We Are In The Butterfly Effect – 7 Tips to Conquer Uncertainty, Anxiety & Fear

We Are In The Butterfly Effect – How to Conquer Uncertainty, Anxiety & Fear

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how we are all experiencing the Butterfly Effect, and reveal 7 tips on how to conquer the chaos and uncertainty.

First a quick update:

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Are you feeling sad, lonely, bored, apathetic, helpless or hopeless?
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Now, let’s talk about how we are all experiencing the Butterfly Effect, and reveal 7 tips on how to conquer the chaos and uncertainty.

Can you think of one small decision you once made or one isolated event that occurred, and the way that decision or event changed your life?

I was working in Australian radio when one man bought the station, fired everyone and changed the format from talk radio to music – literally overnight. He offered me the chance to stay, but I took the payout and decided to the travel the world for 3 months. That decision was decades ago, and I never went back to live in Australia.

Subsequently, I lived in 7 different countries, changed careers multiple times, learned Spanish, advanced my studies, and became a human behavior expert.

What of all the people that I impacted, some of whose lives changed due to my work or interactions with them? I even saved the life of one girl during a hurricane.

Could one argue that my entire life trajectory and the people I impacted were all the result of one man buying a radio station or I traveling on a 3-month holiday?

The Butterfly Effect – part of the Chaos Theory – states that one very small change may result in massive and unpredictable consequences: one seemingly insignificant moment may alter history and shape multiple destinies.

The term comes from Edward Lorenz who in 1961 created an early computer program to simulate weather. One day he changed an atmospheric computing number from .506127 to .506 and that completely changed the long-term forecast. He wrote a paper in 1972, “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?”

It doesn’t.

However, Lorenz was making a point about the innumerable interconnections in nature and thus its unpredictability.

People have misunderstood Lorenz’s Butterfly Effect by thinking that life is linear and therefore we can predict the way one small choice or event will change everything, or reverse engineer that to trace it back to one event.

We can’t!

We don’t know.

The world is complex.

I might still have ended up living in the US and doing the work I am doing but perhaps it might have been via a different path thru a different initial event and many after that, which might have led to the same result.

Similarly, who could have predicted that a virus that originated in bats in China would result in a global pandemic, economic recessions, political unrest, or that the killing of one black man by a policeman in the US would result in worldwide protests for Black Lives Matter?

We are constantly experiencing the Butterfly Effect – small events or moments are changing history and destinies in massive ways.

It has always been that way; we just didn’t see it. We didn’t see that we constantly experience uncertainty – the unknown and the unpredictable.

Yes, the uncertainty at this moment is extremely high, and for many, uncertainty in general, is unbearable.

Why?

The brain perceives uncertainty as a threat. It leads to vulnerability, anxiety and hopelessness. We want to feel in control; we want to feel safe, stable and secure; we want to believe that we can predict the outcome. Again, we can’t. We can make judgments and assessments, but these are simply probability assessments.

Nothing is guaranteed, and there isn’t always the right answer about what to do and what decision to make.

And yet in uncertainty, you are tested to understand yourself – to discover what you want, who you are, and what you are capable of doing and being. Uncertainty tests your strength and skills to respond to fear and to be open to being vulnerable.

Can you thrive in the unknown, the unpredictable?

“Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.”
― Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams

7 Tips to handle uncertainty and chaos
1. Identity: Can you accept that who you were yesterday doesn’t have to define who you are today, nor whom you will become tomorrow? The longer you cling to a solid perception, identity or image of yourself, the greater will be your anxiety, stress, and hopelessness.
2. Control: Beware of wasting energy and resources trying to control the things that are beyond your control; focus on controlling your thoughts, emotions, and responses.
3. Action: Beware of the fear of making the wrong decision: make a decision, and adjust your strategy; remain open to new data, information and learning.
4. Risk-Taking: Be bold and daring to take chances; try new approaches.
5. Self-Efficacy: Remember, each time you achieve or do something you once thought impossible, the more your confidence, hope and belief in your own capabilities increase.
6. Support: Share your feelings, fears and concern with others; ask for help and support.
7. Encouragement & Care: Let the people you really love and care for know that you are there for them; ask them to do the same for you; this helps in getting through difficulty and challenges. Say the words, “I am here for you!” Knowing that someone really cares for you helps you to overcome seemingly impossible odds.

History’s heroes who set out to create radical change never had a guaranteed path thru the dense fog of uncertainty, but they still took decisions in every moment, knowing this one small choice might just be the catalyst for the massive change. Remember, while we are in the global Butterfly Effect, you, too, are your own Butterfly Effect!

If you need help to overcome a challenge, trauma or the past, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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