How to Navigate Uncertainty

Uncertainty is the only certain part of our lives. When we are stuck in these periods, we often wish we could fast forward to the end (good or bad), just to be at ease. These periods induce anxiety, restlessness and disorientation in most of us. Most often the angst of waiting is way worse than the actual event. 

Having said that, it can also be a period of massive growth. It teaches us that there are numerous factors at play each moment, most of which we cannot control, but we can choose to flow with the times; we can only control our reaction to situations. It teaches us to appreciate and live each moment because things are constantly changing. It encourages us to keep our purpose for life at the forefront and use it as a guiding tool. Unfortunately, most of us are not equipped to properly cope with these periods. 

But it is time we learn how to cope with it. Here are some ways to help us get through these periods, all the while learning and growing through it.

Acceptance

It is natural for our first response to the possibility of a negative occurrence to be fear. Our defence mechanism that is built in us for our survival kicks in and causes the anxiety we experience. This has helped us overcome many imminent dangers in the past. But in uncertain times, this adds to the stress and reduces our coping ability.  

First step in getting through uncertainty is to recognise that it is a natural and inevitable part of life and we will encounter it time and again. Often we get paralyzed by uncertainty, fear or anxiety because we are resisting the present scenario. Resistance prolongs our pain and builds up big emotions within us. Instead, when we choose to accept, we consciously bring our awareness to the present by recognising the emotions we are feeling. 

Take Action

In every situation, there are factors that we can control and other factors that we cannot control. We often get caught up in fretting over not being able to control all elements, which leads to inaction and further adds to harnessing negative emotions within us. However, when we focus on the present, we choose to focus on things we can control. We focus on finding solutions rather than complaining and relying on ourselves rather than others. 

Taking action comes from a shift in our mindset from an anxious mindset to a solution mindset. When we are taking action, we don’t give our mind the space to complain instead we force ourselves to focus on doing everything we can to make the most of the current situation. 

Your Purpose

Our ‘why’ drives all our actions. In uncertain times, this becomes our guiding light, it shows us what we really want to achieve and how we can get there despite uncertainty. Research has shown that nothing motivates us more than our purpose and when we see the impact we can create through our actions. When we focus on the end result and the happiness or change we can create, we stop thinking of everything in our way and start analysing what skill sets we can use to make it happen.

This is why it is important to identify our purpose in everything we do and remind ourselves of the end goal. Sometimes it is hard to dig beyond the surface and find what impact we truly wish to create. A good way to find the answer would be to counter the answer with a ‘why’ 5-7 times. Once we find our purpose, we have to stick to it and let that goal motivate us.

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