Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Uncertainty

Recently I had a conversation and the topic of what we want came up. That however is a broad topic and can encompass what I want to accomplish for today, big projects for this week or month or even long term goals, so just to say I want this... would not necessarily make it happen.

For anyone who reads this blog or knows me, is aware that I've been looking at my life in terms of 'what I want' from it for a while now. Many times I've felt frustrated because I know people who seem to know just want they want out of life, they seem so focused and know just how to go about getting it. I, on the other hand, look out my window and see a vast and open world full of possibilities and just don't know. The options seem limitless and appealing, but I want to know what is the right path for me, I want to know what is going to work and how to get there - I DO NOT want to wander around trying this and that only find out I am no good (translate=have failed) and need to start over. This is not to say I am not happy for the people I know who have 'found' their path, because I am, I just wish MY time would come. I wish they would impart on me the secret to their enlightenment, I just wish I had the answers for myself.

Recently I mentioned that I had started reading Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth and had taken it on my vacation to re-read some sections. One that caught my attention (previously overlooked) is a section that discusses change.

"Some changes may look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge."

I had never thought of it like this, but it makes sense to me. My problem with this statement is not the change itself, but the negative look of change. I have struggled with the idea of failure for a very long time. So long, in fact, that I do not remember when it started or even why it is/was such a big deal to me in the first place. I've often been heard saying 'failure is not an option' and been proud to admit that "if I thought there was a chance I would fail...I would rather not attempt the challenge at all." Never once has it occurred to me this logic is faulty, but just a few days ago I saw the gigantic flaw that was smack in the middle and can no longer overlook this.

"When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change."

I read this and the light was turned on.

I have thought that because I was willing to do things other thought 'scary' or 'unconventional' I was a risk taker, but the truth is I saw the outcome as positive and never had any doubt I wouldn't succeed at the task. This does not however, open me up to change or the possibilities that come with change. Uncertainty is my fear - my paralyzing fear that has stopped me dead in my tracks many times before.

Being aware does not make it disappear into the night, it does however make it less easy to over look when that is my sole reason for not giving an option a try.

Has uncertainty negatively impacted your decisions before?

8 comments:

Jojo said...

Worrying definitely wastes a lot of time and energy...and adds stress no less...but I don't know if I'd stop doing it altogether. I think many times it has helped me see the situation in different perspectives and choose the best option and risk for me. But I find that we don't always have DECIDE on change..it just kinda happens whether positive or negative, so well no use worrying about that!

April said...

I can go either way...some days i worry nonstop and feel negative...other days I just say "screw it! whatever happens/wherever I end up/happens!"

Semi-Charmed Wife said...

Uncertainty has definitely negatively impacted my decision-making. There have been many opportunities that I allowed to pass me by because I just "wasn't sure" it was the right thing to do. I struggle with this even now with respect to creative writing and teaching. It's really frustrating!

Kellan said...

I have not read this book - I need to!

I am going to San Francisco next week for the BlogHer conference. I could not be more nervous - even scared - as traveling there alone and being surrounded by so many people that I don't know - is waaaaayy out of my comfort zone. I am also flying on a stand-by ticket - so I might not ever actually get there or get home. I am "winging" it - this whole trip. I told myself - "What's the worse that can happen" and then I worked backwards from there and said "What the hell - I'm going - I can do this". I can't tell you the number of times I have considered backing out. I say all this to emphasize your point - sometimes we need to step outside our comfort zone and hope that good things happen and make good things happen if possible.

Take care - Kellan

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I struggle with my indecisiveness on a daily basis! It is SO annoying!

I am so much scared of failure as I JUST CAN'T MAKE UP MY DAMN MIND!

I think that might be worse! :)

krissy said...

I really think change is scary for every single person. But it is how you approach the change that makes it different.

Failure is a part of all of our lives and no one ever wants to fail. But from a person who has failed and failed and failed at things, I will say that each time makes me stronger to try the next time.

"Taken the leap of faith" means you will never know if you will fail unless you try.

I look at it as a learning experience but it doesn't make the hurt any less.

GoteeMan said...

Oh, sure. Along with denial, self-deception, anger - just about anything you can think of...

I second jojo's comment about wasting time and energy... I guess I feel like it took the pressure cooker of my circumstances to bring me to a point of letting it all go and just jumping... no looking back.

My life is far from ideal, but I know I am where I am supposed to be. It's not easy, but I find peace when I am in that place... so I guess I try to let peace be my guide.

Follow your peace, and your bliss... what is it that truly moves you? where is your passion? what do you love?
and then....

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DysFUNctional Mom said...

I totally get you on this post. I hate change and I fear failure as well. And sometimes those 2 things make me stuck where I don't want to be!