How to Live With Uncertainty
Are you starting a new job, getting married or relocating to a different country next week and feeling all jittery about it?
Well, a good friend of mine was experiencing the same, exact unsettling feeling 2 months ago. She had taken up a company posting to a distant land but couldn’t let herself off for making that decision. She kept worrying about leaving her family and friends behind and wondered if she would be able to adjust to the weather, culture and food etc. You name it, she had pondered about it.
But in my opinion, I don’t think she was really worried about what would happen. Because if she knew that, knowing her personality, she would be well prepared for it to dismiss that fear.
Paradoxically, she was worried about something that wasn’t on the game plan.
She was scared about the unknown, a state we call the uncertainty.
Why Is Uncertainty So Scary To Some People?
The reason why uncertainty seems so scary is the same reason why people are afraid of death. Because, although it’s a realm that everyone knows it exists, no one knows exactly how things will turn out, unless it’s after the fact.
What you don’t know, you couldn’t control. The lack of control permeates into their life and defaults them back to their predominant thoughts. And if those thoughts are negative, it could easily rupture into feelings of fear and anxiety.
Some of these people try to bring some predictability to uncertainty by second guessing the different outcomes of a particular decision. Nice try.
But because of the many possibilities in life, trying to fathom the unknown is equivalent to fishing for a needle in a haystack. Instead, a more effective solution is to work on those predominant thoughts. Here are 3 simple steps to help you do so:
(1) Feel Good About Yourself
More often than not, people who rejects uncertainty in their life are those who are pessimistic and doubtful about their future. They tend to feel lousy about themselves.
Given a choice, they’ll try not to ruffle the feathers too much and prefer “stability” over challenges. Even if they do take up projects or actions that seemingly confront their belief system, they do it with a heavy heart, already preparing themselves for failure in case they “don’t make it”. And when they do experience a stumbling block, they’ll easily scram back to where they started from, uttering “I should have stayed where I was.”
But living with uncertainty is certainly not by choice. Whether you like it or not, uncertainty is here to stay. You need to firmly believe you’ve got the mettle to ride through any adversity and that no matter what happens in the future, you’re absolutely confident of handling it aptly.
That’s impossible if you don’t already feel good about yourself.
Frankly speaking, there are definitely good attributes about yourself and all you need is a reminder once in a while. Instead of waiting for others to compliment you, why don’t start doing it to yourself?
Here’s what you can do :
- Write down a list of positive traits that you possess
- Substantiate each with examples of how you portray it in real life
- Add on this list every time you did something well
- Go through it every day to remind yourself of your achievements
(2) Envision that the Future is Beautiful
Imagine there’s a concealed box in front of you.
You’re asked to put one hand in it and anything you get is yours to keep. Would you gladly do so if I tell you there’s a $100 dollar bill in it? What if I tell you there’s a rattle snake instead? Would you reconsider?
Likewise, if we know that the future is beautiful and full of nice surprises, we’ll gladly step into the unknown. Vice versa.
I know some of you’re going to say this “How can I believe that the future is beautiful if I’ve undergone setbacks previously?”.
For a start, you must understand this fact of life. The past doesn’t determine the future. And no one’s life is without setbacks at all. It’s what you do now that matters. If you choose to let the past control your future, you’ll simply keep experiencing the same circumstances because you keep taking the same actions.
Remember, nothing can and nothing should stop you for having a bright future. It’s your entitlement the moment you’re born. Truly.
(3) Take Care Of the “Now”
To mitigate the fear of the uncertainty, you need to regain part of your control. And the only thing that you can do so is your present situation. Your “Now”.
What makes it even logical is, the law of Cause & Effect reaffirms that every action will result in a response.
Therefore, the things you’re doing now is discreetly sculpting the response that you’ll see in the future. It indirectly shed some certainty in the midst of the uncertainty. Especially if you’re following some proven path of success.
So, how do you take care of the “Now”?
Set some goals for yourself! Decide what you intend to achieve for yourself in the present and faithfully work towards it by following your goal plan. Every step you take is a stab at uncertainty because even though you wouldn’t know what obstacles may come your way, you know that you’re one step closer to your envisioned future.
A beautiful one, that is.