About a year ago, I was walking to the subway on my way to meet a client. As I passed through a doorway, a tall young man with an impossibly long wingspan passed through the other side. He was with three work colleagues and was telling a story with great enthusiasm and they were all laughing. Just as our paths crossed, he gesticulated wildly, flinging his hands out to his sides.
And he punched me in the face.
My sunglasses went flying, but not before digging into my cheek bone, leaving what would become a nasty red welt. I’d never been punched in the face before. Shocked, I leaned on the nearest wall and tried to compose myself, but damn if it didn’t hurt. A small crowd gathered round and the man stood before me, equally in shock and more than a little embarrassed. After all, he’d just punc...
A high need for certainty keeps us small. It creates within us limiting patterns of belief and behaviour. It makes us incurious. It makes us fearful. And when we're fearful it's because our monkey brains are in charge and our monkey brains are wired for survival, not truth. And so we avoid fear and pain. And we contract. And we become even smaller still. And over time, there’s less and less of us.
That’s not okay. I want there to be more of you. I want you to expand.
So what are our monkey brains so afraid of? Well, in Strategic Intervention coaching, we talk about 3 fears that keep us from living the life we deserve.
Fear of loss
Fear of less
Fear of never.
But really, what all of this boils down to is fear of not be...
We need to talk about your need for certainty. And my need for certainty. And everybody else's need for certainty.
It’s simple enough in concept. We all want to feel safe and avoid pain. How could that possibly be a bad thing? Certainty makes us feel secure. It helps us sleep at night. It keeps our lives conflict free. When we’re certain, no one can mess with us and nothing bad can ever happen.
Except, it’s all an illusion.
The Buddha said that avoiding the unpleasant is what keeps us stuck. Preference for pleasure and avoidance of pain creates an imbalance. And in that imbalance, we are shutting ourselves off from our own amazing potential. Because the opposite of certainty is curiosity. So when you’re certain, you’re condemning yourself to an incurious life.