Desperate for Certainty

It's often troubling to consider how uncertain life can be. Sometimes, uncertainty becomes too overwhelming: What if I never make it? What if something happens to someone I love? What if I make the wrong choice? What if I can't control the outcome of a circumstance? I would guess at least 1/4 of the 60,000 thoughts we have per day are fears about uncertainty. If only we could know for certain....

Here are three questions to ask yourself when uncertainty knocks you off your feet and throws you into a vicious cycle of fearful thoughts:

1.) "What do I know for sure right now?" No interpretations. Just state the facts. (i.e. I know for sure that I'm drinking coffee, there's music playing, cars are driving by outside, my dog is sleeping, and my lower back is slightly achy.) 

2.) Of the things that "I know for sure," which ones are trying to tell me something? So, this is where you get to interpret, if it feels right. For example, if you know for sure you have a stomach ache, what is your body trying to tell you? If you know for sure that you're feeling pretty down/low, what's making you feel that way? Try not to spend too much time over-analyzing, but get right to the core of the real reason, if possible. 

3.) Based on "what I know for sure right now," what would I like to change or simply accept? If you discover that the stomach ache is actually stress, do you want to change that or accept it? If you discover that you're feeling down/low because there's not much excitement going on in your life, do you want to change that or accept it? Sometimes accepting 'what is' feels good, while other times, further change is necessary. Either way, you are in control of the choice, creating a feeling of certainty. 

Anxiety about the future is normal. So is analyzing the past. Change is inevitable, but even that is uncertain. All we know for sure is exactly what is happening RIGHT NOW. Nothing more and nothing less. There's a great deal of peace that comes with accepting that fact. 

If you still get anxious about uncertainty, know this: You are alive. You are breathing. You can make your life happen right now. There's your certainty. 

Posted on November 29, 2013 and filed under Desperate for Certainty.