Coping with Uncertainty

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When will this pandemic end? Will the stock market crash again? Is it too late to prevent climate change? Will I pass my semester exams?

The Questions are endless and the answers are highly volatile in this evolving and erratic world.

The world is reeling as the equivalent of geopolitical tectonic plates shift causing tremors of uncertainty around the globe. How to make plans when it is almost impossible to predict tomorrow?

 It is no surprise that we have an entire industry devoted to filling in the blanks of our future. After all, as rightly said by John Allen Paulos, “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”

With uncertainty comes the fear of failure. Our brains give us fits when facing uncertainty because they’re wired to react to it with fear. On the bright side, if you know the right tricks, you can override your brain’s irrational tendencies and handle uncertainty effectively.

While it is hard to avoid the natural human propensity to react, what we can do is have a toolkit of approaches that can help us cope when life resembles an endless stream of curveballs.

Here are 5 tips on how to deal with uncertainty in your day-to-day life:

Self-acceptance—is a counterintuitive secret to happiness

It is essential to release one’s pent-up emotions by saying how you’re feeling at that moment so that it validates your emotions. It conveys the message that it’s okay to feel this way. Plus, accepting that not everything is in our control is the first step to choose a coping strategy.

Hold on to your ‘stability rock’

 A ‘stability rock’ is a process or practice that adds something reliable to your life when it seems like things are turning wild. ‘Stability rocks’ are really grounding and helps you to remember that there are some things that are within your control. Your daily schedule and habits will turn out to be truly significant right now when some parts of your life are disturbed. 

Even when we feel everything is out of control, we can control what we pay attention to. Further, playing to our strengths can be an advantage for us.

Don’t question your ability to adapt

Those of us who are serial planners often get stuck in rehashing our losses, rather than trusting in our capacity to find new solutions. Operating from a place of fear doesn’t allow us to tap into our full cognitive abilities. As rightly said by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

Stay updated with all the realities of the world

It is very important to stay informed about what’s happening in the world to change your plans accordingly. We need to train ourselves to make decisions independently in any given situations.

Solve problems using ABCs

Start by brainstorming alternative thoughts, behaviours, and solutions for the problem at hand. Next, evaluate your list and choose the best ideas. Finally, define your long term and short term goals, and commit towards them. One of the things we try to do is to cut down the number of variables that we don’t understand or we haven’t prepared for. To overcome this realm of uncertainty we need continuous preparation.

The ground beneath our feet is constantly shifting, making it difficult to plan our future but a blank slate ahead means that there’s nothing written on it yet. And while that may appear daunting, think of it this way: You are standing on the threshold of possibility.

 ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’

To plan a certain future in these uncertain times, check out our website.

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Shreyansh Bhuwalka
Well, for starters I wasn’t that bored to write this but I actually wanted to. A ramble towards an overenthusiastic an a piquant notch, just like me.

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