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When We Feel Uncertain -- It's Time for Reflection

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Don't know about you, but if I feel uncertain, indecisive or unsure, I tend to reflect. I give myself enough time to think it over. That way, I feel more able to come to the most favourable conclusion. What I don't do is allow my emotions to get in the way. What intrigues me constantly is how so many people misunderstand and confuse conveying their emotions with communicating with passion. In my experience, emotion drives people away from us, whereas passion draws them in. In short, emotions are usually exclusive (all about you) and passion is inclusive (all about us). When I'm really in doubt the three words I tend to favor are I don't know. "Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of not knowing." -- Mark Z. Danielewski

A while ago, a female friend told me she'd just had a contretemps with her brother. Although in Pamela's (not her real name) mind it was not at all a minor disagreement. For Pamela it was a major falling out. Soon after the incident, Pamela told me she was going to send a scathing email to her brother, telling him in no uncertain terms what she thought of him. She asked what I thought. I asked her what was the positive aspect of sending this email. After a pause, she said "I get it off my chest." That relief, or should I say, allowing her ego to have its way is very common. As Fred Durst, film director said: "To walk around with an ego is bad thing. To have confidence in yourself is a great thing."

I then asked her what else might transpire, she said her brother would probably be angry and their relationship would be further damaged. I suggested (gently) that she might sleep on it, then finally decide what to do. After some hemming and hawing, Pamela decided she would sleep on it. The next morning she told me that letting it go was the right thing for her to do. Pamela's decision to spend time reflecting on what action to take, or in her case not to take any action, enabled her to feel better about the whole experience. Moreover, she unburdened herself of unnecessary emotional pain.

Generally speaking, the people I most admire are able to manage their emotions, reflect, consider possible outcomes and very rarely rush to judgement. So if those kinds of emotional moments arise, take time to reflect, consider the kind of outcome you'd like before finally deciding. You're probably thinking, That's easier said than done. You would be correct in that assumption. It's less about how hard something is to do and much more about just doing it.

Here are some tips:

- Reflect

- If possible, sleep on it

- Don't allow emotion to dictate your actions

- Learn to trust those gut feelings

- Saying I don't know is perfectly fine

- Perhaps ask for advice or feedback before taking action

- Don't respond when angry or full of joy