On how to be okay with uncertainty
Most of us don't like it: the grey areas, change, not knowing what's going to happen. And for good reason. It's where the fear lives, where the voice in your head feeds you stories of all the things that could go wrong and where we question ourselves. It's where we can find ourselves deeply unhappy.
It's also where the possibility lies though. Where we have the opportunity to grow, to change for the better and to make things happen we never imagined possible. It's where the magic lives.
The hardest part is remembering that when we leave our comfort zones or a place where we've been so very happy and then fall victim to all the fear... This goes for jobs, relationships, moving places and countries.
As I write this, I'm on a plane from Singapore to London, flying home after a year of living in Melbourne. Hands down the best year of my life. Thanks to many awesome people, despite some horribly hard situations and because of some difficult and hugely courageous decisions I made.
I'm so sad to leave. In fact, I'm not sure sadness cuts it. I wasn't ready to come home - because actually I think I felt more at home in Melbourne than I've ever felt anywhere else. And my life looks nothing like it did when I left Heathrow one year ago. And not just because I quit a full time job, qualified as a coach, started a business and am working on a startup. But also because I'm hugely happier, I like myself more, I'm kinder to myself, I've stopped being so scared to just give something a go, I'm less judgemental, I care less what others think of me, I'm more positive, I laugh more, I don't want the same things, I see what's possible. And I have a stronger sense of trust that actually the universe is always rigged in your favour. You just have to believe it is so. And because of all of that, I now make better decisions.
My biggest fear is that I won't be happy at home. I can't be sure. I have no idea what's going to happen over the next few months and beyond - almost everything is uncertain (ah, the life of a solo startup biz!).
But here's what I've learnt: as I think about what my life is going to look like over the next year, I also know that I get to create it and that all the amazingness that's happened this year is because I took a step out into uncertainty and made it so. And that is super exciting.
1. Uncertainty is an opportunity - you just need to flip how you look at it.
I listened to a podcast recently that said only 10% of our happiness is situational. That only 10% of it is based on the circumstances we find ourselves in. 50% is genetic, or 'baseline' happiness. But the rest of it - a whopping 40% - is all us: all the thoughts we feed ourselves and how we treat ourselves. Making the decision to love ourselves. And the actions that result from that.
2. Training yourself to make space for positive thoughts and mindfulness and to be kinder to yourself is key to maintaining a sense of happiness in the face of uncertainty.
So that is also what is running through my head on repeat these last 14 hours. I'm hugely happier with who I am and what I have in my life, and even though there's always more work to do, if actually I'm a good way into figuring all that out then uncertainty and a change of circumstance doesn't need to be feared or result in unhappiness. I can create from it whatever there fuck I want. And so can you.
3. You have so much power over what you do with the uncertainty - don't let it define you, but figure out a way to take control and make it into something great. Remember - it's where the magic lives.
So there's my resolution for 2017. To always see uncertainty as an opportunity; to not let my circumstances affect my happiness; and ultimately to continue to create the life I want for myself and through that process, help others do the same. This year has been incredible. But I'm pretty sure next year is going to be better.
I'd love to hear what your biggest challenge for 2017 is :)