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A Gateway to Uncertainty

Jan 15, 2024 | Daily Trek, Unlearn

A Gateway to Uncertainty - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

A Gateway to Uncertainty

When we struggle with uncertainty, we’re likely to find life challenging.  But life is inherently uncertain, and this is a fundamental aspect of its nature. Embracing uncertainty isn’t just about accepting life’s unpredictable nature; it’s about being comfortable with not knowing.

Consider how the brain works. It constructs mental models to navigate our ever-changing environment. When faced with the unexpected, the brain experiences a prediction error, indicating a discrepancy between our assumptions and reality. This sensation of not knowing triggers beneficial neural changes. It heightens our attention, improves working memory, and makes us more open. The brain gears up to update its understanding. Here, uncertainty becomes an opportunity for life to unfold in unexpected ways.

Leaning into uncertainty is not a path to distress but a promising approach to mental health. It’s an effective way to deal with anxiety, build resilience, and enhance skills. Openness to the unknown is crucial for our mental wellbeing. It’s about fostering curiosity and courage. What if uncertainty isn’t a sign of weakness but a source of strength?

Understanding and addressing our fear of the unknown is essential. It involves questioning our expectations about knowledge and valuing the art of not knowing. Such a world encourages open-mindedness, flexibility, and curiosity. A world where we no longer follow blindly and accept things as they are. Because we understand that sometimes everything we think we know can no longer be trusted.

Uncertainty removes complacency, making us more alert to new information and setting the stage for learning. It encourages us to adopt a mindset of curiosity, which is vital. This mindset is key to developing cognitive skills like adaptability.

Coming Alive

Uncertainty also makes us come alive to possibilities. It tunes us into our environment, enhancing our capacity to learn. For leaders, uncertainty fosters resourcefulness, encourages questioning, listening, and openness to new insights. All which open channels of communication and connection.

Certainty often leads to derivative outcomes. If you’re sure of an answer or outcome, it’s likely already achieved and less impactful. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is a wellspring of creativity and inspiration to unlocking our imagination.

Being curious means allowing ourselves to be in a state of not knowing, and opening ourselves to possibilities, especially when it comes to everything around us. There is so much that is revealed to us when we become truly curious. And we also unleash new truths when we do. You see, once we are aware of something, we cannot not know it, no matter how much we try to ignore it or suppress it.

Uncertainty isn’t just a challenge to overcome; it’s a catalyst for wonder, change, learning, and growth. It’s a mindset we cultivate to help unleash conscious leadership within ourselves.

Uncertainty is calling us to consider taking radical treks; from the known to unknown edges of possibilities. And so is David Bowie: “If you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

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