Stop Being Certain

“Consider any significant decision you’ve ever taken that you subsequently came to regret: a relationship you entered despite being dimly aware that it wasn’t for you, or a job you accepted even though, looking back, it’s clear that it was mismatched to your interests or abilities. If it felt like a difficult decision at the time, then it’s likely that, prior to taking it, you felt the gut-knotting ache of uncertainty; afterwards, having made a decision, did those feelings subside? If so, this points to the troubling possibility that your primary motivation in taking the decision wasn’t any rational consideration of its rightness for you, but simply the urgent need to get rid of your feelings of uncertainty.”
Oliver Burkeman

I’m hardly a scientist so I don’t mind writing a bit of speculative nonsense here. I find myself reading a ton of advice on wordpress, maybe you can relate. And there are an unbelievable number of posts about being happy, not letting any negative thoughts invade your mind, and the power of positive thinking (a couple nice take-downs here and here). Uncertainty and fear and doubt and worry seem to really scare people. Maybe for good reasons. Those things can be dangerous but they also can be necessary and, in the end, improve things. I don’t know why we’re so scared. I’m writing a short post about it so I’ll leave it here for now.


Stop Being Certain

5 thoughts on “Stop Being Certain

  1. ryan59479 says:

    Uncertainty and fear and doubt can be looked at as survival mechanisms. They keep us from doing really stupid or dangerous things. Of course too much and you risk inaction…but on the whole I’d say more people could probably do worse than to embrace uncertainty and doubt.

  2. asewalson says:

    I know it sounds cliché, but I believe in the saying, “Always trust your gut.” It just seems to always know what is right and wrong. Even though sometimes I still don’t listen 😉

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