Coping With Uncertainty: 6 top tips

Most of us are dealing with masses of uncertainty in our lives at the moment. But actually there are always going to be times when we really don’t know what life will throw at us next. But, with a little forethought and practice we can learn to be comfortable and prepared for whatever comes next.

 

Here are my 6 top tips

  1. Feel the fear – It’s perfectly natural to be fearful, anxious or stressed when things are uncertain. The key is not letting it rule you. Don’t let it dictate how you react and deal with it. Instead of worrying about what the future holds when you really can’t know, extend the question, ‘What if?’ into ‘What will I do if?’ Putting some thought into how you will react in various scenarios can take some of the fear away and help you manage your emotions better.

2. Make more than one plan – Don’t just plan for the thing you think most likely to happen or for the one you want to happen. Have A, B, and C ready. This means you will have thought  of more possibilities and be better prepared for the unexpected.

3. Focus – When things are uncertain, it probably means you are feeling out of control. So, think about the things you can control. Start off with a blank sheet of paper and draw a large circle. Inside the circle write down all the things you can control. When you come across something that is not in your control, write that outside of the circle. Now you know where to focus your attention.

4. Be flexible and open – By preparing to be flexible and open to changing circumstances your response will probably be quicker and more appropriate. Think about your skill set and what might help you to be more adaptable for a different kind of future. It might mean undertaking a bit of training now but you could open up a whole new career path for the future.

5. Manage your expectations – Don’t compare things with where you think the SHOULD be. Be aware of how they ARE. Who says they SHOULD be that way or you SHOULD be doing this or that?  You need to be in control of your own expectations by looking at your goals during this time.  It’s good to have goals but now is the time to have Aspirations, not expectations.  (I also refer you back to the circle of control exercise).

6. Look after yourself – when you are facing uncertainty it is easy to batten down the hatches and see what happens.  But, this is the time to really look after yourself.  Make sure you eat and drink sensibly; take regular exercise; put support systems in place; do something to help you switch off; try something new to get a new perspective.