Most people prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty. ~Virginia Satir
We are starting a new month and a new guidepost for the month. This guidepost from Dr. Brené Brown’s Guideposts for Wholehearted Living is one of the hardest to practice for me – Letting Go of the Need for Certainty and Cultivating Intuition and Faith. One of the first things I do when I feel vulnerable is seek certainty. I buy back into certainty messages that I grew up believing. Like, “if you do . . . then . . . will happen.” I also “poll take” and ask everyone else what they think about what I am struggling with. And my personal favorite, I research and research and research – searching for the “right” answer that will eliminate the vulnerability I am feeling.
I have come to realize as I have worked to practice this guidepost, that those certainty seeking behaviors actually bring me more anxiety, fear and misery. They don’t eliminate vulnerability and often times they increase shame because I am never living up to the certain answers I think I find.
How do you seek certainty when you are feeling vulnerable? Look for ways you seek certainty this week and then consider what the pros and cons of those actions are? Do they really help you? Do you prefer the misery of certainty over the “mystery” and vulnerability of uncertainty?