Certainty leads to stability. Stability is boring. Uncertainty leads to growth. Growth is exciting.

I grew up around parents and authority figures who valued stability over uncertainty. Doing risky things like dropping out of school, going skydiving, quitting my stable job, or vagabonding around the world weren’t worth the risk from the perspective of the people who cared about me.

The people who love you most want you to be safe. When you take a risk, they don’t focus on the slim chance that your new business might explode with success. They are too busy being concerned with the fact that you don’t have a stable income anymore. How are you going to eat? How are you going to pay your rent? How are you going to get a job if you don’t have a degree as a backup?

And rightfully so. They won’t experience that visceral feeling you’re chasing.

I internalized this mentality as I grew up. I focused on avoiding failure and setting up plenty of backup plans so that I would be safe no matter what happened. That way, one day I could afford to take a big risk, and it wouldn’t even be a risk at all.

But it’s not about what you’re risking. It’s not about the things you might gain if you succeed either. It’s about stepping into the mental state that uncertainty produces. When you understand that the future isn’t guaranteed, your mind operates differently. You’re sharper, you have skin in the game, and the stakes are higher.

When you are certain of when your next paycheck is coming in, you feel safe, stable, and comfortable. You don’t need to try anything out of the ordinary. You don’t have to risk a big loss to achieve a big win, you just have to keep going steadily forward.

It’s not about eliminating every bit of certainty out of your life and it’s not about doing risky things just because they’re risky. It’s about identifying the situations that produce that “just figure it out” mentality and stepping into them selectively.

You can up the potential reward by upping the immediate uncertainty in your life. Your body will adjust to the circumstances. Embrace it.