Community//

Getting Comfortable With Uncertainty

Is it the way to live a happy and fulfilled life?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Life experiences are always mirroring back to us our learning’s and lessons.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the paradigm of ‘being comfortable in uncertainty’ as the way to live a fulfilled and happy life.
Being out of our comfort zone is where the growth and learning experiences lie. This is what leads us to better ourselves, to enjoy previously unexplored experiences. After all as the saying goes “everything you want is on the other side of fear” I’ve certainly found this to be true in my experiences of life so far.

One of the most experiential learning’s in my life was when I lived and worked in Azerbaijan. The experience was so out of my zone of comfort; I found it incredibly hard personally. The challenge made me face a lot of things about myself that I hadn’t dared look at before. Things that had been holding me back from living the life I truly wanted.

In Azerbaijan I had to face my thoughts and doubts, and work with them. There was nowhere to hide.
Its no understatement to say that period of uncertainty changed my life for the better.

I used to have a very narrow view of life too. Believing that there was a finite place to get to. An ultimate goal and state of being. That everything would be perfect when I got there. Just like the fairy-tale. I would live happily ever after when……

Nothing, of course is further from the truth. Every day, until we cease to be, we have the opportunity to learn, experience and grow. Life is a playground of learning.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard, miserable and unfulfilling. We are here to experience life in all its glory. I certainly want to enjoy every last drop of experience out of mine. I want to create my fairy tale every day.
In every moment we have an opportunity to expand and move toward uncertainty.
We also have the choice to stay where we are and live in our comfort zone.

Each day we face hundreds of challenges to our comfort zone, making decisions such as
Do I……

Tell that person my real feelings, without knowing how they will answer.

Say yes to the job task or project that scares me.

Wear the outfit I really want to wear but worry that it’s too much.

Say yes, when really I want to say no.

Go to the gym or lay on the sofa.

Coming back to my opening statement, I was reminded of my comfort zone this morning as I walked back from an appointment.
I was using my phone’s sat nav to guide me back to the station. I have to confess navigation is not currently one of my skills in life, so inevitably I got very confused with my direction.
I couldn’t seem to get my bearings. I found myself walking aimlessly in the wrong direction. The little blue arrow on my phone screen reminding me I was not on the route I needed.
My brain wanted me to keep going, even though I knew it was the wrong way. But as I couldn’t work out which was the right way, it felt safer to keep going as I was. So that’s what I did.

I am a keen observer of my thoughts, and I found this behaviour fascinating.
My brain, in its capacity to protect me, felt safer doing repeated behaviour, that clearly wasn’t working. Rather than change direction, take a risk and try a different route.

This realisation and parallel to life made me laugh out loud.
This is exactly what keeps us stuck in all areas of life.
The overwhelm of the unknown stops us from changing direction, from doing the things that deep down we know would work.
We feel safer doing the same thing. I”m reminded of the Einstein quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”

As soon as we change direction, we feel the difference. We are back on track. Yes it maybe scary, as we don’t know the outcome of where it will lead us. We always have the choice to go back to that well trodden path of safety if we want to.

But what if the new path leads you to what your heart truly desires?

So coming back to my earlier question “Is uncertainty the way to live a happy and fulfilled life?”
Yes It is.
Growth and learning is a fundamental human need, to stay still is to stagnate.

What if you could become comfortable with uncertainty?
How would that impact your life?


    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Photo credits by Nick Onken.
    Community//

    Enhance Your Life: 6 Reasons You Should Live Abroad Once Every Year

    by Mike Zeller
    Community//

    Do you know your ‘WHY”? (And why you should)

    by Anindita
    Community//

    Why You Should Stay Right in Your Comfort Zone

    by Kahli Bree Adams

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.