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Gift of Maybe: Overcoming Your Addiction to Certainty

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Are you the type of person who needs to know every single detail? Or, are you the type who can fly by the seat of your pants?
Air Date: 7/1/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Allison Carmen, JD
Allison-CarmenAllison Carmen spent many years fighting a powerful addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol or fame. It was an addiction to certainty. If she didn’t know what the future would bring (and who does?), she felt anxious and afraid. This decades-long struggle followed her through college, marriage, parenthood, and a successful law career. While everything seemed fine from the outside, Allison was in a constant battle that was unwinnable, sapping her energy, attention, and spirit. Until the day she discovered the power of Maybe.

Maybe is a simple yet powerful philosophy that has transformed Allison’s life, and the life of her many clients (now that she has ditched her legal career and has become a successful business consultant and life coach). The message is this: in the face of uncertainty, Maybe opens your mind and heart. It creates a little space for hope. It allows you to take a deep breath, stay in the present, and forge your own path.

Today, Allison works as an author, life coach, business consultant and blogger. Allison Carmen is the author of The Gift of Maybe, a book offering hope and possibility in the face of uncertainty. She works with a vast array of people, from entrepreneurs and owners of multi-million dollar companies to artists, attorneys and parents. Due to her popular blog, and online presence, Allison has tens of thousands of international followers all who are embracing the mindset of Maybe to deal with the fast-paced, changing economic and political landscape all over the world. Allison also writes a blog for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She has made several television appearances and is a guest lecturer at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Allison Carmenholds a B.A. in accounting, a J.D. of Law, and a Master’s of Law in Taxation. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
  • Book Title: The Gift of Maybe: Finding Hope and Possibility in Uncertain Times
  • Guest Twitter Account: @giftofmaybe
Gift of Maybe: Overcoming Your Addiction to Certainty
Are you the type of person who needs to know every single detail of everything that's happening in your life?

Or, are you the type who can fly by the seat of your pants and actually prefers that the wind blows you in the next direction?

While the former can be helpful in terms of being organized and on top of things, it can also be damaging to your health. 

For those who are addicted to certainty, like special guest Allison Carmen once was, the unknown is terrifying. "Let's play it by ear" isn't even in their vocabulary. And, when things don't go their way, they immediately jump to the worst case scenario outcome.

Besides the mental anguish this can cause, you might experience physical manifestations of the anxiety and uncertainty, such as headaches, extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite.

Perhaps it's time to learn the gift of "maybe." It's what saved Carmen's existence, and is partly why she is so successful today.

What does that mean, though? Giving over to the "maybe"?

It's one way to give life a little more space. You're not doomed. The idea of maybe is a constant reminder that there's possibility after possibility, as well as hope.

What are some ways you can start to incorporate maybe into your life?

Write down the one thought that's really bothering you. For instance, "I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my job." Then, question it... really question it: "Am I absolutely certain that's true?"

Simultaneously, write down your maybe statements and mantras. "Maybe this job isn't what I'm meant to do." "Maybe there's something far more fulfilling out there for me." Get as specific as you can.

Keep in mind, you still have to allow what you're feeling; you can't suppress it. But, you can manage those feelings. Remember, even when things are at their worst, it doesn't mean that they won't get better or change.

How else can you use the power of maybe in your life?

Listen in as Carmen joins hosts Andrea Donsky and Lisa Davis to explain what the concept of maybe is, how she began to accept it in her life, and ways you can use the gift of maybe to free yourself from your certainty addiction.