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#72 Uncertainty

Most of us have been taught and are conditioned to fear uncertainty. We spend hours and hours of our lives actively trying to avoid uncertainty, adding planning and structure to our lives as much as we can, attempting to control other people so that we don't have to feel bad, so that we don't get caught off guard ever in life.

More often than not, though, life is life, and 'the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.' Things happen that are out of your control. It is possible to embrace what is already happening anyway.

Embrace the uncertainty of what each day, each week, month, year, decade of our lives holds.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

" As Dr. Mate says in his book, "The road to hell is not paved with good intentions. It is paved with the lack of intention." The more intentional you are, the freer you will become."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • The value of accepting uncertainty in life rather than fearing it

  • The difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset

  • Personal stories and client experiences that illustrate embracing uncertainty

  • Insights from Gabor Mate's book "The Myth of Normal" on choosing growth over stagnation

"Embrace uncertainty as a parent because, in my experience, as soon as you think you know and you think you can be certain about something, your kids will prove you otherwise."

Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Hello and welcome back to Your Favorite You. I've been doing lots of consults lately and the women that I am speaking with have all said how much value they've gotten out of the podcast. One woman said just today, she was a mom from my former practice, she said that when she heard I was leaving the practice, she was upset because I had only been her kiddos pediatrician for a short period of time.

And then she was initially boycotting the podcast, thinking, what the hell is Melissa doing with her life, then she started listening. One of the first episodes she listened to was the interview that I did with the boys about my mom fuck ups. Apparently, she was listening while she was out in her garage, working on some furniture, refurbishing, and she was just sobbing.

Her hubby came out and asked her what was wrong, and she claimed it was the fumes. Now she's an avid listener. So, you're welcome, I guess. Glad that you and so many others are listening and hopefully getting so much out of the podcast. It really helps keep me going and writing these so that I can deliver them to you week after week.

Okay, today I want to talk about everyone's favorite emotion, uncertainty. Just kidding. Unless you've already been my client or have had coaching, my guess would be that uncertainty is not actually one of your favorite emotions. Most of us have been taught and our condition to fear uncertainty, we spend hours and hours of our lives actively trying to avoid uncertainty, adding planning and structure to our lives as much as we can planning and structuring our kiddos lives as much as possible, attempting to control other people so that we don't have to feel bad so that we don't get caught off guard ever in life.

Many times, this actually works out pretty well for us. And all the planning and scheming and structuring leads to good outcomes for ourselves. And this perpetuates the idea that this is the way that planning and scheduling and controlling other people in our lives leads to a certain outcome that we can plan for and like the results.

More often than not though, life is life. And the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Things happen that are out of your control. People don't, quote unquote, behave in a way that you expected. You get disappointed when things you thought for certain were going to happen do not. I want to purport that every day you open your eyes in the morning, you are signing up for another day of uncertainty.

If you have a fear of uncertainty, this thought will be paralyzing, and you may choose to never get out of bed again. Trust me, some mornings when I'm cozy in my bed in January or February, this option seems appealing to me too. What I want to suggest is that you do the opposite and embrace what is already happening anyway.

Embrace the uncertainty of what each day, each week, month, year, decade of our lives holds. So, you might be thinking, wait, what does embracing uncertainty look like? Here's a spoiler alert. It looks like trusting yourself. What do I mean by this? I mean, trusting yourself to handle whatever life brings you.

If you're still alive, you've actually been able to handle whatever life has brought so far. Now, you might not be thrilled with how you handled something in the moment. If you are listening to this podcast of your own free will, which I'm going to assume is a hundred percent of you, hopefully. You are working on having a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset, a fixed mindset would have you saying, Yeah, I handled it, but I didn't like how I handled it.

So, if it happens again, I will handle it the same. And I still won't like how I handled it. On the other hand, a growth mindset. Looks like, or what have you saying, this is how I handled it. Then with the tools and mindset I had at the time, I'm a different person. Now I am continuously growing and curious about why I handle the things the way I do.

I can choose to handle the same situation differently. The next time, if it comes up for me, I trust myself to handle. This is the newest favorite version of myself. I joke about this all the time, but I think I am on at least Melissa version 8. 0 at this point, the way I handle certain situations in my life now is vastly different from how I handled them five years ago and sub situations.

And pretty much the same as I did five years ago in other situations. Neither of these is better or worse. Some are different and some are the same. I've been talking about this with my clients and colleagues and friends a lot recently. I have intentionally chosen to live a life where I feel a little bit scared and uncertain on purpose, instead of living in a life that I was used to in the past, where frankly, things had gotten a little bit boring because of the certainty of everyday life.

If you've been following along recently, you know that I am finally finishing Gabor Mate's book, the myth of normal trauma, illness, and healing in a toxic culture in the book, Dr. Mate says. The road to hell is not paved with good intentions, it is paved with the lack of intention. The more intentional you are, the freer you will become.

I invite you to intentionally choose how you want to show up in this world. I invite you to do that with the lens of thinking, how does my favorite version of me handle this? Of course, you will stumble because you are a human being, and again, you can intentionally choose how you will treat yourself when you do inevitably stumble, fall down, fuck up, whatever.

The way to trust uncertainty instead of fearing it is to be certain that you will try to treat yourself as your own best friend when life has its inevitable ups and downs and barrel rolls and loop de loops. I want to give you a couple of concrete examples of this so that you can see, and I can illustrate what I'm saying.

Hopefully, I have a client who is currently on the dating scene. She has made the realization that in her past relationships, in order for her to feel safe, she has taken charge of the relationship and tried to control nearly every aspect of it. We use the analogy that she basically wanted to be driving the motorcycle and she wanted her partner to ride in the sidecar while this gave her some certainty, which I use in quotes, because she never had any certainty in the 1st place.

This also ended up becoming pretty boring for her. And it put a lot of responsibility on her for the outcome of the relationship, which started to feel heavy to her over time, boring and heavy to amazing emotions that you want to feel in a relationship, right? Eventually she ended up not liking her relationship with this person.

And she especially did not like the way she was showing up over time. The person she's dating now, she is intentionally deciding to quote unquote, let him drive his own motorcycle. Sometimes she sets the destination, and they ride together. Sometimes he sets the destination, and they ride together. It's scary because he can always drive off on his own, on his own motorcycle.

He can choose not to go where she is going. And she also gets to acknowledge the fact that both of them have agency. Both of them have free will. So, she's going to try this for a bit, trusting that no matter what happens, she's going to choose to treat herself as if she is already her favorite version of herself.

As if she is her own best friend, yes, it is a bit scarier and a hell of a lot less boring and a hell of a lot more exciting. She is trusting the uncertainty instead of fearing it and it is so fun to witness this as her coach. Another example, another of my clients stayed in a marriage that was over years ago because she feared the uncertainty of being divorced and being a single mom for the first time ever.

Now she's trusting herself and trusting uncertainty because she is done with dealing with the certainty that her husband has shown her over and over again, that he is not capable of being faithful to her and their marriage. She's a total badass. I can use myself as another example. If I was fearing uncertainty, I would still be working as a pediatrician instead of out here working on my own as an entrepreneur.

I have to constantly remind myself that I intentionally chose something different than what I already knew. I chose to be a little bit scared in this new career over having a somewhat predictable and known career after 22 years in pediatrics. I could have written out my career as a pediatrician for another 12 years, retiring when I was 60.

And I would have been perfectly content, but likely a little bored and burnout. Now, when I am learning something new, being a beginner again at different things, trying to figure shit out, I don't know how many times I've written in my journal. You chose scared, Melissa. You chose uncertainty. You can do this.

You will figure this out, Melissa. I have lost count at how many times I've written these words in my journal, but it is up there. Trust me. And life as an entrepreneur is certainly never boring. You can also consider this with parenting. So many of my clients come to me because they were raised a specific way, and they want to raise their kids in a way that is different than how they were raised.

Many of them have this false certainty that because they generally ended up to be good people that it might be safer to raise their kids the way their parents raised them, even though they acknowledged that their parents were overly tough on them, overly critical, that there were a lot of fear tactics used.

It can be scary to try different methods, things like gentle parenting, being curious instead of furious. Treating their kids with love and kindness and respect instead of instilling fear in them to coerce them to behave. What if your kids just get to be your kids and you get to decide how your favorite version of you shows up as a parent?

You get to trust that you can always come back to love. You get to trust that you can get and give unlimited do overs. You get to try parenting one way, and then if you find that that's not working for you, you get to try a different way. I highly recommend considering embracing uncertainty as a parent.

Because in my experience, as soon as you think you know, and you think you can be certain about something, your kids will prove you otherwise. What other examples can you guys think of where it would be in our best interest to embrace uncertainty? To trust it instead of fearing it. Where do you want to choose to be a little bit scared over being bored?

I would love to hear from you about this and really any other topic that might be of interest to you. All right, folks, I'll see you next week. You can be certain of that.

Hey, everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me.

If you've been listening to this podcast and maybe especially you have listened to episodes where I interview my clients, and you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally... In the film, Sally is proving a point to Harry by faking an orgasm while in public at a diner. Sally finishes, so to speak, and then takes a bite of her food. The older woman in the next booth says, "I'll have what she's having." If you've been thinking, "I'll have what she's having," this is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.

I have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me. This is a space where I am laser focused on you and your brain for six months at a time. I will also be doing consults with women who want to join my next group coaching cohort, which will likely start in the spring of 2024. The way to contact me is to go to my website,, go to the Work with Me page and click book now to schedule your consult. I will look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2024 your year ever as you become your favorite you.



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