A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Uncertainty 8

They say the only constant in life is change. I believe that to be true. And if there is anything certain about change, it’s uncertainty. Just when you think things are moving along according to plan, Blam! something changes. Jobs, relationships, homes, and people come and go. Even when we look forward to a particular change — the beginning of a new year, a new job, or a new relationship — it’s natural to feel a mix of anticipation and fear. What if the job, relationship, or year doesn’t work out? What if the house deal falls through, or you aren’t able to finish that degree?

It’s natural to want to know the answers; we feel most secure when we do. I’m reminded of how my children, especially when young, always wanted to know what was going to happen next, and they rebelled when sudden changes were thrown their way. As adults, we may have learned to deal with the emotional curves more adeptly, at least on the outside, but the uncertainty that comes with change can still throw us for a loop.

Uncertainty makes me edgy, as though I’m walking in the dark. At any moment I might stub my toe, walk into a wall, or off a ledge. Uncertainty — the insecurity of not knowing if I’m going in the right direction or if I’m safe — prevents me from moving forward as boldly as I would like. I respond by inching my way along. I make lists, weigh alternatives, create the insurance policies of Plans B and C.

Yet uncertainty can lead to something wonderful as easily as to disaster. In a recent flying dream, just before my feet left the ground — that moment, that second when I didn’t know if it would work, my heart fluttered in my chest and seemed to move up into my throat. And then, suddenly, liftoff and elation! But the elation was mixed with dread: Would I stay aloft or would I crash to the ground? Only when I was certain that I really could fly did I allow myself to soar and take joy in the flying. But that brief moment of uncertainty seemed an eternity of torture.  And so it is in real life.

This Week’s Writing Prompts:

  1. Freewrite for ten minutes about uncertainty.
  2. Do you remember feeling uncertain as a child? What did you feel uncertain about, what did you do to handle it, and how have your responses as a child affected your relationship to uncertainty as an adult?
  3. What do you do when you feel uncertain about your future? How do you handle those feelings and in what ways do you try to take control?
  4. What is uncertain in your life right now? What do you hope for and what are you afraid of relating to that uncertainty? Write two scenarios: 1) what you imagine life will be like if what you hope for occurs, and 2) what you imagine life will be like if what you fear occurs.
  5. What are the positive and negative aspects of uncertainty? Which weighs more for you, and why do you think this is so?
  6. If there was one area of life you could choose to be absolutely certain about, what would it be and why?
  7. If you could remove all uncertainty from life, would you? Why or why not?

I invite you to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this subject.

Image Credit: Nicu Buculei

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8 thoughts on “A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Uncertainty

  • Dawn Herring

    With all that goes on in the world and in our personal lives, I think Uncertainty is something we can all seriously relate to. Fear of the Unknown comes to mind. It’s great to know that journaling our point of view on this issue can help clarify how we feel about the circumstances in our lives right now and how it affects our mindset for better or for worse.

    I have chosen your post, A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Uncertainty, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 1/17/12 for all things journaling on Twitter.
    I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal, my weekly e-journal: http://www.refreshwithdawnherring.blogspot.com/ .

    You’re welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Thursdays at 5 EST/2 PST for all things journaling on Twitter; this week’s topic is Your Journal: Assess and Plan.

    Thanks again for these great prompts to open up our view of uncertainty and get grounded in the process.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Thank you, Dawn. I love the idea of being grounded in the process of uncertainty! I’ll try to be on #JournalChat this Thurs. Life has been … well … a little uncertain lately. I’m hoping things will settle down.

  • Carol

    absolute great post. this weekend my daughter told me she is moving away from her home state of MT to FL in April. Far far from me, my baby girl and her family, with my one and only grandson. Then she told me plans changed and they won’t move until summer. My youngest son is turning 12 tomorrow. My eldest daughter, well, she is at peace, but I still want her here with me, us. My job is challenging me, stay or go? It is a gov’t job so the rules are stifling and often PREVENT excellence. Uncertain. Feels like the right word. And, yet, it is always that way, life.
    Each day we must face the morning horizon not knowing what will come. Will our loved ones wake with us? Will they retire with us in the evening? will we be safe, secure, have good days or poor? Will there be a challenge we are up for or completely unprepared for?
    And for all the questions, there are no answers. Not until we have completed the day, snug in our loved ones arms. And, resting and hoping til the next morning light when we must face the questions all over again.
    The courage it takes to get out of bed. 😀
    Totally am gonna write on this in the morning. Thank you.ck

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Carol, thank you for sharing your personal experience of uncertainty. I can so relate to grandchildren and children moving away and the uncertainty that brings. Not to mention job issues. “The courage it takes to get out of bed.” Yes, indeed. Would we really have it any other way? I wonder …

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