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How To Deal With Uncertainty About The Future (So You Can Achieve Those Big, Scary Dreams)

Life Purpose

May 4, 2020

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Hi there! I'm Giorgia, a life purpose and business coach. I help you find your calling and turn it into a business, so you can make the impact you were born to make.

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how to deal with uncertainty 02

“I’m not sure this is for me,” I told my friend over a cup of tea. “I have no idea how to organize a group programme, let alone one that makes you 6 figures. And what am I going to do with all that money?”

“Giorgia,” she gently paused… “Isn’t it a bit too early to think about that? You haven’t even started your coaching business yet.”

“Maybe… But shouldn’t I know all the details before getting started? What if I dive into something I’m not ready yet? What if…”

“What if you cross that bridge when you come to it? Right now, your job is to find your first client. What is it that your virtual mentor Ramit always say… ‘Don’t try to be 40 before you’re 40’?

She was right, of course. My new coaching venture excited and terrified me in equal measure.

I knew deep in my bones that this was the right path for me. But the uncertainty overwhelmed me to the point I almost gave up.

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Taking Back Control Over Uncertainty

Would you believe me if I told you the possibility of getting an electric shock scares you more than the certainty you’ll get one?

It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Researchers put this theory to the test. They asked 45 volunteers to play a computer game in which they had to guess which rock concealed a snake underneath. Every time the snake appeared, the volunteer received a mild, but painful, electric shock on the hand.

Needless to say, the researchers kept changing the odds of the game, so the volunteers wouldn’t be able to identify patterns and figure out where the snakes were hiding.

All the while, the researchers measured the stress response of the participants. Turns out, people felt more stress when they were uncertain the snake was under the rock than when they felt certain it was – even though in both cases, they’d get a shock. 

What was going on? Knowing for sure they’d get hit kind of reassured the brain about the outcome. It’s the uncertainty your brain can’t handle.

Makes sense. For our prehistoric ancestors, not knowing whether the rustle of the leaves was caused by the wind or a tiger could mean death. So, our brain evolved to be weary of any form of uncertainty. 

Which kinda sucks, because uncertainty is part of life. You can’t know for sure if that cute guy is into you, if your new business will be a success, or if you chose the right college major until you take the plunge. 

But you can’t take the plunge while your brain is freaking out about it!! Talk about catch-22.

To break the impasse, the brain starts looking for some form of control. It tries to peek into the last chapter of the book to figure out how the story ended.

That’s what I was doing when I was worrying about group programmes and 6 figure launches before I even had one paying client.

Doing research, making business plans, replaying best and worst case scenarios in your head all give you the illusion of control. Your brain is trying to prepare for the worst case scenario and how to overcome it.

But when the negatives overwhelm the positives, your brain defaults to what it already knows. It deals with uncertainty by getting rid of it completely.

In other words, you give up and stay put where you are, safe in your comfort zone and the certainty it brings.

Related: 5 Things To Remember When You’re Lost Or Stuck In Life

Need help to tame your Inner Mean Girl, that voice in your head that always thinks of worst case scenarios? Subscribe to the newsletter below to receive the “Silence Your Inner Mean Girl” cheatsheet:

 

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You Don’t Need To Know How To Handle This Right Now

There’s something to be said for wanting to play the whole tape through. If you know where you’re going, you can create a step-by-step plan to get there.

When I first got the idea for The Treasures Within, I had a clear vision for what I wanted to achieve. 

I saw myself creating an online academy that helps women create a business and a life they love, host online events in luxury locations around the world, and have my own podcast downloaded by millions of people.

And absolutely no clue how to make that happen…

I had never done anything like this before. And could I? What if I’m not good enough? What if I screw it up and make some massive mistake I never recover from? What if I completely bomb and no one’s interested?

Making a business plan and mapping out every step of the process before I even got my first client was my way of easing the doubts.

Except, it only made everything worse. It made me doubt I could achieve all that.

You see, present day Giorgia isn’t qualified for all that stuff. And that’s ok. I don’t need to handle that right now.

Right now, all I need to do is focus on finding the right clients and work on my 1-on-1 coaching programme.

By the time I’m ready to host my own events, I’ll be older and wiser, with a lot more life and professional experience under my belt.

Future Giorgia will be able to handle it. All I have to do is live my life, work on my business, and become her. 

One day – and one step – at a time.

Related: Why “I Don’t Have Experience” Is Just An Excuse

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How To Stop Worrying About The Future

Truth bomb: Making plans and figuring out everything in advance doesn’t make fear go away. Trusting yourself to handle everything that comes your way does.

How the heck do you get there?!

Here’s how to let go of control, stop worrying about the future, and build trust in yourself:

1. Take A Deep Breath

You can’t think straight when you’re full of anxiety and freaking out about the future.

The best way to calm down is to take a deep breath. Then another. And another. 

Meditation is an instant stress reliever. It calms down your mind, dissipates away your worries, and helps you think with a clear head. 

The best part? You can use it anytime, anywhere. 

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2. Collect Proof Of Everything You’ve Achieved

Remember all the times you thought you couldn’t do something, but then you went and figured it out?

You learned how to ride a bike. Speak Spanish. Learn to play the violin. Have better conversations with your partner. Paid off debt. Got your first job. Or a second job after getting fired. Started a new life after a bad breakout. 

You weren’t sure you could do them. Maybe you cried yourself asleep at night. Or felt like giving up. Or worried for weeks about how to get out of this mess.

But you did. You’ve faced the unknown and survived. Thrived, even.

Think of all the things you’ve achieved and overcome in your life and jot them down on a piece of paper.

Next time you feel self-doubt or worry, check the list. It’s proof you can do it.

Related: How To Overcome Self-Doubt And Do That Thing You’ve Always Wanted

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3. Focus On The Best Possible Outcome

Our mind likes to focus on the worst case scenario. For a reason. It tries to spot dangers to keep us alive and healthy.

But, there’s no guarantee things will go bad. In fact, they may very well turn out for the best.

You can get that promotion. Start that business. Write that book and become a NYT bestselling author.

Other people have done it, so it’s possible for you, too. You just have to believe it.

Guess what? When you visualise the best possible outcome, you experience thoughts and emotions similar to what you’d experience if that thing were happening right now.

Once you feel that excitement, you won’t turn your back on it.

Related: How To Have A Clear Vision For Your Life (So You Can Achieve Everything You Want)

Need help thinking about those positive outcomes? Subscribe to the newsletter below to download the “Your Life Vision” worksheet to imagine and create your best life:

 

Where Do You Want To Be In 5 Years?

Download Your Life Vision workbook to create a roadmap to your dream business + life (plus weekly tips on how to make it happen)

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4. Start Small

Instead than worrying about what could happen in the future, focus on what you’re doing today.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do today to get a little closer to my goal?”

Break down the goal into small, manageable tasks and tackle them one by one. 

Your brain may not believe yet that you can become a 7 figure coach, but it can believe that you can find 3 people to interview for your market research or create content for Instagram.

The more tasks you complete, the more you’ll trust yourself you can do it. You’ve got this.

Related: 4 Ways To Stop Worrying And Start Taking Action Towards Your Goals

Over to you, now. Was there a time when you were freaking out about your future and yet everything turned out for the best? Share your story in the comments below.

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I'm Giorgia, a life purpose and business coach. I help you find your calling and turn it into a business, so you can make the impact you were born to make.

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Have no idea what you're born to do or what business to start? Find out today.

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