The name of the game
Getting comfortable with uncertainty opens up an entirely new paradigm of possibilities.
It is all too easy for us to attach to our expectations about how a certain person, place or thing will turn out. We do this for comfort. Believing we know the outcome gives us a sense of pseudo-security. It feels good to play out the specifics in our mind, quickly attach to this idea being the desired outcome and then directing the details along the way in an attempt to get to that end picture we created.
We do this at lightning speed making it difficult to notice unless we are paying close attention.
The problem with this almost involuntary coping skill is that it is immensely limiting. Just because we came up with an idea of how we think we would like something to come to fruition does not mean it’s the most fulfilling possibility. All it means is that while we are maneuvering the pieces, we are also eliminating other possible outcomes along the way.
We forget that any situation has unlimited possibilities. What we tend to jump toward is the worst scenario then, in an effort to avoid this feared outcome, one is born from this fearful space. Again, all of this happens so quickly it can be difficult to detect.
Entering the new can be whatever we decide it to be. It can be scary and uncomfortable if we deem the feelings involved to be negative. It can also be adventurous and exhilarating if those same feelings are labeled differently.
You see the situational feelings of excitement and nervousness are physiologically the same. They are both emotions of arousal, cortisol raises and your heart beats faster as the body prepares for action.
It’s the mind that labels it as excitement or being nervous. Try it the next time you are in a new situation and feel those familiar sensations. Are you nervous because it’s new or are you excited?
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.