Uncertainty is a constant in life.

Denise Tham
2 min readMar 4, 2022

How has certainty serves us?

I am calm when knowing I will wake up in my bed on my alarm the next morning, the sun rises from the east and my favourite cafe opens every day. Consistently my expectations are met. This comfort seeking nature is innate. Our Cortisol level is low. As human, we are all designed to gravitate towards certainty.

How has my addiction to certainty been unsupportive to me?

The lack of it makes me freeze or run away. How addicted am I to it? I only buy the same brand of shampoo, every single time. I have a schedule. If things change, I become rigid. This can be very annoying to myself and people around me. Pause…addiction to certainty on things that I can control is working well. It is the addiction to circumstances that I have little or no say in that poses a discomfort.

So what?

Uncertainty spins my mind around when interest rate fluctuates, relationships fall out, someone I love passes away, confronted with a debate. And when a war breaks out. Often times, our lives are filled with circumstances outside our control.

Certainty detox

Everything in life is uncertain. Wait, what? Ok, except mortality and taxes. Ok, we all know life is volatile, at least conceptually until I am experiencing it first hand in my body. Everything that is fluctuating all the time makes me live in fear.

Uncertainty. Impermanence. Change. Different label yet carries the same nature.

When it is innate for human to be addicted to certainty, how do we embrace uncertainty?

Making the case for acceptance

Instead of rejecting the uncertainty, I pause. How does acceptance help? Acceptance brings peace and clarity, I even get to be courageous and authentic. Pausing and accepting is supportive to be well, breath well and feel well. All it takes me is sitting still for one moment.

Take responsibility, make a choice

Take note of our coping mechanism. I munch on snacks when I am nervous. I stay quiet while my mind chatter runs for hours on end. Notice those reactions and take responsibility. Own them.

Ask ourselves, who we can contribute to? How do I bring Joy to others? Make a choice to contributing to others and getting out of our heads. Pick someone and/or a community to contribute to. Align that choice to acceptance.

Joy came to me yesterday. I took Joy along, I make a choice to not be taken hostage by, “Oh no, not again”

Enjoy the ride

We all get it, letting go of control is very hard. Yet, gripping tight on certainty is Exhausting. I love how Bruce Lee puts it, Be like water. Let’s do that, enjoy it with our one glorious life, one moment at a time.