WATCH: SCARF Certainty: Addicted to certainty an uncertain world

Today is the next in the series about the Primary Threats and Rewards developed by David Rock which he calls the SCARF model. And today I want to talk about Certainty.  

I’ve talked about Status in a previous video you can look that up elsewhere. So certainty, according to Jeff Hawkins, the founder of the Neuroscience Institute, is one of the fundamental parts of being human as always looking at what is going to happen next. 

Effect of Uncertainty

We need certainty in knowing what’s going to happen Next.  So what our brain is designed to do is to absorb information and then create memories and mental maps, complex mental maps of what’s going on around us, so that we can predict what’s going to happen next. And in fact, the brain is so geared up that we actually don’t only hear things so much as predict what we’re going to hear next, when we’re looking, we don’t always just see things we’re actually predicting what we’re going to see next. 

So without being able to know what’s going to happen next the brain goes into meltdown and gets very very stressed indeed. It becomes a Primary Threat which creates all of the stress responses, amygdala hijack, pessimistic outlook, accidental connections, tunnel vision all of those really detrimental things and you get an emotional charge, which makes you negatively react to the situation, rather than positively responding to the situation. And knowing what’s happening at the moment – the global pandemic –  we’re all experiencing massive uncertainty so we’re having a collective meltdown with regards to certainty and that means we need to be mindful of what’s going on. 

Use your “Inner Director”

And the way to be mindful is to use your ‘Inner Director’ and the way to use your Inner Director is to take a moment, and just take a deep breath, . . .  and just be aware of what you’re feeling, what you’re sensing. 

And allow your thinking to kick in and go “right, what is actually going on here?” “What do I really need to do here?” rather than being in an emotional response and an emotional trigger, think “What can I do here?” “What can I plan?” “What are the little things that I can have certainty with?” And actually building on those little bits. Building on them and then getting more certainty from that. Rather than trying to control the whole thing or getting into a tizzy about what’s going to happen next. Because it’s so easy, in the current environment, to get just totally stressed. 

So be mindful, and remember when it comes to certainty, Stay Curious!


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Remember . . . Stay Curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014