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Uncertainty as a compass

When facing uncertainty, it’s helpful to revisit what you know is true. These truths can act as your compass, keeping you focused on daily choices as you move in the direction of your goals. Ask yourself:

What do I want?

What feels aligned with who I am?

What are authentic expressions of my being?

What do I know to be true right now?

Which of my relationships feel supportive, nurturing, and life-giving?

Return to your answers when you feel stuck.

brown wooden arrow signed

When you’re uncertain

You’re not sure which path to choose, which relationship to nourish, when to say yes, how to say no. You’re worried about picking the “best” option or the “right” road — or worried you’re missing the bigger picture altogether.

Do you think you might fail? Look how far you’ve already come.

Somehow, someway, there is always a net waiting:

The right people at the right time, the perfect opportunities falling into your lap.

There are no mistakes or wrong choices.

An end is never an end; it’s an opening, a portal to something new.

(“Something new” might be better or worse; it’s up to you.)

Minds are powerful and creative. Savor your options.

Take 5

Tell 5 people you appreciate them.

Think of 5 things you love about yourself.

Set aside 5 minutes to write.

List 5 goals you want to achieve by week’s end.

Check-in with 5 people who appear strong.

Remember 5 obstacles you’ve overcome.

Thank 5 service workers.

Choose 5 songs you can play the next time you feel anxious.

Invite 5 people to a Zoom call.

Bookmark 5 websites that inspire you.

Tape 5 quotes next to your workstation.

Make 5 calls to people who might be struggling.

Take 5 deep breaths.

Get a celebrity on the phone

Tim Ferriss told a group of Princeton college students that he’d buy them a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world if they could get a celebrity on the phone. Out of the group of twenty eager jet-setters, not one attempted the challenge. He posed the same contest to a different set of students one year later. In two days, over 35% came back with results.

Why?

They believed they could.

The separating factor between these two groups is action. It’s easy to come up with excuses, set low expectations, or dismiss the successes of others. It’s difficult to commit to your own goals and dreams. Action takes courage, confidence, and commitment.

Sometimes you need to set an expectation that seems unrealistic; a mark so audaciously high and unfathomable you convince yourself to try it. Maybe you hit that banner, maybe you fall short. Either way, you’re propelling yourself into action. And that action alone sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Tell me what unrealistic goals you’re setting @redheadlefthand.

The case for risk

We’re afraid of making our desires known. It’s scary to show pieces of ourselves to another, parts that make us vulnerable, the gentle spaces we perceive as fragile. It’s easier to hide behind accomplishment and labels and somebody else’s dreams.

what if I’m alone

what if I can’t make rent

what if it never happens

what if I’m found out

what if I fail

Fear morphs into competitive comparison as we scan the lives of colleagues and peers, anxiously wondering if we measure up. Our minds stop us from living, from allowing ourselves to just be.

Imagine if all that watching and playing it safe on the sidelines turned into focused energy.

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to do?

When I finally pushed doubt to the side, I became a writer. I became generous, forgiving, loving, and daring because I stopped caring about what didn’t matter in the first place and started paying attention to moments that made my heart swell.

I’m scared often.

I’ve had to get comfortable living with little in my bank account and not having a neatly packaged answer when people ask, “What’s next?”

But because of that, I’ve experienced beautiful mysteries I would have otherwise missed.

Life shouldn’t be neatly laid out.

Not the life I want to live.

Modified from this original post.

Believe in dreams

Two years ago I went to India. At the time I was frustrated and uninspired but had revisited a list I wrote many years prior; the Taj Mahal was on that list.

I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, so I went, alone, determined to make this dream come true. 

I will never forget the feeling of awe and accomplishment when I arrived: A long-time vision made tangible. I watched sunset and returned for sunrise and walked around in a daze.

When I visited Mount Rushmore, I was disappointed; the size and the proportions didn’t seem to match what I had seen in history books. Yet this. This marvel exceeded my imagination.

Only now do I recognize the strength, courage, and resilience it took for me to get there.

For all those fighting silent battles;

For dreamers who remain committed to their visions;

For those stubborn enough to persist against all odds;

And for the few who dare to create and build: I see you.

Keep dreaming. Believe in your dreams like your life depends on it (it does).