The Feeling Of Uncertainty Sucks

Do you have any idea what it feels like to be right? Of course you do. It’s pretty awesome isn’t it? Now, what about to feel… not right? What about confused, like when you can’t quite follow what’s going on? That sucks. Turns out this feeling of knowing is a big deal. It impacts when we (and others) are certain and uncertain.

Robert Burton has the ultimate example of the feeling of knowing. Read this paragraph and experience the discomfort of not knowing. Make sure you take inventory of your feelings while you read it (no skipping to the end, it’s short!). Watch how all these familiar enough inputs wreak havoc on your synapsis:

A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than the street. At first it is better to run than walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. Rain, however, soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. One needs lots of room. If there are no complications it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.

Annoying right? This is the feeling of uncertainty.

Now for the magic trick. Are you ready for the reveal? Get ready for that entire feeling to get washed away as certainty and confidence sets in. Here you go: kite. Go read the description again.

Whether we are creating confidence in ourselves or in others, it stems from a feeling. The logic is often already under our noses, but the key that unlocks the feeling is everything.

The faster we get ourselves – or others – to the feeling of certainty, the faster we can move through the details that all seem so obvious in hindsight.

Check out Robert Burton’s interview on the “You Are Not So Smart” Podcast, episode 204, here.

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