27th November 2020

The human body has been hardwired to react to uncertainty. In order to protect ourselves, our nervous systems brace for fight, flight or freeze in the face of unpredictability.

Whist these reactions to uncertainty are most notable when an extraordinary event challenges life as we know it, our natural response in such situations will often be seen when facing anything we deem uncertain. Even the stitching before us. 

When faced with a new technique, unfamiliar materials or a particularly intricate or sizeable project, what’s your initial reaction?

Do you set off immediately determined to do whatever it takes to complete what’s before you (fight), drop it instantly in the search for something more familiar (flight) or do you suffer the fate of ‘paralysis by analysis’ (freeze)? 

Whilst many of us go to great lengths to avoid uncertainty and unpredictability in many areas of our life, our time with needle and thread may just provide the safe ground on which to overcome our natural inclination of flight or freeze and give us the tools to fight for success.

‘The key to anything that’s worth doing is that there has to be some level of uncertainty.’

After reading the above quote from Chris Burkard, we began to realise that challenging ourselves to face the sometimes ‘uncertain’ stitching before us may indeed see us develop the confidence to move on with a level of certainty amidst the uncertain we never thought possible in other areas of our life as well.

Sound easier said than done?!

Luckily we came across an article by Travis Bradberry that helped point us in the right direction! Some of Travis’s suggestions for overcoming uncertainty include:

  • Stay Positive | Positive thoughts quiet fear and irrational thinking by focusing our brain’s attention
  • Don’t Seek Perfection | When perfect is our goal, we’re always left with a nagging sense of failure
  • Don’t Dwell on Problems | Fixating on problems hinders our performance
  • When All Else Fails, Breathe | Breathing allows us to remain present and calm 

As we near the close of a particularly unpredictable year, some of us have tackled more uncertainty than we ever thought possible, but next time you pick up needle and thread and feel the urge of flight or freeze rising, try applying some, or all, of Travis’s advice and see if you can’t fight for success.

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