There are no certainties about the future but that does not stop us trying to find them.
However, we can end up becoming worried about what might happen that we miss opportunities for embracing new, richer and more rewarding experiences.
Sometimes, the most important decisions have to be made on the basis of insufficient evidence. Action is the best antidote to anxiety and uncertainty and change offers us the opportunity to think differently and to do something new.
We are living in challenging and worrying times at the moment. Feeling anxious and worried can leave us feeling less optimistic and confident about the things we do and whether the decisions we make will end in positive results. This way of thinking can inevitably lead to us living in fear of living.
It is possible that by breaking down what we have to do into small steps we might feel less scared or challenged by it.
When a problem arises, we can reframe the issue as a challenge rather than a disaster. Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction, which a lot of times results in us making hasty or irrational decisions, we can choose to reflect on what is happening and take the time to think and work towards a solution, using small manageable goals to guide us.
While this might feel risky at first because instinctively we want to fix things immediately, I have discovered that taking time to reflect opens up the possibility of a more lateral response.
Fear comes from over thinking and this can lead to feeling overwhelmed. When it feels as though one is being crushed by worries about future events or regrets about the past, meditation can help overcome this stifling sense of time because it calms one’s mind’s endless chatter and helps one to embrace the quiet space that is left.
While organised religion is fine if it brings one peace, the difficulty with it is that sometimes people get into a cycle where they are unable to draw from their own personal strength. It also results in the inability to develop their own inner powers, resulting in them being controlled by others and being disempowered.
The thing about avoiding the possible discomfort of making decisions is that one can miss the joy of a new encounter and a real sense of achievement. Being brave in small ways can yield big dividends.
Most of the choices we make or avoid making are not necessarily associated with major events. Even small decisions can feel daunting. I have had days when I do not feel I can make even the simplest decision. For instance, I recently asked my daughter to bring me a hot drink and I spent close to 15 minutes in a state of utter bewilderment trying to negotiate this simple choice. I eventually instructed my daughter to make the decision for me. It was only the look on her face that made me realise how utterly ridiculous I was.
I realised at that moment I was feeling vulnerable and fragile in other aspects of my life and this was the manifestation. Some of the advantages of working in my field is that over the years of training and working, I have garnered the necessary skills to identify certain behaviour and I understand how to interpret behaviours in relation to mental health.
At that particular moment, I was responding to how I was feeling internally about not trusting my judgment in other decisions I had made or had to make. I wanted to be taken care of and did not want to be accountable, responsible for anything, even the simplest possible things.
I also recognised that this would be the worst time to make any life altering or major decision in my life.
Fear can make us cautious, rigid and more likely to put up with bad situations; such as remaining in abusive or toxic relationships.
Some governments tend to find governing easy during the times of deep uncertainties.
This is because they take advantage of people’s fears and anxieties. The UK Prime Minister is capitalising on this vulnerability of its people by engaging in scare-mongering and whipping up hysteria in them and placing all the ills of the country on immigrants, asylum seekers and the poorest in society.
This is what Republican Donald Trump, who is aspiring to be the next US President, is also engaged in. It is hard to imagine how far he would be willing to go if he actually becomes the President.
The end result is that the British and Americans are petrified of foreigners and expecting to see the bogey man under their pillows and in their closets.
None of us knows how our lives will unfold, so it is important that our caution does not stop us from making choices that might enrich them.
Sometimes, it pays to take a risk, confront fears and carpe diem (seize the day).
Innovation is urgently needed for economic growth and to find solutions to national and global problems. Risk-taking is essential to innovation and is quickly becoming a core skill
Taking on a challenge and doing something new usually brings with it some degree of risk and uncertainty. Many people get so fixated on the potential for failure that they lose sight of the gains. If you feel threatened by what’s ahead, try looking at it as a chance to explore ideas on how to overcome those fears. Identify where you are now, where you ultimately want to be and then challenge yourself to come up with one tiny step that will allow you to start bridging the gap.
Before you know it, you would have started to train your mind to look for solutions.
Fear can paralyse us to a point where it becomes impossible to make a decision about the next step. Look back at good decisions you made in the past and identify your particular decision-making strategy. And for the person who claims he or she has never made any (there’s always someone who will feel that way), I bet if you think hard enough, you’d discover that you did so.
Even making the decision to read this article might be a good decision because it potentially might give you some more knowledge than you had yesterday.
What’s the worst thing that could happen in your life at this moment in time? Whatever it is, figure out how you would deal with it and put some things in place on how to safeguard it.
Be aware of the risks and consequences so that you can assess whether it’s a risk you are willing to take. Identify the pros and cons of taking the risk. Focus on the magnitude and impact of each decision. Always remember that there are also risks in doing nothing.
In order to gain something new, sometimes you have to let go of the old. View setbacks as an opportunity to learn and develop different strategies for the future. Use mistakes to help you grow and focus on those areas where you need to develop your skills.
The best creative opportunities come from being fully present in the now and being open to the unknown (…and yes that might sound pretty scary but it’s also full of promises).
What life has taught me
You never know what moment you life will change forever.
People may not remember what you did or what you said. But they will always remember how you mad them feel.