When it comes to what the medical community knows about allergies today, we’ve made incredible progress in the last few decades – and society has jumped on board to help. From the news media adding a pollen index rating to weather reports for seasonal allergy sufferers, to many schools now instituting “nut-free” policies in an effort to help prevent youngsters with nut allergies from accidentally coming into contact with allergens that can cause life-threatening symptoms, we believe what the science tells us and we act out of the best interests of our fellow human, whether we suffer from their particular allergy or not.
However, I pose these question to you: What if the allergy I’m talking about has nothing directly to do with a clinical diagnosis, but can still put crushing limitations on a person’s life? What should we know about it? How can we prevent it – in ourselves and the people we care about?
As a society today, we’ve become highly allergic to uncertainty. Perhaps it is the fear caused by the tragedies we are incessantly exposed to via 24-hour news media cycles, or recoil from the bashing, shaming and condemnation of ideas that are “other” on social media, something is happening to our collective psyche that I fear will ultimately result in suffocating limitations on our ability to lead successful lives in the coming decades.
If we know no other Truths (with a capital T) about life, we know this: None of us knows when our time is up. Most people grasp this concept intellectually, but we often rail against it emotionally. We “helicopter” over our children in the hopes we can protect them from the ‘Boogey Man,’ the Bully, the Disappointments that life brings. We stifle our creativity, our ideas, and our innovation for fear of ridicule or disapproval from others, even people we’ve never met before and never will.
We don’t know what tomorrow (or ten minutes from now) will bring, so we draw in and we close off. But I am here to tell you as the greatest and most sophisticated species on the planet, this isn’t what we were ancestrally wired to do. We are scientifically designed to take calculated risks and to succeed based on an intrinsic network of DNA that helps us expertly navigate the hurdles we may be required to jump in doing so. We weren’t designed to cower and we certainly weren’t made to go it alone.
Humans are “pack animals” in a sense. We are wired for togetherness to help each other survive and thrive, no matter what life brings. Remember that the next time you find yourself “itchy” over the uncertainty of life. Don’t ignore the itch, but please don’t let it suffocate your Victorious Spirit or that of the people around you. You are already designed to avoid imminent danger with the fight-or-flight response that is unique to human beings. Start working today on discerning the difference between an imminent need to flee and the uncertainty that simply comes with living the best life possible for you. The most successful people throughout the history of the world were rarely “certain” of what their ideas or actions might bring. They simply found a way to power through.