We all dream, plan, and come up ideas to change ourselves or the world in some way.
We’re confident in front of the mirror while practicing the proposal speech written for a girl we like.
We make badass resolutions on 31st December. We push ourselves to quit the job we really hate every night.
But what happens the next morning?
We hit the reset button and switch back to our normal life. We don’t speak our hearts out to the women we love. We don’t resign from the jobs we loathe. We don’t start work on that business idea. We don’t start on our resolutions. Everything we resolved to do gets forgotten.
Why do we always trick ourselves back to the usual rut of life?
Anything our minds can’t figure out is scary.
Take for instance the case when you want to quit your job. You always think of quitting, but there are so many uncertainties that you get overwhelmed by them — you don’t know how your boss will react, you don’t know what your parents will say, you don’t know if you’ll ever get a new job, and a truckload of other doubts.
It’s these uncertainties that stop us from taking powerful decisions in our lives.
You can’t escape uncertainties
No matter how much you plan, write, dream, draw or brainstorm, there is always going to be some element of uncertainty in whatever you do. You can’t escape it.
Consider this scenario for instance:
You want to profess your love to a girl. But whenever she arrives, you get tensed. You shut your mouth, turn your eyes away and move on. Heck, you don’t even gather the courage to walk up to her and say, “hi”.
In a case like this, most people don’t do anything because they fear rejection.
“What if she says NO?,” people think.
She may say YES or NO, but does it have anything to do with you going ahead and trying? What if she’s been waiting for a similar moment to say YES? So, it doesn’t make any sense to think that the worst in any situation will happen — it just stops you from trying.
Embrace your uncertainties
Most stage performers get nervous backstage before they step on to the podium. But, they don’t let that nervousness affect their will to perform. They do whatever’s necessary to keep their minds calm. Some people think positively, some meditate, some listen to inspiring music, some exercise and some even puke away their anxiety.
Considering all the things that could go wrong on stage, these performers have good reason to be scared and nervous — but they don’t choose to stay at home because of that. They don’t let their thoughts stop them.
To be like them, you need to accept uncertainties. Know that uncertainties are out there, because they are supposed to be there. They are not there to harm you. But to teach a lot more about you. So let these uncertainties teach you, but never let them stop you from doing what you want to do.
Uncertainty is the Mother of all innovation
Writers have to face the blank page every morning to get ideas. Entrepreneurs have to keep stepping into unfamiliar territories to progress. Regardless of the field, innovation is a result of embracing uncertainties. Those who tap out because of the fear of the aftereffect cannot create, and hence, never get to do the things they really want to.
So here’s what can you do to deal with uncertainty:
Show 20 seconds of insane courage
Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and muster up as much courage as you can—just for 20 seconds—and do that thing you always wanted to do. 20 seconds is all it takes. In that time, do whatever you have to do despite the fear and the uncertainty, and you’ll be able to do things you thought you couldn’t do.
This is from the movie We Brought A Zoo where Matt Damon advices his son to gather just 20 seconds of insane courage to do what he really wanted to
Gathering mind-blowing courage just for 20 seconds shuts down every possibility of internal negative talk and gets you to focus on action. So, stop thinking, pick up the phone and tell her. Go to your boss and say it. Because these 20 seconds can change your life.