Three Ways to Deal with Uncertainty

by Emma Grey (Life Balance Specialist)

Emma GreySometimes there’s an influx of uncertainty in our lives, and that’s what I’m grappling with at the moment. Several important personal issues are up in the air and will be for weeks and months. I’m also waiting on news that could either be a wonderful turning point in my career, or might not happen at all.

There’s a real sense of ‘not knowing’. There are a heap of ‘what if’s’. It’s too early to be worried. It’s too early to be excited. Nothing’s tangible. It’s maddening!

Here are three ways you can help yourself through a period of uncertainty:

Back yourself
We each have our own backstory of surviving difficult things. I’ve been through ‘stuff’ before. Separation, divorce, job uncertainty, health scares, parenting worries—and I made it through every single situation.

Even though it’s hard, and even though we fall in a heap sometimes, the reality is that we’re often more resilient than we feel. We have to be in order to pick up and go on, as we all have done, many times.

So now, when uncertain times hit, we can draw on that experience. We’ve not known what to do before. We’ve made mistakes before. We’ve been out of our comfort zones, many times.

It’s not about us knowing what to do, or having all the answers. It’s about knowing we can adapt to whatever comes.

Self care
There’s a lot we can’t control, and there are some things that we can. We can choose to focus on the ‘controllable’.

Exercise, eat well, sleep early, ask for help, meditate or relax. We can’t wave a magic wand over a situation coming at us, but we can boost our capacity to cope with it in very simple, effective ways.

In my case, I keep my non-negotiable lunch date with two of my best friends, and meet with my running group for a walk/jog and breakfast every Sunday. I also fall asleep to the gorgeous, Scottish tones of Andrew Johnson’s meditation and relaxation apps…

We have a choice between stewing over ‘what might happen’ or using the same time to do something worthwhile. Life doesn’t stop just because we won’t know an outcome for a few days or weeks or months.

So we can plan things. Meet up with people. Go to movies. Hire a box set of DVDs. Read novels. Make cakes. Write a story. Climb a mountain. We can do anything that makes ‘now’ meaningful and fun, and distracts us from the agonised waiting.

And if you’re doing all of these things, and you’re still stuck in ‘worry’ remember these stats, according to a study by Dr. Walter Cavert:

  • 40 percent of the things we worry about never happen
  • 30 percent of our worries concern the past
  • 12 percent of our worries are needless worries about our health
  • 10 percent of our worries are insignificant or petty

This leaves only 8 percent of our worries that are really worth our time.

At the end of the day, would we really want everything all planned out, with no surprises, ever? Life would be fairly boring if everything went to plan…

Recommended Articles by Emma Grey:

5 Ways to Find an Extra Hour Every Day

9 Doubts that Most of us Keep Private

For more tips on life balance, time management and self-esteem visit where you can download a free eBook on the 7 Types of Busy.



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