Are you someone who likes to know what will happen before you make a decision, or at the very least be able to predict the likely outcome?
Are you always getting stuck on the result, or the need to know what and how something will turn out, or have some guarantee that everything will work out exactly as you want it?
So many people hold themselves back in life and stop themselves from taking risks or chances because they need to know the outcome or at least have an idea how things will work out.
I used to have a need to know exactly how things will work out.
Being attached to the outcome has got to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks I help my clients overcome, and it never ceases to amaze at how many successful people stop themselves from doing things they have dreamed of doing because they have no guarantee that they will get a particular outcome or experience success.
Whether you want to start a new relationship, change careers or even have a baby, I have come to realise that not knowing what the results are going to be is one of our biggest fears, right up there with fear of public speaking!
There is something you can do to help you overcome this and learn to enjoy the process of not knowing. I am going to share with you some personal tips that will help you to move towards feeling able to do whatever it is you want to do without the need to constantly be assured of the outcome, enabling you to be more courageous with the choices and decision you make about your life.
There was a time in my life when I needed to be sure for certain of the outcome when I was making decisions about significant changes in my life; now I am not talking about booking a holiday or buying a new dress or suit. I am talking about making some of those big life decisions such as making a commitment to live with a partner or get married or changing jobs or giving up your job to study full time or even start a business.
Anytime I was faced with something big; I would hesitate, mull it over and often decided against making a choice because I could not be sure what the outcome would be.
The very first time I had to make one of these big decisions, the one thing I wanted to know was how will things work out. I realised that I had no idea how things would work out and that I would have to take a leap into the unknown, and wait to see what happens. I almost buckled. Fear kicked in, and my need to control the outcome was screaming at me, "Don't do this unless you are very sure you can guarantee the result you want. Otherwise, it will ruin everything for you!".
That was an enormous wall of fear that I had to face and climb. To be honest, I came very close to not making a decision to do something that quite literally had the potential to change my life for the better, and all because I could not see how things would work out for me at the time. So I hummed and hawed for weeks and months stressing out on whether to go for it or not, it took me almost two years to finally pluck up the courage and go for it!
If you have been in this situation, you will know this ends up leaving you feeling disappointed and sometimes looking back and wondering "what if I had just taken the leap", I know I have done that at times.
Now years after making that big decision and years of working as a coach and hypnotherapist; using lots of different strategies to help my clients and myself, here are some tips and ideas to help you let go of your need to know. So you too can experience less stress and more joy in your life and allow yourself the opportunity to grow.
1. Happiness is not dependent on an outcome.
Happiness is not dependent on an outcome it is dependent on your state of mind. Years ago I read the book "Man's search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl, and it blew my mind how anyone can find themselves in such horrific circumstances and still find a way to be happy. The message in the book from Victor Frankl so very firmly taught me that we could find happiness wherever we go and under any circumstances, it is only our mind that dictates the state of happiness we experience no external event can alter that without us giving our mind over to the external circumstances. We are always the only one in control of our mind; it is the one and the only thing we have control over.
By learning to own your thoughts, and not allowing the external world to own them, no matter what the outcome of any situation you can choose to be happy no matter what may occur.
2. Nothing in life can be guaranteed
Nothing in life is guaranteed and whatever outcome you might hope is waiting for you in the future, is almost certainly likely to change. Life changes, people are born and die, jobs come and go, as do people. Nothing is guaranteed, so learning to accept that life is fickle and that to navigate all the changes that life will bring you no matter how hard you try to control it, the best thing to do is to learn to be flexible and open and not to take anything as guaranteed.
3. Let go of your need to control situations and people.
Let go of your need to control circumstances and individuals. Control is a big issue for people, and often it pops up when I am working with parents who are having difficulties with their children. Their desire to control their child and mould and shape them into what the parent thinks they should be can cause friction and problems in the relationship, then the child rebels and misbehaves to take back control of their life! It is a vicious circle and often occurs in relationships with partners, bosses and our parents too. This need to control can lead to all sorts of problems.
Learn to let go of your need to control and develop the practice of "surrender", it is a liberating way to experience relationships and deal with challenging situations. It does not mean you give up; it just means that you are surrendering your need to control to something greater than you and trust that whatever is going on will work out exactly how it will without you needing to intervene or control what happens.
4. Let go of your attachment to things.
I have spent the last 12 months decluttering my home and in that process I have either given away to charity or thrown out a load of "stuff" that not so long ago I felt I had an attachment to, because this stuff had some sentimental value.
The decluttering I have been doing has pushed me to let go of things that I once thought I needed or was saving for a "Just in case I might need it" moment.
I had this fear "What if I throw all this away and might need it some day but don't have the money to replace it?". That fear had been running around in my mind for years. When I finally worked up the courage to let go of my attachment to things, I also released myself from the fear of not knowing whether there will be enough money in the future to replace the things given away, should I ever need them again.
Moreover, what I found is that when we have less of the things, we were once attached to the desire to have more leaves us because the space we have created brings a sense freedom that does not require filling.
Attachment to things or people can create within us a fear of loss. What will happen if I no longer have that thing or person in my life? In turn, this leads us even closer to our need to, control how things will work out. When you let go of your attachments to things and people, that fear of loss also goes, and outcomes no longer have any hold over us, because you begin to experience the freedom to be able to do things just for the experience of doing them and not from a place of fear.
5. Imagine what would happen if you let go of the outcome
Visualisation is one of the most powerful tools you can use for the mind and helping you to transform old negative thought patterns and beliefs.
Imagining all the wonderful positive experiences and feelings, you would benefit from when you let go of your need to know, can help to build up the courage to take a risk and do the thing you really would love to do.
The more you do this the stronger that courage will become because your brain does not know the difference between what you imagined and what is real, it will begin to build up the belief that it has already experienced the outcome that you want to experience. Quite literally, whatever you tell your mind, it will believe it to be real. Moreover, if your mind thinks it, then you are far more likely to act on it regardless of needing to know the outcome!
By learning to let go of the outcome, you open yourself up to experiencing more of life and enjoying more variety and growth in the things that you choose to do. Life becomes less stressful and more joyful.
When I made the decision to give up a full-time career and set up my own business, I had no idea what the outcome would be, and if I had applied my usual approach, I would not have taken the step at all. Because there were no guarantees and I had no idea how things would work out, it was not something I could foresee.
Had I not let go of my need to know I would have missed all these beautiful and delicious experiences I have added to my life. I am so glad that I decided to let go of my need to know, otherwise I would still be sitting behind a desk and being told what to do on a daily basis.
If you are sitting on the fence about making a life decision or making some significant change to your life I want to challenge you to let go of your need to know the outcome.
Ask yourself this:
"If I had nothing to lose would I do this?" and if the answer is yes, then that is the very thing you need to be doing!
We all want comfort in life, and much of our comfort comes from the certainty, yet there is no ABSOLUTE certainty. The only certainty that you will find is in your ability to know that no matter what you do you have the capacity to ensure that everything will work out, no matter what the outcome.
Providing you have the right mindset and focus you CAN achieve whatever you want in life.
To your success!
P.S You can also connect with me over at my Private Facebook Coaching Group I am in there most days for support and encouragement.
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Avril Gill, Hypnotherapist Transformational Coach & Hypnotherapy Trainer