Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • I am falling in love, but a voice in my head says I should hold back because I might get hurt.
  • Sometimes I get so nervous because I don’t know what’s going to be on the receiving end when I talk to her. 
  • I can’t know how my project will turn out, so it’s easier just to play Sudoku or clean the house.
  • It’s so hard being in limbo, not knowing where I’m going to live in the next several months. 

The constant predicament of living a meaningful life is that we can never know what’s going to happen next.

Everything in life is temporary—including life itself—and we can never predict with complete certainty the outcome of our actions. While we can never know what will happen tomorrow or the next day, by following our inner guidance today, we align ourselves with the path that will take us toward the next right choice in the future.

Fear of the unknown is a normal, physiological response that helps keep us safe in dangerous situations. For most of us, it will be a frequent visitor along the path of life, and I have yet to meet anyone who has completely overcome their fear of the unknown.  The problem arises when the fear of the unknown keeps us stuck in a boring job, holds us back from asking the person we like on a date, or gets in the way of us pursuing our dreams.

When dealing with uncertainty, we tend to get stuck in either thinking as the Innocent or as the Orphan.

The Innocent trusts blindly, believing that if she just thinks positively enough, things will work out exactly as she hopes.  On the other hand, the Orphan doesn’t know how to trust anyone, not even herself, and she allows her fear of the unknown to hold her back from following her calling.

Our central challenge when dealing with uncertainty is to embody the Sacred Caretaker, the part of ourselves who skillfully holds the paradox of knowing that on the one hand, we cannot know what the future will bring and on the other, we will be okay no matter what.  This is the part of us who homes in on inner guidance, discerns when to take action, and embraces our fear of the unknown as an ally on the journey.

Fear of the unknown always arises from an old story that needs changing or a need that you need to take care of before you go further on your journey.

Our Voice of Doubt, who speaks on behalf of the fear of the unknown, can be one of our most important allies on the journey. When the Voice of Doubt within speaks up, ask it to share its positive intention, and listen carefully. By taking steps to change your story or meet your needs, you will align all the parts of yourself to take action.

Fear and intuition are both likely to be present whenever you’re dealing with uncertainty, and the task of the Caretaker is to learn to discern the difference between the two.  To listen past your fear of the unknown and pinpoint the message of your intuition, first ask yourself, “What is my intuition, my gut, or my inner guidance telling me right now?  What is my wiser self saying right now?”  Next, notice how you feel in your body.  Intuition often speaks from deep within our bellies, sounding subtly like a tuning fork—“yes,” “no,” “go this way,” “go that way,” with little justification or need to rationalize.

The challenge of living life fully is to learn to give oneself wholeheartedly to the moment without knowing what will happen next, embracing the fear of the unknown as an ally, and allowing intuition to lead the way.

If you’re ready to face your fears, trust your intuition, and create a life you love, click here to learn more about confidence coaching and get clarity on your next steps in the journey toward living your calling with authenticity and ease.

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