“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it.” – Khalil Gibran
In our modern world and economy where people consistently leave jobs, lose jobs, fear financial insecurity, and struggle with workplace issues that lead to burnout and exhaustion, we often find ourselves face to face with uncertainty and anxiety.
The World Uncertainty Index created by economists at Stanford and the International Monetary Fund tracked uncertainty across 140 countries. They discovered that uncertainty has been rising for several decades and has been exacerbated by the pandemic years.
Anxiety is deeply rooted in our past experiences and demands that we take an immersive look at the underlying causes that create stress and anxiety.
Applying band aids to the problem doesn’t work.
To deal effectively with the underlying causes of anxiety and create greater stability, we must examine the role of change and its relationship to uncertainty.
Opportunities inherent in uncertainty carry the seeds of creating a life that is vastly different from the one we may be currently living.
Every act of change comes after a period of uncertainty.
When uncertainty is amplified and becomes fear, it is detrimental to your health.
Our thinking drives our feelings which in turn drives our behavior.
We fabricate stories that are supposed to rationalize those uncertain thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
The truth can be hard to find when we are caught in the cycles of avoidance, blame, seeking validation, distraction, and living life by the rules that other people have set for us.
In my early life I felt uncertain about my talents. I was incapable of handling difficult situations, breaking off relationships because they were too challenging, and self-sabotaging opportunities with lack of action.
I believed I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t lovable. I wasn’t worthy of success.
In my desire to manage my uncertainty and fear, I created the illusion that everything was perfect if I was in control.
By limiting my expectations, avoiding the task of confronting my insecurities, and ignoring my chaotic thinking, I thought I would be fine.
When a psychotherapist asked me to tell him what I was feeling I saw a steel door slide down in front of me. This was forbidden territory.
Eventually, I found the courage to examine these beliefs and find what was true.
The truth is…none of it was true.
As I began to shift my attention from insecurity, fears, anxieties, doubts, and shame, I began to understand that this false persona was not me.
I was a product of my early environmental influences that had shaped my world view and my sense of self.
When you get tied up in the past, you get bogged down in the present, and refuse the future.
People are conditioned to be unhappy.
We are conditioned by other people’s opinions and expectations buried deep in the unconscious by well-meaning parents, teachers, and other authority figures.
These messages become the memes by which we measure ourselves.
Overcoming the limiting and stifling definition of who you are is a challenging task.
To break through the noise that causes anxiety and stress it is essential to be intentional about developing the skills and insights necessary to achieve freedom from overthinking and worries that limit life.
We need to develop the courage to confront the fear-based thinking and ask if it’s true. Do we have empirical evidence?
The process of managing uncertainty makes you stronger, more empathetic, and more effective. - Jacqueline Wales
In discovering why fear matters to your success I understood the gift is in the uncertainty.
An opportunity to pause, focus more deeply on the situation, and consider alternatives; to redefine the relationship to uncertainty.
When we are courageous enough to go beyond the fear and uncertainty it allows us the capacity to be remarkable.
Related: Embracing Differences To Discover the Magic of Connection