When it comes to the future, we prefer knowing to not knowing. Knowing provides us security, comfort and peace of mind. Knowing provides us control. We can plan and prepare, and we can know that everything is going to be OK. And even if it isn’t, we can prepare for that too. Not knowing is terrifying. But that’s the reality of the future; it is unknown, it is uncertain.
Because the future holds potential threats and events that might be painful, a lot of us live in anxious anticipation, fearful of what it might bring.
We all know that uneasy feeling… Maybe we’re going to a party, and we don’t quite know who’s going to be there and who we’re going to talk to, or if we won’t feel entirely comfortable there. Or maybe we’re going through a break-up or divorce, and we fear we won’t ever find someone new, or that we’ll be lonely on our own. Learn to get comfortable living with uncertainty.
Whether the uneasy-feeling is triggered by everyday worries or imaginary future, life-changing events, it’s a feeling we’d rather avoid as much as we possibly can.
Living With Uncertainty of the future bothers us because we’re scared of change, and we’re terrified of being kicked right out of our comfort-zone. We’re scared we might make a bad move, or that we’ll fail, and we’re scared of what others might think of us.
We like to know what’s coming up, and we like to know what our next step is going to be. So we think things through before we agree to do them, and we plan and prepare just enough to know that we won’t have to step out of our comfort-zone and deal with highly unexpected events.
We don’t like being vulnerable. We cling to what we know and what we feel is safe, and we do so out of fear.
Fear is our eternal obstacle: It is the root of all our anxieties.
We fear failure, we fear loss, we fear pain.
Ultimately fear is a lack of trust in ourselves; a lack of trust in life.
When we fear for the future, we don’t live fully in the now. And when we don’t live fully in the now, we don’t live fully at all. We’re distracted from the reality and the truth that opportunity awaits on the other side of uncertainty.
If we can find confidence within ourselves that we’ll be fine no matter what comes along in life, we’ll have peace of mind not knowing. We’ll find uncertainty to be reassuring, and we’ll grow and become happier as a result.
Once we see that our fear is holding us back and causing us pain, we can learn to let go of it, and embrace life’s unknowns. If we can give up security and see the adventure and the freedom of not anticipating certain things from life, we’ll rediscover the happiness and liberty it offers.
So let go, be shaky, find strength and grow from embracing the unknown.
“All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured.” – Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter
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Author bio: Monica from Tao of Simple inspires readers to live simple lives with less clutter and more room for the things that truly matter.