The Clever Way You Can Escape the Pain of Uncertainty

Curiosity offers a way to calm the unknown

Darren Matthews


Photo by Mitchell Griest on Unsplash

We’ve got uncertainty all wrong.

Our fear of what we don’t know should be a gateway to curiosity.

What often happens is that we ignore uncertainty. We make decisions without any consideration of what we don’t know. And then, when it gives us an outcome we don’t want we put it all down to ‘bad luck’.

It’s a cheap excuse.

Then there are those that can’t escape uncertainty.

They don’t try and challenge what they don’t know. Instead, they plunge into a bath of anxiety. Fretting on every scenario as they ponder the unknown.

Uncertainty can be a mentally consuming place to live, but it doesn’t have to be.

The Curious Mind

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.”

The darkness is our uncertainty. Either through ignorance or fixation, we end up lamenting the darkness of uncertainty. To fight the uncertainty — to light the candle, we have to be curious.

Curiosity is how we escape the pain of uncertainty.

Franklin knew this too.

In his early years, Franklin loved to talk. He would converse and talk unabated, such was his desire to impress. But he was astute enough to see the risk this posed. He didn’t want his conversations to be with those he considered trifling company.

Franklin knew that obtaining knowledge came through the use of the ear, not the tongue.

He encouraged his friends to use naïve curiosity to avoid contradicting people. It allowed others to speak more without fear of confrontation. There was no value to come from disagreement in Franklin’s mind.

This approach is curiosity in action.

It draws out information for your consideration. Curiosity is the battleground between the known and the unknown. The more you can learn, the more you can begin to grow the known and lessen the unknown.

It is this mindset which can overcome the fear of uncertainty.



Darren Matthews

I’m utterly curious about decision-making | Sharing lessons learned from the thousands of decisions I’ve studied and made | Founder