Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.
The beauty of uncertainty
Learn how to use uncertainty to find lasting love
We’ve figured out how to control most things in our lives – our bodies, our weight, our work. But relationships? That’s something different altogether. We can’t control someone else’s heart, and because of that, there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty in relationships.
Sadly, it is this uncertainty that causes many of us to put up walls and push others away. Rather than face living with uncertainty in relationships, many people shut down completely. This is because at its core, our need for certainty is a survival mechanism, and in uncertain states, we do what is necessary to protect ourselves and our hearts. But the beauty of the uncertainty in relationships is that it is in this space that our ultimate spiritual growth evolves, and where we can find more joy and more happiness than anywhere.
So just how do we overcome the innate urge to self-protect during periods of uncertainty? How do we learn how to surrender control to trust and faith? What’s the best way for learning how to deal with uncertainty in this area of our lives?
You do this through understanding, practicing and mastering the skills that are critical to your success in finding, nurturing and creating an outstanding relationship. There is a lot to learn and appreciate about the needs, feelings and behaviors of yourself as well as your partner – and, most importantly, how to use these understandings to best support your partner and your relationship.
SHARE YOUR FEARS
How do you protect yourself from feeling pain? Do you give your partner the cold shoulder? Do you hold back love? When facing uncertainty in relationships, we often engage in unhealthy behaviors that push intimacy away.
Becoming aware of your behavioral patterns makes it easier to recognize them when they arise and helps you achieve a more objective viewpoint when emotions take hold. Recognizing your triggers and patterns is just the first step – next, you must share this information with your partner.
Open up to your partner about what you need in order to release your inner withholding and connect. Let your partner play a supportive role in helping you work through your fears and finding a new approach to any destructive patterns. You may be surprised just how much more trust this can create. Communicating openly, and not just talking but really communicating with your partner, can erode much of the uncertainty in relationships.
GIVE WITHOUT GETTING
Learn to give without the promise of getting. As Tony says, “The secret to living is giving.” Learn to receive your greatest joy from seeing your partner fulfilled. Find out what drives your partner, what they are hungry for, what their goals are. Find out what their pains are. Don’t be in a relationship just asking what you can get from your partner. Open up and give this person your love and honesty and put aside your desire for getting something in return.
For example, try looking at your partner in the eyes and asking them to explain what makes them feel loved. Honor and accept their answer as the truth and don’t try to change their needs to match yours. Remember, you love this person for who they are and not who you want them to be. When you fully accept them just as they are, they will reward this with more openness and a deeper level of intimacy.
Learn to choose trust and faith in your relationship, even when it doesn’t seem possible – stay, even when everything in you wants to run. No matter what, believe that your partner has only positive intent.
For example, when you feel yourself reacting to your partner as if they are doing something “to you,” observe your reaction and trust their intention. Rather than reacting, open up and see what they need at that moment to feel loved. Focusing solely on their needs in the moment is one of your best options when it comes to how to deal with uncertainty and allows you to start the process of letting go.
Punishment is a form of control and a common reaction to uncertainty in relationships. When our partner treats us in a way we don’t like, our immediate plan is to show them how much it hurts so they don’t do it again. This results in punishment such as accusations, the “silent treatment,” withholding of affection or acting out in a way that is meant to hurt them in return. However, punishment never works. Instead, it pushes the other person further away and begins creating mistrust.
The solution when we are hurting is not to punish – it’s to seek understanding and give love. It may seem counterintuitive, but when we show our partner that we still love them and want to understand why they did what they did, we are taking another step toward deeper intimacy.
Lastly, treat your partner as you yourself would like to be treated. Be the example of what you want in a partner. Step back and feel what your partner is feeling and be present for his or her pain. At the same time, recognize their unique needs. This will help you stay connected and increase the sense of fulfillment in the relationship.
For example, instead of demanding from your partner, decide to go first in giving what he or she needs. Discover what you need to do for them to feel vulnerable and loved in your relationship. And when your partner is in distress, commit to listening with absolute compassion, with the sole goal of helping alleviate their suffering. Understand that uncertainty in relationships is not only normal, but it’s an opportunity to rise to the challenge of trusting and letting go of the outcomes you believe would be best.
Remember, the only thing we can control is ourselves: our actions, our reactions, the choices that we make in our relationships every day. Embrace the power you do have to shape the dynamic of your relationship, and you will get one step closer to creating true peace in your relationship.
Header image © Falcona/Shutterstock