How to Deal With Uncertainty, Even If You’re Not Sure What Will Happen Next

Uncertainty worries many. Of course, we don’t want every part of our life to be clichéd and boring, but, for example, not being sure if you can pay your bills every month can be worrying. Most people have some kind of day-to-day insecurity – financial, professional, personal, or relational – but that has changed over the past few months.

We’re not just dealing with our usual sources of uncertainty , but the entire global pandemic as we try to stop the spread of a virus we’ve never seen in humans before. We’re not just in uncharted waters – we’re struggling to stay afloat. It turns out that there are ways to more effectively deal with feelings of insecurity and accept what comes next with some degree of confidence (even if it is very low). Here are two strategies for managing uncertainty in a healthier way.

Reassess your expectations

It can be easy to feel like a failure when you compare yourself to the accomplishments of others, especially to traditional life milestones such as finding a great job, traveling, buying a house, getting married, or having children. We can get hung up on setting expectations for ourselves based on what we think we should be doing in our lives, even if that’s not what we really want to do ourselves.

“Overcoming the obstacles that we and / or other people put in our way is the first step to achieving clarity and alignment with our most natural decisions, says Robin Emmerich, author of Love the Mess, KXAN, NBC affiliate at Austin. … When you have these expectations of yourself, it can create uncertainty when you wonder if something will happen to you and when it will happen. Instead of exposing yourself to this kind of stress, let go of some of those expectations to avoid the unnecessary insecurities that come with them.

Worry is not preparation

Uncertainty is usually accompanied by anxiety about what will happen next. Some people try to get ahead of uncertainty by worrying about the potential outcomes of a situation – as if thinking about them before they happen can help them prepare to deal with the outcome. As Dr. Brian E. Robinson, a psychotherapist for Psychology Today , writes, our thinking is the only thing we can control in situations beyond our control: “Fear, panic, and anxiety are not preparation. They add insult to injury — another level of stress. ”

When it comes to uncertainty, telling someone (or yourself) not to worry about something is not the most effective or realistic approach. But rethinking your thinking so that you realize that worrying about something you can’t control doesn’t really help, may actually help a little.

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