Building Certainty in a time of uncertainty.
What is certainty? “The longing for certainty… is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.” – Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. If this quote makes you feel more nervous and uncertain than you were, then you are probably with every other person who read this! However, what we can take from this quote is that everyone has the need for certainty. It is a craving, a desire and a psychological need. For many we need the certainty of having enough money, having food, our health, or enough trusting people around us. This need for certainty can increase or decrease over time as their needs are met. Do you know someone who is always in fear of something? Generally they are in a pattern of seeking out certainty in places they will never find it rather than focusing on what they can control. For some people they fall into a pattern of seeking out the same amount of certainty even though their past highest certainty needs have been met!
So right now, what do you value or crave more? What percentage Certainty and what percentage Uncertainty? Consider Uncertainty a form of variety or excitement in your life. We all have the need for both. If you require a lot of variety, you need the certainty of having space and time in your life that helps you get the variety. If you require more certainty in your life, you probably desire to create regimens of the same tasks and activities so they can build in consistency. The bottom line is that both of these need planning and consistency in planning to gain the certainty and variety that each person demands.
These times in regard to covid-19 are full of uncertainty! We ask ourselves things like: When will things return to normal? Will they return to normal ever again!? When can I see my parents again? What will happen when kids return to school? Will I get covid? Did I have covid? Am I immune to covid? Will my grandparents get covid? Will it be safe to do activities? Should I get tested? Should I quarantine? Who should I let in my house? Am I overthinking it? Am I underthinking it? Some of us have become completely frozen in our ability to even make a simple choice like “What is for dinner”? For some of us the opposite has happened because we are able to make small decisions easier because we go immediately to what we can control.
The times of extreme uncertainty are here. However, we all have the ability to reframe our new environment and actually bring more certainty to our lives. It all starts with making a decision. I have developed a 5 step process to help you get out of the murky water and build certainty back into your life.
Step 1: Make the decision to make progress! One of the greatest decisions you can make during these times is the decision to remove yourself from the uncertain environment, focus on where you can make an impact, and make progress. Times like this gives us an opportunity to grow and find a new belief, a new way of being and do something we can control. This could possibly bring you wealth or health beyond your wildest dreams! Many times this is a great method to break you free from uncertain times. It is easier to KNOW where you are heading than to THINK about where you could be going. If you make a decision and fail, what is the worst that can happen? When will your risk outweigh the goal? Plan this before you start your journey. This will add certainty to your decision. If you are not in a position to make a large decision, make a small one. Make a decision that would make your life more positive and motivating. The easiest addition to your life that is in your control is your health. Make a small step and do it consistently, then build upon that. But know why you are making the change. Remember, a healthier body means more energy for your purpose or to find purpose!
Step 2: Begin to heal to remove old beliefs and patterns. I believe part of progressing when you are stuck is to HEAL first. Take a break to dive into what got you here and what is stopping you from moving forward. Exercise, breathe, meditate, listen to positive, motivating speakers. Do something to break from your negative, lethargic narrow focused thoughts and feelings. Get clear with breathing exercises, physical exercise and get clear on your ultimate vision for you. Sometimes we simply get stagnant! We wallow in confusion and choices. Once we start to move blood flow and energy through our body we can get more clear and have a more positive outlook. It is better to make decisions when you have optimal energy and you are feeling your best! Then ask yourself, “Have I seen this pattern before? Is this recurring? Where does this come from? Was it something I inherited? Was it something that I created as a defense mechanism? Is this pattern or feeling serving me? Can I dismantle it or should I just accept it and just observe and laugh at the feeling/pattern when it comes back? The choice is yours as to how deep you want to heal. Many of our clients at Awaken For Wellness go to the float tank to “peel the onion layers back” and get to the core of what and why they do what they do or crave what they crave. This is a tremendous meditation tool to figure out how your mind is working for or against you.
Step 3: Build in consistency. Make a small goal that will give you leverage for your big goal! When you are uncertain of your goal or how you will navigate the new environment. Do something that you can have 100% certainty that you can achieve it and is totally in your control. Consider your body! What can you do every day or every other day that could transform your body and make you feel better in the process? Start as small as you need to but commit 100% to it. You will see the leverage this creates to launch other consistencies in your life.
Step 4: Create a plan! Find just that sliver of time to work on what gives you certainty. Remember the question at the beginning of this article! Are you craving more certainty or Uncertainty (aka variety)? You know yourself best! Find the time to plan each week or each day. Find time to build in what you crave the most! Do it consistently & use a calendar.
Step 5: Be Forgiving. You will have shortcomings. This is where the calendar can come in handy. If you happen to miss a day, forgive yourself and get back to the calendar. If you happen to make up that day then give yourself a high five! If you don’t, that is ok, just stay on track as if you didn’t miss it at all!