Uncertainty; expected or unexpected, uncertainty always involves a fear of the unknown. Some types of uncertainty are welcomed such as starting a new job in the hopes of a more rewarding career or moving to a new city for a fresh start. The uncertainty in these situations is manageable since they’re predetermined and so there’s still some sense of control. But what about the moments when we’re presented with an unpleasant situation we were not anticipating? The instinct to panic overshadows any ability to trust and have faith that things will work out. Thoughts such as, “How am I going to get through this?” or, “I don’t think I can handle this” are way too loud for any self-assurance to be heard.
Certainty is a fundamental human need since it provides us with feelings of security and safety. We can relax and enjoy our lives when there are no feelings of instability bothering us. Nevertheless, uncertainties such as the sudden loss of a job, a health scare or a relationship falling apart will throw us out of our comfort zone and cloud any rationale. Change can be scary and unnerving especially when we feel as if we’re no longer the one in charge of our life. However we can always take charge of our actions and responses when faced with such situations. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel scared, instead we discipline ourselves to look past the fear and focus on a positive outcome.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
Here are a few things to remember when faced with uncertainty which can help bring some peace of mind amidst the chaos:
Trust yourself – you’ve made it through every other hardship and hurdle you’ve faced before so you will make it through this too.
Tough times don’t last, tough people do – it might sound cliché but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You might not feel strong right now but you will be wiser and more equipped in the future.
Things do always work out – maybe they’ll work out the way you want them to or not but remind yourself of times when you’ve worried about an outcome and after it’s all been resolved you wonder why you ever worried so much in the first place.
Life goes on – there will come a time in the future where this uncertainty will be gone and you’ll feel secure again.
Growth only occurs outside of your comfort zone – as Tony Robbins says, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” in order to succeed in life.
Everything is clearer in hindsight – you will get the answers and clarity you seek once you’ve overcome this hurdle and you’ll see things from a newfound perspective.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
It may be difficult to feel confident or see a clear path as to where you’re headed but periods of uncertainty are a normal part of life. When our world feels shaky we can perceive every circumstance as negative but they can often present us with a brighter future. If you’re willing to take risks, uncertainty can open up a new world of possibilities and opportunities for new beginnings which won’t happen when we cling to what we know. Periods of uncertainty can also bring our insecurities to light which provides the opportunity to work on how we can provide ourselves with feelings of safety and security which aren’t derived from external circumstances. Trust yourself and remember that in time, you will make it through and feel confident and certain again.
“Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason.” – Alain de Botton