With uncertainty being heightened exponentially during from the first half of this year, I decided to look deeper into why we struggle so much with uncertainty when this is actually a huge part of every moment of our existence. As the saying goes “The only constant in life is change”, so in other words, uncertainty is the only certainty we have.
As humans we have a fundamental need for certainty, however we also have the need for uncertainty otherwise we start to feel like life is getting stale or get increased feelings of being stuck. There is a fine balance on how we can satisfy both these needs.
When did we start to become uncomfortable with uncertainty?
With the pace of modern living up until recently, I believe that we have formed illusions around certainty. We have looked to control everything happening around us in order to have the sense that it is all under control and certain. This has led to us working even harder to control how and when everything is going to happen in our lives, which is leading to a lot more stress. This need for control is also one of the key areas that can lead to people eventually burning out.
So, what do we have control over? The only aspect we have control over is ourselves, we have control of our inner world, what we focus on, what we react to, this is where our power lies. However, in order to claim that power, you actually need to become self-aware enough to know how and why you are reacting in certain ways. This starts with understanding our emotions and what is underneath them, knowing what we are focusing the most and why. Also looking at what we believe about uncertainty and whether this is serving us or not.
Steps to Embracing Uncertainty
Based on this, here are steps you can take to in order to embrace uncertainty and look to reframe it. By doing this you will reduce your stress, increase your sense of hope and allow yourself to focus on the possibilities available to you.
- Step 1, Acceptance. The first step when you are feeling uncertain is to look at the situation and ask yourself whether it is in your control or not. Is there anything you can physically do to change it? If this is out of your control, can you start to accept that you have no control over this so you can open yourself up to possibilities?
- Step 2, Self-Awareness. The second step is to look at what are the main emotions you are experiencing at the moment besides the uncertainty and how you can use these in order to move forward. This will also help you to start understanding why you react in certain ways. Besides feeling uncertain, what other emotions are currently coming up for you during this time?
- Step 3, Boosting self-love. Reconnecting to yourself and really loving yourself for who you are is a journey which I think we have to consistently come back to throughout our lives. It is hard to love someone you don’t know though and we are often our own harshest critics. In order to be ok with uncertainty we need to start reconnecting to ourselves so we have a strong inner foundation to draw strength from. How can you start reconnecting and loving yourself some more?
Steps to Reframing Uncertainty
- Step 1, Focusing on the possibilities. As mentioned before, when we spend all our energy focusing on what we have no control over, we close ourselves off from seeing what possibilities there actually are. Uncertainty is full of possibilities once you allow yourself to see them. During the current situation, what have you learnt about yourself and what possibilities are available for you?
- Step 2, Reframing. Reframing is a technique used to help create a different way of looking at a situation. We are able to reframe something by looking at the current situation, then looking at the possibilities and allowing ourselves to see the situation through the light of the possibilities we have at hand. This is where hope lies!
Using these steps, are you able to reframe the current uncertainty for yourself in order feel more hopeful during these times?
I am running an online workshop on 26th June 2020 with Just Hello and will be covering this deeper. I will also be sharing techniques to assist with anxiety and setting better boundaries during this time. You can click here for more details and to book your spot.