Certainty is the opposite of fear and doubt. It is the antidote for most negative emotions. Interestingly enough, it is also easy to increase, as there are many very "doable" actions that will create certainty, as noted in The Certainty Generators.
(Just follow the checklist provided.)
One need not be certain of all things, as it is "sufficient" to tie down the essential core elements - which are all relatively easily controllable.
Certainty is part of "the core" that you will be building as the strong foundation for your life. Having "sufficient" certainty will feel wonderful, calming, peaceful, and powerful, indeed.
Note this profound quote and understand it deeply, for this is what creates that foundation for the great life:
"We need only 'prepare' the core, but prepare it to the mastery level. That core will make us virtually invulnerable. "Out there" cannot be controlled, so my power must be centered in that inner core of wisdom and in what I truly can control - I develop that and I can handle anything. As the Karate Master does, I handle from my centered power and certainty of moves all that may come about.
And I will live life with this invulnerable core, where I can be calm and certain even in the center of the storm."
Scan these summary points, then read the discussio that follows right after.
THE ANXIETY/DOUBT CREATORS
No solid base to stand on, no firm foundation upon which to build life - no one can have a truly non-contingent, non-conditionally happy life without those.
WHAT ADDS CERTAINTY
Deciding definitely what to do ahead of time (redeciding is both taxing and unstabilizing). A definite schedule and order to do tasks. Implement set "moves" (procedures, ways of doing things) that actually solve and deal with problems effectively).
Building a firm foundation to stand on: Life philosophy, rules, procedures set up, build skills, strong stands, re-form all harmful and erroneous beliefs.
Grounding yourself each day, before the rest of the day begins.
WHAT REDUCES CERTAINTY
That which reduces certainty helps foster more anxiety, so we should
Fluctuating body functions (sugar ups and downs, diet, lack of proper rest, and such, as they "agitate" the body, which overflows into the mind and anxiety)
Being around people who are uncertain and/or teach you uncertainty and fear.
IMPLEMENT THE CERTAINTY GENERATORS!
"I am a "Kung Fu Life Master". I walk confidently knowing that I shall respond expertly to whatever happens, knowing that something will happen but that I will handle it as best I can. I do not worry about what could happen, as I am prepared for whatever happens. I have decided how I will react and what I will do."
Seeking security and no risk vs. seeking certainty
Clarity and conviction of character and values
The odds are...
Who would you rather be?
Affirming it to be so
Acting and speaking it to be so
Doing what it takes for it to be so
WITHOUT SUFFICIENT CERTAINTY ONE CANNOT OPERATE WELL
One cannot operate well in the world if he/she does not have sufficient psychological certainty because he/she will operate either tenuously (and therefore not effectively) and/or he/she feels threatened beyond what is real (actual). See the quote related to effectiveness in the article dealing with "intellectual" certainty and decisions: The Principle Of Sufficient Certainty.
Without psychological certainty one has no solid foundation to stand on, so one will experience anxiety and/or fear (they are similar) that will end up making them unhappy.
In other words, you cannot be happy if you suffer from psychological uncertainty. And you cannot be powerful in life without sufficient psychological certainty.
SEEKING SECURITY AND NO RISK VS. SEEKING CERTAINTY
We try for certainty in the sense of security and no risks. We seek to escape fear, but we constantly fuel it with poor habits of thinking, speaking, and acting.
Achieving a relative sense of security is possible, but "no risks" is actually not achievable, as outcomes do not always happen the way we want to. If our standard is "no risks" we risk failure many times because we will never reach such an unattainable state - and if we expect to, we will suffer from feeling we are threatened by some risk.
We must accept that we have undesired outcomes. Of course, we could choose to equate "undesired outcomes" with "danger", which most of us do, but erroneously. When we learn that undesired outcomes simply happen, as well as some pain, but that we still can adapt and make life good, then we can become Fearless (which is not some airy fairy concept, but is a very possible and reachable level). At that point, we are further along the road to developing a certainty about how we will react to undesired outcomes and still be ok (even with the effects of the undesired outcomes).
CLARITY AND CONVICTION OF CHARACTER AND VALUES
The certainty I'm talking about here is not the certainty of outcomes or that you can control outcomes, for that would be absurd, but a quality of a person's being or simply a personal quality, as in "essential character". Certainty in this case is clearness, freeness from ambiguity, lucidity, and a definiteness about what you'll do and who you'll be - and that life all works out virtually no matter what happens.
It is a state of conviction of one's values as being the best one can come up with and that one is reliably capable of producing good results on the average - and having the average be ok, having the losses be ok because the gains produce a good enough average.
It is a state of not having needless concern over what one cannot control and having confidence that one can rely on oneself to come thru.
It is like the certainty of a wheel (if it could have certainty) that it would roll in a true fashion and that it was crafted well to do that function, though we can never know which direction it will head or what will come up. We do know that we can rely on it, be certain that it will do what it has been designed and tooled to do. Though we are actually "virtually" certain of doing that, it is an absolute confidence in ourselves and that we'll be true to our convictions virtually always.
Nailing down what you value and what you believe in creates the core of "certainty".
Nailing down the character you want to develop that fits with those values and beliefs is essential, but so few do it in a systematic and complete manner.
Without a good, solid, sound belief system a good quality of life is not possible. The core of your belief system is in having a strong foundation in your philosophy of life.
Spend the time building those up and honing them with fine craftsmanship and you'll construct YOU as a powerful being.
Please don't skip that step. Please don't leave it up to happenstance!
THE ODDS ARE...
It is having the certainty that one will live until one dies, that the sun will come up, and that there are a number of factors will work as they are supposed to - and that some things will not work, as is the case in reality, so we are certain that the odds are that things will not work a portion of the time.
But those who achieve this certainty do not feel doubt, they don't feel a sense of hesitancy or of dread. They know that they can be relied on if something unfavorable happens.
So, indeed, certainty is a kissing cousin of fearlessness. What produces the quality of fearlessness is the confidence that one will respond well no matter the circumstances.
Certainty is a quality of strength. "I stand certain in my being."
WHO WOULD YOU RATHER BE?
You get to choose to be somewhere on the certainty spectrum. Toward which end will it be?
Among the following two choices, which end do you think is happiest?
- A person who investigates things so thoroughly and never proceeds without a 100% guarantee and who is absolutely certain of the result, but one who lives in doubt and fear toward general life.
- A person about whom it is said "he is not always right, but he is never uncertain." (This one is often said in jest about people who think they are right even when they are wrong. But this is about the quality of being unwavering, even as things are falling apart, knowing that you are simply doing the best you can and that that is good enough.)
Even those people who are "wrong" but relatively certain will feel better about life than those well-meaning, good souls who suffer from lack of certainty.
This is a lesson to learn and heed in life. Certainty is an essential to being happy and having a good quality of life. It is the kissing cousin of having a sense of control in life. Make sure you develop both!
Of course, it would be better to be certain PLUS have wisdom. (I recommend it highly!)
[Note that I am not suggesting that you be ignorant but not uncertain. You should be able to be in touch with reality, of course. But taking reality out of the equation, we will be happier if we have more certainty in life. If we are "smart" and capable, but yet feel less certainty, we lose the game of happiness.]
AFFIRMING IT TO BE SO
A possible affirmation might be (design your own if you wish):
"I choose certainty as a way of being. I am certain that I have honed and will hone my skills and values to what will have the greatest odds of working. I have a great grasp on the realities of life and I harness them at the highest level. I am unwavering, I stand strong. I do not hesitate, though I do consider and rationally compute what is next. I will do well in life no matter what. I am the one who creates my life and I will do a damned good job of it."
ACTING AND SPEAKING IT TO BE SO
One needs to act and speak with certainty. The reason is not for the impression you'll make upon others, but for the impression it has on you.
Speaking in a lower voice, strongly but not loudly, using only powerful languaging (not forceful languaging) sends a message and a new pattern for your brain, actually rewiring it over time (yes, it does take time).
Speaking with certainty is not the same as being dogmatic or being right about things (aka obnoxious). One can say with certainty "I believe", "it appears to me", "it makes sense to me", or the like.
Acting with certainty includes the movements that a person who is certain would make. You can "see" what that is, in your brain, as you know what that looks like. The "position of power" involves creating the physiology and movement of a powerful person, as described in Power In Life .
DOING WHAT IT TAKES FOR IT TO BE SO
The prize is invaluable, priceless. And there is a cost - your time and effort. But interestingly, one starts experiencing payoffs very quickly as one nails down the key items that are the foundation. Yes, one has to hone that to achieve the beliefs that are behind fearlessness as the final step, but that will be much easier once the true foundation is in place.
How long does it take? It'll vary, but it is an extensive reconstruction project.
You must do it in writing and have it organized in a notebook as you construct it all - and you'll be able to refer back to what you write whenever you could use a reminder and/or more certainty and confidence.
Do all writing assignments in two pieces: a quick as you can piece and then a refinement later (possibly in two stages).
Write out and thoroughly build into your memory/mind your Positives Portfolio. Building it is easy and very satisfying. Write out your Philosophy of Life. (Start with a few pages and then you can do the beefing up later.) Once you've created the foundation for certainty, you would then write out how you will act and speak as a person of certainty, including your posture and as much detail as possible on voice, facial expressions, reactions - write it as if you were looking at yourself being certain in a social or work situation. The Powerful Person and Having Power In Life are references. Deciding how you will act and be is a huge certainty generating exercise! And, in my opinion, a necessity if one wants to live a confident, happy life!