Tolerating an uncertain future
It’s a harsh reality, but we need to face the idea that no one can give us the exact answers that we need to be successful and happy. Nor can they tell us what will happen to us in the future with 100% certainty. We all have different needs and different aspirations. Many of the answers that we are looking for lie within us and can be accessed through self-awareness and through our own first-hand experiences.
Get in tune with your true self
When we are true to ourselves, when we ask for what we want and live a life with integrity, fear of the uncertain lessens. The more we believe in ourselves and cultivate self-reliance, the more powerful we will feel. Stop listening to what others want for you and start tuning in to what you really want for yourself. Only when you tune in to your inner wisdom will you start to find the right path.
Cultivate an inner resilience
Once you have built a strong foundation you will find that amid the chaos and noise around you, there will be an inner peace. You may still feel frightened but you will feel ready to face whatever comes your way. Think about how far you have come and how much you have already successfully faced.
Embracing an uncertain future is something we all have to do. Nothing is certain so we may as well get used to dealing with it. We fool ourselves by trying to control things that are beyond our control in order to feel safe. We insure ourselves to the hilt, we draw up contracts and we take legal action when things do not go our way. We could save ourselves a lot of distress if we learned to be quiet during the chaos and to keep our ideals and goals close to us.
Many times, we overestimate the fear/threat and underestimate our ability to cope.
Focus on your own life
The more you care about what other people think, the more unhappy you will be. Other people will always have their own opinions no matter what you do so you may as well please yourself.
Be true to yourself and foster self-belief. Stop the negative self-talk and replace it with more positive dialogue. Remind yourself regularly of all the hardships that you have overcome this far. Remind yourself that you will face whatever comes your way.
How to cope with uncertainty
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are the advantages of seeking certainty?
- What are the disadvantages of requiring certainty?
- Do you tend to predict negative things happening because you are unsure/uncertain of the outcome?
- What is the likelihood of your predictions?
- Are there some uncertainties you can live with?
Ask others how they cope with uncertainty as it is something we all have to live with.
When we need certainty, many of us use worry to feel more certain. Instead of worrying which actually has no influence over certainty – don’t respond to the worry, learn to let it go. Learn to let the need for certainty go.
- Be aware of your worries: (you could respond with):-
“I’m telling myself how terrible/unbearable not knowing is.”
- Don’t respond to your worried thinking – these are just thoughts NOT facts:
“It’s interesting to notice that in this situation I have a need for certainty – this need is leading me to worry. I will just sit with these feelings for a while”.
- Let go:
“My need for certainty is unnecessary. Uncertainty is a part of life.”
- Be focused in the present moment – also known as mindfulness.
- Deal with your wandering mind:
“My mind has wandered back to needing certainty”. Listen to your breathing – bring yourself back to the present moment.
Accept that uncertainty is a part of life and stop resisting it. A risk assessment is obviously necessary but then go for it. Try not to procrastinate or become indecisive. Replace fear with the possibility of excitement. See each way forward and each new decision as an adventure, a way to learn no matter what the outcome is.