Uncertainty sucks. It’s scary and creates stress and anxiety. Yet, it is a constant in life.
I have spend too much time, energy and money trying to hack uncertainty in my life. Sadly, there is no way of going through life certain of what will happen next. If we go back in time, the anxiety and fear that comes with uncertainty protected our ancestors from food, shelter and possible threats, so it made sense to them to live in constant alert and fear.
Today, it only gets in the way of our quality of life. There is so much going on that we are collectively drowning in fear and anxiety keeping us from making important decisions, taking risks and enjoying our present moment. We want certainty so bad that our brain starts to make up stories to compensate for what we don’t know. This only leads to more stress and we just numb ourselves to avoid feeling it!
But how can we be at peace with uncertainty when our inside is hungry for some certainty? When we keep experiencing events that were never heard before and that are changing life as we know it? Now, more than ever it is critical that we learn to manage uncertainty both, for us and our children’s sake.
5 tips – to help you embrace uncertainty
- Identify what is in your control – make the call, write the letter, go to the interview, initiate a the conversation, start the project, do the work, make the appointment, take you vitamins, eat healthy, move your body, plan your days…. Do your part on whatever it is you are handling. This will give you a feeling of empowerment and the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking care of what you can control.
- 5 minute letting go break – once you have done your part, let go. This is will be hard but it is a practice and a muscle to develop. Whenever you start feeling the fear and stress of uncertainty show up, take a 5 minute break. Breath in and out for a few minutes and feel your feet on the ground. Identify what you can control and make a note to take care of it if you have not. Then go back to breathing in and out for a few more minutes. This will ground you and make you feel better.
- Name it – naming our emotions, fears and worries is liberating. It also gives you information as sometimes we are not really clear on what we are experiencing and why. Don’t stay in your mind, reach out to someone you trust and talk about it. Vent, share and receive feedback.
- Journal – journaling will help you to reflect deeper on what you are feeling. It will be a way of organizing your thoughts and ideas and it is liberating. If you don’t feel like talking with someone this is a good practice to do. It will ease how you feel and help you see things with a new lens.
- Reach out for support – if you feel that no matter what you do the stress and anxiety of uncertainty is still getting in the way of your quality of life, reach out for professional support. Whether it is a coach or a therapist, make the call. There is no need to do this alone and we all deserve to lead a joyful and balanced life.
Know that you are not alone. We are navigating difficult times and uncertainty is the new normal. Be proactive and stay active. Connect with friends weekly and find ways to enjoy the little things life offers you.