The human mind has a special distaste for uncertainty. Psychology says that the survival-oriented human brain goes into a tizzy when it’s unsure about something – it makes up hundreds of untested theories to determine where the uncertainty would lead, which causes us deep anxiety.
This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Life is riddled with uncertainties, and we often get bogged down by their weight. Not too long ago, I was going through an uncertain period in my life, which triggered depression and deep helplessness. I was a star student, and after college, which I graduated magna cum laude, I felt set to take the world by storm.
The real world, however, is much different, and I was met with setback after setback, which left me deeply unsure of my career. I was frustrated with life and the inability to get the job I wanted. The disappointments paralyzed me into inaction so much so that I was just doing odd jobs bereft of any future.
In my deepest despair, I shook myself and made a plan to get back on track. While doing so, I learned some valuable lessons to flourish despite uncertainty. I hope they help you too; here they are:
1. Breathe and Make a Plan
When life throws you a curveball, don’t panic. Just take a moment to breathe and catch yourself – analyze your current situation, make a list of the pros and the cons, the possibilities, and the opportunities, and then consciously choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative elements. Uncertainties trigger the anxiety but don’t give in to them. Practice healthy habits, such as yoga, exercise and cleaning activities, to calm your mind. When your mind is calmed, you will be able to think more rationally, and that’s when you should start assessing your situation to make a logical plan to overcome the uncertainty.
2. Embrace Uncertainty
Most of us like to be in control of our life, some more than others. Being in control means planning your life so that you can achieve the goals you want. While being in control is essential for success, we must also remember that some things are just not in control. We have to accept the things that are out of our control and learn to go with the flow. The biggest example here is that of COVID-19; the virus disrupted everyone’s plans, and we couldn’t do anything about it since we have no control over it. Therefore, instead of stressing over the uncertainty, we must learn to accept and make alternative plans to move forward.
3. Don’t Seek Perfection
Finally, we must stop chasing perfection to deal with uncertainty. Most of us end up doing nothing because we are looking for the perfect job, the perfect college, the perfect spouse, and so on. Perfection is a fallacy – instead of lamenting that you were not able to achieve the perfect goal that you set in your mind, revel in the things you were able to accomplish to propel yourself forward.