When you’re doing exciting and interesting things with your life, you likely have less of a plan in place. Knowing exactly what you’re doing or what your next step is ALL of the time can make life predictable and…boring! The unknown and unconventional is what makes your life so exhilarating. But at the same time, some routine and the feeling of being grounded is important to our wellbeing.
So how do you keep your sanity while also keeping your life full of the twists and turns you love? Here are 10 ways people living adventurously deal with uncertainty:
There’s one thing everyone has to do everyday regardless of their lifestyles - breathe. Practicing presence (or mindfulness) while focusing on your breathing is a grounding exercise that you can do daily not only to calm your mind and dismiss unhelpful thoughts, but to remind yourself exactly what you’re living for each day. When we focus on the person we want to be every day and how we’re living into our goals in each individual moment of presence, we maintain a mindset of certainty in who we are and success toward our goals, regardless of external circumstances.
When you know what you want and why you want it, you’re going to stay committed. This isn’t always something you just know about yourself - it may have to be revealed through a process of identifying your core values and why you have certain drivers in your life. Once you have your core values identified, that means you know that fulfilling those will bring you true joy and contentment - and you can start living into those values with unhindered fervor.
We say it all the time - you can’t truly move forward toward your goals until you fully understand your current mindset and circumstances. Understanding not only what you fear, but why you fear it is essential to beginning your journey toward courage and transformation. Ultimately, identifying the foundations of the fears you have will allow you to better diffuse and redirect them during your daily presence practices, and any time a fearful though pops up.
Some fears are helpful. They help you plan what you need to and survive. Other fears are not helpful. They simply tell you to stop, go back, be safe and comfortable. People who are good at adventurous living know which of their worries need their attention - these are logistical like, “I don’t know how I’m going to afford this,” or “Where will I live?” Those things will not work themselves out. They require your planning. Other thoughts like, “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t know enough,” “What if I fail?” are unhelpful thoughts, and in order to continue what you’re doing you will need to decide whether you’re going to listen and let them stop you. If you are devoted to your purpose, you will diffuse those thoughts quickly and move on to prove them wrong!
Goals fail when people fail to write them down. Those living adventurously have a plan - it may not be an exact step-by-step plan (remember, we’re all living in uncertainty), but they know where they’re going and they know what details have to be figured out now, and what to save for later. They have a clear timeline and objectives outlining what it will take to reach that goal, and they use their daily presence time to remind themselves of ONLY what is important to focus on each day.
There is more than one way to get to every goal. Sometimes you have to do some trial and error to figure out what will work for you. Sometimes how you get to your goal depends on the season in life - you have to work to save money vs. being able to just quit and pursue your dreams. But coming up with a plan A, B, C and so on will not only help keep you on track if one plan starts to fail, but it will keep you confident that no matter which path you take, you’re still making daily progress toward where you ultimately want to be.
Comparison can cause doubtful, unhelpful, fearful thoughts to sneak into your mind. There is very little you could do in this world in this era that someone has not done before, and looking at people who are more advanced on the track you are just starting out on will make you feel discouraged and small. Instead of comparing, examine these sources as mentors for you. Take inspiration from others doing what you dream of, and take notes of things you want to emulate. You will bring your own unique twist to your craft, whatever it is. One of our favorite quotes is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: “It might have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you!”
You must ask yourself when identifying your purpose - are you enjoying the journey? Or are you dragging yourself half-dead through the mud and sticks with a broken ankle and your eyes on the mountain ahead of you thinking, “I’ll feel better once I get up there?” If it is only important to you whether or not you reach your goal, you will continue feeling depleted of success the whole way to it, and immediately after you reach it. If you truly love the journey, the outcome will still feel just as good to reach, but you’ll have harnessed the experience of daily joy and satisfaction and won’t feel as lost once you’re there and it’s time to start on a new goal.
If you’re doing this for anyone else but yourself, you won’t get any satisfaction from it. And you’re probably not enjoying the journey (see above). You are living adventurously because your plan is your own, unconventional as it may be. People may not understand it, and that’s OKAY. Don’t let influences from anyone outside your own head tell you what you should and should not be doing with your life. And don’t worry about seeming selfish by doing this “for you” and not “for others” - when you let your purpose shine through in your life’s actions, you WILL help others. They’ll be inspired by you, or if you’re doing something that inherently serves others, they’ll feel your love for your work that much more.
We aren’t here to sell you any lies about seeking and obtaining eternal happiness - we’re here to guide you through every tough reality of life so that you can find true, lasting fulfillment and joy. Sometimes you will not be happy. Learning to be OKAY with unpleasant feelings and sitting with uncertainty is part of living adventurously. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments about living adventurously, and/or with uncertainty! We’ll create future blog posts from your feedback.
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