“Anyone who is so certain has got to be wrong,” my daughter’s father said upon her birth. You see, I was certain she was going to be a boy. In my mind I had collected enough evidence that to me at the time made it certain.
“Certainty” by definition means without doubt. While being without doubt is great for confidence, it closes off possibilities, sets you up to be just wrong, and can alienate others.
I strive for clarity instead of certainty.
The word clarity is derived from Middle English meaning, “In the sense of glory; divine splendor”. Clarity comes with being personally centered. There is an expanded sense of things.
Clarity is expansive.
Certainty is specific and narrow.
Clarity is about you; it is being in that space of knowing what is true for you.
A person I use to do business with said to me with certainty, “My people would never do that.” My experience was those people had done “that” for ten years! He was certain, which lowered my trust in him. Had he modified his statement with “My people are not supposed to do that.” or, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention” it would have built trust. Instead, I moved my business elsewhere.
Next time you feel certain, recognize you may be missing something. The longer I live I recognize there are only a couple things that are truly certain. For everything else I seek clarity!