What is it about certainty that seduces us into believing that we must have it in order to be successful? This question has been on my mind in the last few weeks as we enter another new year and start planning the year ahead.
As human beings we are always wanting, always needing. This is the nature of our mind, body and soul. Whether we know it or not, we are always on a mission to have more, to know more, to be more, to experience more, to enjoy more but we want the certainty that the more we seek will be easy to come by and readily available to us. We want certainty before we are willing to invest in really reaching and striving for our dreams and desires.
What I’ve learnt about certainty is that it seldom brings us what we truly want in life. Life calls us to reach for more but gives us no guarantees as to how and when we can have it. In our need for certainty we shrink back, we remain stuck in comfort zones and we let opportunities pass, afraid to take the risk of failing or falling.
Intellectually we understand that life cannot guarantee us anything but emotionally we are not prepared to risk our hearts to reach for the things we truly want for fear that it may not turn out the way we want.
When we dance with uncertainty we leave ourselves exposed and vulnerable. Vulnerability is too high a price to pay we say. Let’s just rather play it safe and stay with what we know.
I’ve heard people say” I am so miserable in my job but at least I know my boss’s moods, so better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. With this mindset we go year in and year out commuting to miserable jobs, living in toxic relationships and convincing ourselves that we are happy and fulfilled.
There is no real fulfillment and satisfaction in reaching a goal or having a dream come true without knowing that you risked something in order to have it. It’s the thrill of the chase, the sweaty palms, the racing heart and the final lap to the finish line that makes the race so much more rewarding.
Whether we know it or not, we crave the adrenaline rush that uncertainty brings. It’s the fuel that makes us want to try harder, reach higher and give that little bit extra. There is a moment between when you want something and when you can see it come into sight when the adrenaline in your body feels too overwhelming to hold your focus on the goal. That’s the moments you need to breathe and self-soothe. That’s when the finish line is in sight and your mind, body and soul is so afraid you won’t make it.
As 2017 takes flight and January flows into February, I’de like to challenge you to look uncertainty in the eye and reach out for the things you truly want in your life.