On Trust and Certainty

I feel like January existed as a month of rest and restoration for me.  The year 2023 felt like it flew by and I needed a little more time to just be still; not hurry.  My work really started this month (hence the timing of this newsletter).  And I gave myself all of the grace to let it flow as such and I hope you will as well.  So what I’m really saying is “Happy New Year” :-), I’m excited to jump into 2024 with you!

My word for this year is Trust.  I want to trust more in myself, in God, and the Laws of the Universe.  And I think because I decided this was my word for the year, I’ve been thrown so many things my way to test that virtue in me, including my understanding of the word. 

In the book “A Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron Gikandi, I read that the most powerful force and antidote to failure is Certainty.  And I immediately reacted with apprehension, thinking certainty is dangerous because you leave yourself open to being wrong (so how could that be an antidote to failure?).  So I rejected it. I didn’t want certainty.  I was searching for something else to feel more comfortable with the concept.  However, when I researched the term, I learned that another word for certainty is conviction or trust.  It is a firm belief in the reliability or strength of someone or something, or the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says. 

By rejecting certainty, I was ultimately rejecting the foundation of my word for the year, trust.

Maybe I felt aversion to the word certainty because it felt like it didn’t allow room to change your mind, and left room for you to get it “wrong”.  The (reformed) perfectionist in me wants to be able to change my mind, and often delays commitment because I would rather make sure I get it “right”.   I could write an entire series unpacking just this idea alone.

The way Gikandi talks about certainty in his book isn’t about right or wrong.  He talks about certainty as a choice.  You simply decide to be certain and let no other contradictory thought come to you. It is a state of Being.  It’s what builds your motivation to move forward.   He even goes on to add “Everything is possible to the extent that you are certain.”  It’s what you believe to be true.  (See my October newsletter that explores the idea that “all that matters is what you believe”.)

It blew my mind!  How can certainty be a choice?  I always associated certainty with having a ton of facts, data, experience and expert backing.  But if you think about it, your beliefs are a choice.  And that’s what certainty is, a firm belief.  And so is trust.  My trust is a choice!  It doesn’t mean that my firm beliefs aren’t supported with facts and experience, but it removes the weight of concern that comes with making sure to get it perfectly right and instead allows me to practice and learn from the journey of trusting.

So, as far as trust, I am rewiring my mind around what it means to trust and release any thoughts about being right or wrong, while focusing more on building a strength in my belief that will push me to do what it takes to realize those things that I believe. 

Where can you exercise more trust in your life?