Finding strength amidst uncertainty

Uncertainty; expected or unexpected, uncertainty always involves a fear of the unknown. Some types of uncertainty are welcomed such as starting a new job in the hopes of a more rewarding career or moving to a new city for a fresh start. The uncertainty in these situations is manageable since they’re predetermined and so there’s still some sense of control. But what about the moments when we’re presented with an unpleasant situation we were not anticipating? The instinct to panic overshadows any ability to trust and have faith that things will work out. Thoughts such as, “How am I going to get through this?” or, “I don’t think I can handle this” are way too loud for any self-assurance to be heard.

Certainty is a fundamental human need since it provides us with feelings of security and safety. We can relax and enjoy our lives when there are no feelings of instability bothering us. Nevertheless, uncertainties such as the sudden loss of a job, a health scare or a relationship falling apart will throw us out of our comfort zone and cloud any rationale. Change can be scary and unnerving especially when we feel as if we’re no longer the one in charge of our life. However we can always take charge of our actions and responses when faced with such situations. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel scared, instead we discipline ourselves to look past the fear and focus on a positive outcome.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Here are a few things to remember when faced with uncertainty which can help bring some peace of mind amidst the chaos:

Trust yourself – you’ve made it through every other hardship and hurdle you’ve faced before so you will make it through this too.

Tough times don’t last, tough people do – it might sound cliché but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You might not feel strong right now but you will be wiser and more equipped in the future.

Things do always work out – maybe they’ll work out the way you want them to or not but remind yourself of times when you’ve worried about an outcome and after it’s all been resolved you wonder why you ever worried so much in the first place.

Life goes on – there will come a time in the future where this uncertainty will be gone and you’ll feel secure again.

Growth only occurs outside of your comfort zone – as Tony Robbins says, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” in order to succeed in life.

Everything is clearer in hindsight – you will get the answers and clarity you seek once you’ve overcome this hurdle and you’ll see things from a newfound perspective.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs

It may be difficult to feel confident or see a clear path as to where you’re headed but periods of uncertainty are a normal part of life. When our world feels shaky we can perceive every circumstance as negative but they can often present us with a brighter future. If you’re willing to take risks, uncertainty can open up a new world of possibilities and opportunities for new beginnings which won’t happen when we cling to what we know. Periods of uncertainty can also bring our insecurities to light which provides the opportunity to work on how we can provide ourselves with feelings of safety and security which aren’t derived from external circumstances. Trust yourself and remember that in time, you will make it through and feel confident and certain again.

“Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason.” – Alain de Botton

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Ümit Bulut

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Denying The Present Moment

Our minds love to wander, imagine the future and ponder the many different possibilities of life, which can sometimes be ‘anywhere but here.’

While there are great moments in life where we’re fully present, there are also moments where dissatisfaction can creep in without us realising. However instead of facing the uncomfortable feeling, we do everything to avoid it.

We fill our schedules up ‘to be busy’, plan a holiday ‘to get away.’ Being busy and going on holiday are fantastic activities however there’s a difference between doing them from a place of genuine excitement and using them as a way of escaping life.

“Every place you don’t want to be at feels like a prison. And we have so many desires, expectations and go back to the past and think about the future so often, that I can safely say that we live in such a prison all the time.

“So each time you wish you were somewhere else right now is another solid wall you build and thus make this imaginary building even stronger.” – Lidiya K.; This Moment

Thinking about the future needn’t bring up feelings of anxiety and impatience – this usually happens when one compares their current situation with their future by highlighting what’s ‘missing’ from the Now. Such thoughts are filled with doubt and fear,

“How am I going to get there?”

“What if I don’t make it?”

“I’m too far away from that vision.”

The thing to remember is that we’re always at the right place, at the right time. We are where we’re supposed to be and everything unfolds perfectly. As hard as that can be to accept at times, it’s really not that bad.

Look back on your life to moments where you’ve felt dissatisfied or distant from your dreams and think about where you are now. What have you accomplished since then? How much have you grown as a person? What has worked out which you couldn’t see working out at the time?  In those difficult moments, you probably thought, “Oh my, how am I going to get from here to there?” Life is a journey and the path isn’t always clear-cut. Most of the time the route unfolds along the way and in ways we couldn’t have imagined ourselves.

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” — Eckhart Tolle

Instead of trying to deny the present moment, feel it and observe the thoughts and feelings which come. Remember that’s all they are; thoughts. Life is calling to teach you something and the choice of embracing it with Love or running away with Fear is up to you.

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle

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Image credit:
Lesly B. Juarez

Relinquish the need to control

“You can’t control everything and you don’t have to. When you allow things to happen naturally, they happen better.” – Rob Hill Sr

Our minds and imagination can be limited sometimes. When we open up to the endless possibility and let things happen, they come to us even better than we could’ve conjured ourselves. Things have a way of working out for the best when you trust the higher power and stop doubting everything. Enjoy life and bask in the knowing that all is well. We can’t control everything even if we tried; we don’t control the wind, our heartbeat or the sunrise. Therefore trying to control a situation or others just creates stress and resistance unnecessarily. There’s no need to worry as the infinite universe has it covered and takes care of everything; our vision is finite. The only thing we need to control is our outlook and attitude on life to be positive and loving.

Fear less, trust more.

Let go let God.

Taking responsibility of your emotions is powerful

It demonstrates unconditional self love and forgiveness. You are allowed to feel sad, unhappy and tired. Instead of worrying about not looking or being attractive to others because of those negative emotions, choose to give yourself attention and listen to them. Tend to them. This act of taking responsibility demonstrates power as you take charge of yourself and give yourself room to be human. Nothing lasts forever and our emotions are seasonal too. Moments of happiness and sadness are natural and essential, we really cannot appreciate one without the other.

“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about sharing your feelings. It isn’t desperate or pathetic or weak. It’s self-care and there is nothing shameful about taking care of yourself by unloading some of the pain you carry. Your feelings are important and they matter — you matter — and if you’re hurting, you’re allowed to reach out. You’re allowed to be honest and use your voice. You’re allowed to take up space and talk about what you’re feeling. You deserve to make self-care a priority. Always.”
– Daniell Koepke

We have been taught to demonstrate a cold exterior and display as little emotion as possible since showing vulnerability means we are weak. That is not true, the longer we hold feelings in and the harder we try to conceal them, they gain more power and momentum. The effort put into resisting them enlarges them. Denial is as bad as self negligence and an act of weakness since the issue is avoided rather than faced and dealt with. If we chose to accept ourselves and weren’t always trying so hard to be strong, the inner turmoil of concealing everything would eventually dissipate better. Ignorance is bliss if you’re changing your point of focus and actually feel better doing so. If the change in focus is to escape, the problem will still creep in as fear remains a part of the motive. Often, we need to admit the problem to ourselves and trust that we can open up to those closest to us. There is no shame in having tender moments, if someone cannot respect you opening up, that is their problem. Vulnerability is not a weakness if you own it. Opening up does not always mean you’ll get hurt if you are doing so from a place of compassion and hope rather than seeking acceptance.

Learning to balance the logic of the mind and the love of the heart is important. All is well accepting and expressing emotion but one mustn’t stay trapped in reliving the same story again and again. Self pitying can become a habit and an easy one to get into. Feel and experience the emotions so that you allow yourself to move past them.

“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.” – J. Krishnamurti

It’s OK to not care

When something happens that culture and society tells you you should be upset about (e.g. a breakup). Pain and sorrow are great teachers however they do not always need to be felt. Loss is perceived, we never really lose anything or anyone since we are here by ourselves and for ourselves. Being happy is our natural state and if you’re not phased by something, don’t let your mind tell you you should be. Ego is the enemy which wants to bring you down. Stay blissful and bask in the greatness of everything around you. Life is a gift to be enjoyed and everything in life is temporary.