Dealing With Uncertainty

Learn to Trust your conscience

In a world full of uncertainty, I often find it helpful to focus a little time and energy on remembering the things I am certain of. Especially when I'm feeling very overwhelmed by all my uncertainty, I find it very comforting and reassuring to clearly identify the limits of my doubts and uncertainties. When I can travel right to the very edge of my doubt, I usually find that it's nicely nestled within, and bordered by, a fair amount of certainty I hadn't yet noticed.


To use a very simple and basic example, I may see two clocks that display different times. I may not know which clock is accurate. I find I can easily get hopelessly lost and stuck in my escalating whirlwind of a quandary, "Which clock is correct? Which one is right? Which one do I believe?" I suspect that one reason I tend to get stuck and lost in this quandary is that I'm not actually asking the question I really need to be answered.


Whenever I notice stress, tension, or panic arising inside myself as the whirlwind gains momentum, I try to slow down, breathe, and focus on the things that I DO KNOW. Using the example of the two differing clocks, I DO KNOW that I see two differing clocks. I DO KNOW that I'm not sure if either one is correct. And if I can continue along these lines, maybe there are other things I can notice that I know.


Perhaps it's the weekend, and so I can KNOW that I'm not going to be late for work or anything important. Now I can also KNOW that I've got lots of time to figure out how I might resolve the confusion. Or maybe I KNOW that I'm wanting to get to the airport in time for my flight, and so I can KNOW that getting there on time is the priority I want to be concentrating on. And since I'm clearly focussed on my end goal, I also KNOW I can find other ways besides just those two clocks to determine the accurate time.


I've been playing with this toy in the great sandbox of life for a long time now, and yet I'm still always amazed at how much peace and relief I can get from simply observing my uncertainty from a vantage point of greater clarity and certainty. I find myself able to ask different questions, better questions, helpful questions. Whether or not I can totally cure my uncertainty, or just make peace with the fact that it may yet persist for a while, I find I feel more confident and playful about managing my uncertainty by accepting it and co-existing alongside it.







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