Letting Go of the Need for Certainty Before You Act


Do you have a need for certainty before you act? This often looks like projecting several movements ahead, and eliminating all possibilities except the one you desire.

How often does that happen?

Not often, right? We can’t eliminate all possibility of something undesirable happening because we can’t control the world.

So, if you are a person who needs 100% certainty that your desired outcome will happen before you act, you’re going to spend a lot of time in a holding pattern.

Meanwhile, life and opportunities are passing you by. This leads to a life of regret.

How To Be More Effective

As with all things, there is some wisdom in this strategy. Let’s look at the pros and cons so we can keep what works and let go of what doesn’t.

People who want certainty think before they act. They are thoughtful and patient. This is great! Doing this can keep you from making hasty, emotional choices.People who want certainty also tend to have a desired outcome in mind. Having a desired outcome is like having a target to aim for. If you know where you are going, you’re more likely to get there. Keep this part!The bar for the green light to “go” for people who want certainty is around 95-100%. They want to be sure that their actions can only lead to X.  Since life has no guarantees, and this bar is so high, it’s not likely to be hit. When we lower the bar to a more reasonable level, we can move forward sooner and make progress.People who have great skills are comfortable with a lower bar because they have options. If A doesn’t work out, they can pivot and do B. So, grow your skills to give yourself options.People who are willing to say yes to things also tend to have better emotional regulation skills. If something doesn’t work out, they don’t get down and stay down. They bounce back. If this isn’t you, learn how to manage your emotions.certainty

Engage With Life

Engaging with life is like playing a game of chess. You move your man and life makes a move.

You don’t know what will happen, so you have to stay on your toes. But if you are paying attention and being thoughtful, you can end up a winner.

If you don’t, you learn something and up your game next time.

Making a mistake isn’t the end of the world. But staying on the sidelines and not engaging with life could be a form of losing without trying. Is that how you want to live your life?

If you need some help with confidence and skills, check out my Tribe. This is what we do.