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Uncertainty

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I’m no stranger to being kept up at night thinking about all of the things that could possible go wrong. I’ve made career shifts, knowingly took on high stress jobs, invested in rental property and started my own business. I’ve thought through all of the worst case scenarios multiple times.

A good part of my life in my 20’s and 30’s was spent worrying about all of the above. Through the practice of meditation and mindfulness I’ve noticed that the root cause of my worries, comes from my discomfort with uncertainty. I know that this is a topic that many people are challenged with so I wanted to share this with all of you.

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Uncertainty is a fact of life, and it doesn’t go away, but the way that you experience it and see it can change.

Some people see uncertainty as something scary. It is synonymous with uncontrollable change and tends to be something that happens to you. This can often allow someone to live with a worldview of fear, believing that bad things will eventually happen to them, that they are not in control of their path, and that other people are, more often than not, trying to take advantage of them.

Others see uncertainty as opportunity. A challenge that you are ready for and able to overcome through hard work, intelligence, and connection with other thought leaders. These people tend to believe that, more often than not, people want to see them succeed. They use uncertainty as an opportunity to prove themselves right about who they are and how they want to show up in the world.

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Do you look at uncertainty in your life and see it as the world setting you up to fail, or is it the world encouraging you to grow and overcome adversity? You get to decide which perspective benefits you the most.

A mentor of mine, that makes 6 figures a month, shared that his comfort with uncertainty was in direct relationship to the amount of success that he has had.

The value of uncertainty for him was that it was an opportunity to reconnect with his highest values and skill sets. He intentionally used uncertainty as an opportunity for personal, professional and spiritual growth.

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I’ll be the first to say that there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to dealing with uncertainty, but here are some tangible steps that may help you make friends with uncertainty so that you can have a great night sleep:

– Take 6 minutes to write down all of your nervous thoughts and worries. Then write a different more true story about yourself. A story about how you have overcome adversity, how you have figured out solutions to difficult problems and how exactly you did it.

– Pain often comes from our attachment to the idea of how things are “supposed to be” rather than “how they actually are”. Show up with confidence, kindness, a deep knowledge of the topic at hand and then let the rest go. I think Teal Swan nails this concept in the following quote:

“Whatever is happening is obviously supposed to be happening because it is happening, so I remain open to seeing why”. The circumstances you are experiencing are not the cause of your suffering. The cause of your suffering is the thought that what is happening should not be happening or is not supposed to be happening. ~ Teal Swan

– Become more aware of how you react to uncertainty when it arrives. Embrace that you get to control how you respond to whatever you are uncertain about. Then look for ways to see this challenge as an opportunity for you to prove yourself right about how amazing you are.

– Take a moment to reflect upon what type of similar challenges have you faced in the past. How did you overcome those challenges? Can you use a similar strategy this time around?

– Limit “what if” questions. Have you ever been part of a meeting or a class when a simple question suddenly turns into a giant “what if” session? This question definitely has its place, but that place shouldn’t be in the spotlight for long.

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The above work requires a deeper shift internally. It is not a quick fix, but rather a long term mindset shift that happens over the course of weeks and months.

Give it a try and find others to support you with these efforts. If you are sleeping better, then this is a sure sign that what you are doing is working.

With Clarity, Confidence and Focus,
Bryan

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