, our vistas open and we quite simply outgrow our certainty. 

Thus uncertainty is NECESSARY!  Yep, sorry there is no way around it.  If you are a human being who is going to grow, to avail yourself of new learning opportunities, to blossom into the amazing you that you are meant to be, you are going to experience those sensations and those awkward moments. The good news is that by virtue of its cyclical nature, uncertainty is TEMPORARY.

The difference between those who succeed and those who become too scared to make even the slightest movement in their life, is how we deal with those panicky urges that accompany uncertainty.  Do we let the fear overcome us, run away, get a beer and sit in front of the TV and try to pretend it isn't there, or do we sit down face to face with it, shake hands, make it our friend and avail ourselves of the amazing opportunity for transformation that it represents?  .

Unfortunately many people will do the former.  They have got so used to where they are at, so "comfortable" that they don't actually want too much to change.  The problem is that life isn't like that.  The nature of life is that it is expansive and gradually they will get a growing level of dissatisfaction.  The thing is that this is so sublte that people don't even know it has snuck up on them.  We all know someone like this, they are the ones who grumpily snap "Nothing!  I am happy?"  when you ask them what's wrong with them.  And on some level they actually believe it!  In fact, at different times, we have probably all BEEN this person hiding in the illusion of comfort, squashing down those feelings of uncertainty and dissatisfaction that are ordained by the universe to make us grow.  To make us be bigger than ourselves and to become all that we are meant to be.

The irony is that without even realizing it, by unwittingly trying to buck the expansive nature of life, stay in a place of comfort (lack of change, certainty) and avoid the temporary uncertainty, we are actually creating a perpetual state of discomfort. Failing to embrace temporary uncertainty and discomfort will inevitably bring about a perpetual level of uncertainty and discomfort.  It's kind of like the difference between having an acute illness (one that comes, hits suddenly and obviously, we treat it and then it goes) or having a chronic illness (one that sneaks up slowly, you might not even really realise you are ill, your energy levels have declined and you are becoming depleted, and then stays for a long time, maybe you don't do much about it and is really hard to get rid of).

 If you imagine life as a wavey line with the crest of the wave being comfort and the gutter of the wave being discomfort, then they have got to the comfort spot and decided to stay there, which on the face of it may seem like a good idea and certainly may FEEL in the short term like a good idea.  But the reality is that the waves of life and growth are of increasing intensity (they slope upward), so eventually if you don't go up and down the wave, and instead try to stick to the top, you are going to get thrown by the natural slope!  Every surfer knows that if you don't ride up and down the wave, according to conditions, and instead try to stay at the crest, eventually you'll wipeout!

Have you been,or are you now in a state of perpetual discomfort or uncertainty that feels like it has gone on for some time?  If so, you are not embracing the natural need for change and the uncertainty that comes with that, that universal expansion requires and you have actually allowed your fear to block your own growth.  So what's the answer to that discomfort, what's the trick to ensuring uncertainty is temporary and you don't become "stuck" in it's perpetual state?  EMBRACE!  Open up to change.  Accept not knowing and being temporarily "out of control".  Seek support from others who will offer support during the transition rather than try to suggest you ignore it.  Read some inspiration.  Research YOURSELF and discover something new!  Find the THING that is driving you forward, then HOLD YOUR FAITH and be comforted in knowing "this too shall pass" but even more than that, "I will be a better me for having this experience!"

Life is a journey.  Are you going to ride the plane, only look within the cabin and pretend you never left the ground?  Or are you going to relish the rush of the take off, take the window seat, and soak up those moments when you are so high up it's scarey BUT you also get the clearest view and an amazing new perspective, so that when you are back on the ground you can hold on to the new inspiration to fuel your being, and bring your best you forward to share with the world?  The choice is YOURS!


  1. Great post, Janine!

    It's not an easy job to constantly reflect on our emotions and push forward to new growth. I think that's why it's so tempting to stay in our comfort zone (and why "comfort" is probably the worst addiction of all).

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to keep digging, and keep sowing those seeds for healthy growth!

    Tanya xo

  2. A very good and interesting read Janine. Thanks for sharing ;-)

  3. Love your post Janine, the faster we can learn to embrace the uncertainty and welcome its growth the faster we will blossom towards our true potential!!

  4. Love it Janine. This is all so true. I've come to look forward to the times of uncertainly because with those times comes the realisation that I am going to learn something new and take away something special from each and every time. Thank you for your sharing.

  5. Well said, Janine, you have expressed it so well. Change is scarey but oh so worth it!

  6. Janine, a very intuitive piece which puts my beliefs into words! I have discovered and am nurturing UNCERTAINTY as my new best friend - standing out on the skinny branches is challenging and exhilarating all at the same time!