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How to Cope With Uncertainty

Posted Jan 27 2010 6:59pm

Editor’s Note:This is a guest post by JC of JCD Fitness. Thanks JC!

Since the conception of man, uncertainty has plagued every great mind in existence. The fact is no one truly has any foresight into the future; therefore uncertainty is something we’ll all encounter at one point or another. Uncertainty can be in many forms and for many different reasons. We experience uncertainty with regards to the work place, the economy, our relationships and our self-image.

Uncertainty is not necessarily a negative thing as it’s essential to our growth as spiritual beings. Hell, without uncertainty, life would be pretty boring and predictable. The problem seems to lie in the way we cope with our uncertainty and how it makes us feel. In my personal experience, I’ve often found myself trying to control many situations, only being miserable as a result.

Later, at about the age of 20, I discovered the importance of letting go of my expectations. Letting go allowed me to accept the uncertainty that often comes with rigid expectations. I then experienced freedom in its purest form.

Stop Trying to Control Everything and Just Let Go

If you’ve ever seen the movie Fight Club, you will recognize this quote. To refresh your memory, this is the scene of the car ride in the rain where the narrator is yelling at his alter ego, Tyler Durden, about losing control of the road. Tyler kept letting go of the wheel and eventually yelled at the narrator to “stop trying to control everything and to just let go!”

About that time, they both put on their seatbelts and let the car do the driving. They simply let go and let the moment run its course. Their fate was a nasty collision with a parked car followed by some intense rolling down an embankment. Luckily they survived and had a ‘near-life experience.’ They were grateful for said experience and were thrilled to walk away.

The lesson we can learn from this scene is that while we generally possess a lot of control, we don’t always have to do all of the controlling. Alright, allow me to explain.

In times of uncertainty, we’re likely trying to make everything happen exactly the way we think it should. Our actions are usually reactive as opposed to being proactive. The emotional intensity is negative and likely full of resistance.

The only way we can truly experience freedom during the times of uncertainty is to let go and let the circumstances run their course. Let the chips fall where they may. We must stop trying to control everything and simply let go of what we are obsessed with controlling. How are we to know what the exact outcome should be? I find it’s ideal to have your goals and objectives in mind but maintain a very loose idea on how you might get there. After all, nothing is promised and uncertainty always abounds.

Have you ever been in a situation where something wasn’t going your way at all? It may have been a job, a relationship or a certain season in your life where you felt you had no control. If you’re like me, you may have found that once you let go of the struggle, the solution arrived fairly quickly. The funny thing is that it probably turned out better than you thought it would, even though it was not how you envisioned the resolution.

It’s Only After We’ve Lost Everything that We’re Free to do Anything

This is yet another philosophical quote from Fight Club. It’s muttered during the scene where Tyler is holding a gun to the head of the convenient store worker who dropped out of college. He (worker) claims to have dropped out because it was too hard or in his words, “too much school.” Tyler, at this point, was simply trying to wake this kid up; his goal was to push him to do something worthy with his life.

At the end of the scene, Tyler makes this comment: “Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessle’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever had.”

You see, sometimes we become so strapped and tied down emotionally to our everyday hustle and bustle that we often forget the bigger picture. Sometimes we forget about the uncertainty we are facing and neglect it altogether to grasp a sense of security (albeit false) we so desperately long for.

The problem with this type of mentality is that it only delays the reward or sometimes the disappointment. We often learn from our disappointments.

The reason Raymond will be successful is because at that moment in time, he was stripped of dignity and he feared for his life. He’ll never forget the moment death crept to his door and looked him in the face. He was more uncertain than he’d even been. However, up until this moment, he’d never really lived. He’d never really let go.

Now it’s not essential to have a near-death experience, like Raymond, to realize that we need to get off our rump and do something; however that moment of uncertainty was crucial to his experience and it will drive him until the day he dies.

Uncertainty Promises Growth

Being uncertain is a part of our never-ending growth. Experiencing letdowns and setbacks in life is what makes the successes so worthwhile. There is no reason to fear the uncertain seasons in our lives; rather, we should accept and embrace them for the lessons they pose to us.

So, do you have any uncertainties you need to let go of altogether?

About The Author

JC is the author of JCDFitness, where he writes about fat loss, building muscle and his relaxed approach to all things fitness. Be sure to check out his free eBook, A No-BS Approach to Looking Great Naked and follow him on Twitter.


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