Uncertainty is not preferable. Okay, maybe it’s fine when there’s minimal chance of anything going wrong. Like, in a nice restaurant with an amazing dessert menu, you can confidently straighten up with a smirk and say, “surprise me.” Because you know, whether it’s the bread pudding, creme brulee, or tiramisu— you are going to be perfectly happy with the outcome. (And by you, I mean me.) But, when it comes to more serious circumstances and choices, we would rarely apply the same expression, “surprise me!” In fact, when it comes to the fate of our futures, the phrase, “surprise me,” goes from cheeky and exciting to moderately terrifying.
We do everything we can to counter uncertainty. We plan, we worry, we prepare, and we pray. Meanwhile, all we can truly keep our hands on is the present moment.
Uncertainty can be a large source of anxiety for some. If you’re anything like me, you may have had many late nights, head and stomach aches, extended periods of time where you mercilessly overworked yourself, circled the same “what ifs” in your mind with your breath stifled and shoulders scrunched high. Control can be chased, and oh how I have chased it with all my might at times; but it cannot be caught. It cannot be conquered. Control is not a mortal ability, we know this. Hence the praying, worrying, and hoping, pleading for the right outcomes at the right times. We know that this level of steering is beyond us, but again, we try. We place our faith in many places for comfort. Even often, without realizing, we fully hand our faith to others: I hope this interviewer likes me. I hope my partner feels willing to assist me with this. I hope this person or group of people sees my potential. I hope this won’t be too difficult. I hope this works out for me. It’s lots of that and then, more restlessness and more ruminating concerns of the future.
Cultivating a sense of faith and trust within myself has changed everything for me. It grew exhausting to shift my thoughts constantly around every angle of uncertainty, panicking with the expectation of the worst possible outcome, while simultaneously, desperately hoping for the best possible outcome. I since realized I have survived through both, as well as every shade between, countless times. Astoundingly, the score is still 1-0. Although I’ve been denied, I have been hurt, and I have been disappointed before. Contrary to my anxious feelings, the world has never collapsed in on itself. I have never been denied my healing, or life learning/experience, or an alternate joy. I survive—thrive even, through making mistakes and redirecting. Failure never meant annihilation; it just talks a big game.
For so long, treated and spoke to myself as if I did not trust myself. I overworked because I could never trust I had actually earned my keep in any of the spaces I was in. I worried constantly about every current and potential obstacle, because deep down, I suppose I just couldn’t trust that I would overcome them. I hid from all degrees of confrontation, not trusting myself to handle them properly, to remain safe, to remain in my body. Even under good pressures— when given opportunity, credibility, or kindness, I didn’t trust myself to be that good person those good things are for. I did not have that sense of security within myself. Thus, everything felt out of control. This was endlessly upsetting.
I know there is reasonable concern behind some of that, though. Everything has not always been under control. I haven’t always handled everything as properly as I would have liked to. For some scenarios, I can’t even say I really intended to handle them well. Maybe I came from a self sabotaging place. Maybe I came from fear or anger, maybe those more low vibrational, painful emotions dominated some of the experiences I’ve had in the past. I’ve messed up catastrophically. I know this, consciously and subconsciously, which is why I carry more caution and concern into new experiences. What I had forgotten on those trips down memory lane though, is to acknowledge everything there as whole. A crucial and long overlooked element in every single one of those experiences is, I survived. I learned. I moved forward. I was always safe enough to be able to rise again, to tell my stories, and to try one more time. -If you’re reading this now, you have, too.
I’m grateful for much rejection and redirection in hindsight— sometimes things fall apart because they have to. Sometimes you think you want something so bad, but you’re worthy of more. We never know for sure the meanings or endgames of our redirections, but we can start by trusting that we will be okay. Often better than okay. Often grateful. Often wiser. This you, the current you, is the most evolved you’ve ever been. You are a force to be reckoned with. I remind myself this when I feel afraid, after everything I have endured, conquered, transmitted into strength and unmoving self love, a problem should be much more afraid of me than I am of it.
Uncertainty is not going anywhere. You are the only variable that you can guarantee. So guarantee yourself. Affirm yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to trust you, this starts with you. After all, you have earned this, one thousand times over. Check your track record. You are still here. Trust yourself with tomorrow. Trust yourself with your tasks. Every single one. Trust yourself with the potential catastrophes, heartbreaks, and pain. Equally importantly, trust yourself with epic successes, authority, generosity, and love. You are worthy. Strong enough. The most qualified you have ever been. Speak to yourself with this trust, and embody it as you approach the unknown. Know that whatever lies in the uncertainty, you know how to take care of yourself. You always have.
I remind myself, if I am going to face something I fear, I get to choose how I carry and care for myself throughout. I get to show my inner and younger self that I have learned from my experiences, and I love myself enough to do the best I can. And my best only gets better. Even and especially in the unknown, I learn to trust myself even more. I’m betting on me.