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The power of uncertainty

Elaine Ching

19 Mar 2023

Changing careers, illness
world events, dating, raising a child

Changing careers, illness, world events, dating, or raising a child...

We have all spent time seeking the 'best' solution to our life dilemmas. A need for control, to ensure we are in the know, rather than the unknown. Certainty feels good. It provides us with comfort, safety and ensures survival. It reassures us that ‘everything will be okay’.

Interesting studies (Carleton, 2016) have looked into the human need for certainty. It was found that fear, in fact, drives our need for certainty. The fear of the unknown. The fear of possible loss. The fear of making mistakes. The fear of humiliation. This fear wants to protect us from reducing our chances of survival, or in this day and age, our reputation. It gives us a sense of control.

But, have we questioned whether we are in control or being controlled?

We must not forget that we have choice. We must not forget that we are human and humans make mistakes. Mistakes do not define you. We must not forget that humans have a high level of adaptability. When we fall as a result of a decision, we learn from it and rise again.

To take control back from fear, we should consider embracing uncertainty. This way, we allow and create space for self-growth and change.

Carleton, R. N. (2016a). Fear of the unknown: one fear to rule them all? J. Anxiety Disord. 41, 5–21. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2016.03.011

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