Embracing Uncertainty

Life is uncertain: we can never be 100% sure what is going to happen. Some people are OK with this and find it easy to embrace new experiences. Other people struggle with uncertainty: it is almost as if they have a phobia of it, and they often do things like worry or plan in attempts to reduce uncertainty.

Embracing uncertainty can allow you to enjoy more of life, and to respond more flexibly to challenges that come your way. One way of doing this is to gradually introduce uncertain events into your life. Try to embrace uncertainty by experimenting with some of the tasks below:

  • Walk a different route.
  • Order something new from the menu in a restaurant.
  • Try a new class.
  • Go somewhere you have never been.
  • See a film at the cinema without reading reviews.
  • Have a different lunch every day.
  • Read a different newspaper, or something by a new author.
  • Talk to someone you don’t know (ask a question, pay them a compliment).
  • Wear something ‘new’ for you (e.g. style, brand).
  • Do an activity that you have avoided so far.
  • Talk about things that are more ‘risky’ for you (e.g. politics, yourself, opinions).
  • Listen to music that you wouldn’t normally listen to.
  • Sit in a different place than you normally do.
  • Delegate tasks to others.
  • Sleep on a different side of the bed.
  • Try a different brand of toothpaste.
  • Adopt the mindset that it is good for you to take small risks and challenge yourself.
  • Make ‘trying new things’ a regular part of your life.
  • You’re trying to build a ‘tolerance of uncertainty muscle’ so you will need to practice regularly.

Maintain a curious and open approach by focusing on the outcome of your experiments, not on the emotional experience, but something like What did you learn? What did you experience that was new and exciting? What did that experiment do for your confidence?

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.

Reference : https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/embracing-uncertainty/

28 Comments Add yours

  1. “Talk to someone you don’t know (ask a question, pay them a compliment)”.

    We have been in danger of losing the art of conversation. Maybe we’ve been given a second chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Yes listen more than speak. That has been a learning.

      Like

  2. True! It is inevitable so better to adapt than crib. 🙂 I have done 8 things out of the list. 😀 The toothpaste point is bang on, I change it every tube, cannot stay with the same taste for long… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hahahhah way to go!! There’s no doubt about it, uncertainty can be uncomfortable. We human beings are wired to want to control our environment. We enjoy the stability that comes from having continuity between our past and future, a future that is familiar, stable and predictable. We like to feel that we are masters of our own ship, in control of our fate, and so it’s entirely natural to find ourselves feeling a little out of sorts when our future becomes an unknown quantity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that I enjoy reading your comments as well! 😇

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Hahahha Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aidan says:

    I wish I could show my mum this. She has a “control” problem… to the point where our family has just decided to be calm and let it pass over. I think it gets better if we just stay out of the way and let her do her thing. She’s got better in the past year, but some things can still bug her… like road trips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hi Aidan, many people fear uncertainty. Fear of an uncertain future: it can stop us from doing great things, and it can keep us holding onto things that are hurting us. For example: you might be holding onto clutter for reasons of comfort and security, even if the clutter gives you anxiety and costs a lot of money.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This has worked very well for me so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Life is full of uncertainty, we just have to learn to live with it. That’s because uncertainty, a long-known cause of anxiety, makes it difficult to prepare for events or to control them. People vary in their desire to minimise uncertainty.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 😊 I must admit at first I find it shocking to embrace change when something new finds me. I use shocking because I know I need to do better at embracing uncertainty and that it is my mind wanting to disagree with the ordeal. Lol. I do find it to be very rewarding when I slow down and embrace the movement. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Let go of tension, anxiety and fear by embracing the unknown. Consider uncertainty a worthwhile journey toward a daring future. Uncertainty allows us to re-evaluate the past and make new choices in light of what transpires. It presents opportunities to create a compelling future based on new information.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. PAmit says:

    very interesting tasks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      When we take time to embrace uncertainty we are deliberately avoiding our usual instincts to avoid fear and suffering and, instead, determining to turn towards them, to lean into them, to really understand them.

      Like

    1. Garima says:

      Yes, when your life is one with risks, you are experiencing, learning, living. A life without risks is not life at all, it’s nothing.

      Like

  7. Danielle says:

    Words that I need right now. Thank you so much! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      The first step to dealing with uncertainty is to accept that we can’t control everything. This is where Iceberg beliefs–those big, bone deep assumptions we have about the way the world works–come into play. If you have an Iceberg Belief such as, “I should never be uncertain” or “Everything must always stay the same,” then uncertainty can be especially challenging. Tom Corboy, licensed therapist and author of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD, suggests replacing these beliefs with one that is more open-minded and realistic, such as “uncertainty is less than ideal, but it is acceptable and tolerable.”

      Like

  8. I really enjoyed this discussion. Your words have me thinking about many ideas. You are right, we need to be willing to take on some risk in our lives. Even a baby innocently challenges the status quo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Yes. Embracing uncertainty involves being prepared to sit with the situation in all its uncertainty for as long as it takes for us to be sure that we’ve seen it from all angles, and until we know that the response that we have come up with is that which is the most compassionate and ethical possible under the circumstances and for all involved (including ourselves and others).

      Like

    1. Garima says:

      Glad you liked it. The first thing about embracing uncertainty is that it takes time. When faced with uncertainty in life we often find it incredibly painful and rush to resolve it as quickly as possible. In the example I gave before, of telling a partner to embrace uncertainty, we are not really embracing uncertainty ourselves. Rather we are rushing to resolve the situation by writing our partner off and denying what they are feeling. To embrace the uncertainty of such a tough situation of relationship conflict we would take the time to really listen: to both our partner and to our own panicky, trapped feelings which are driving our impulse for a quick resolution.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesley says:

    I love this post. Some of the things I already do, but there are others I’d like to try.
    I used to do a lot of horse riding when I was younger. I’m older now (in my sixties), but I dream (literally) of getting on a horse again. My heart is beating faster just thinking about it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Then you should do it under supervision. We all live for things that get our heart racing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lesley says:

        With a safety net. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  10. gpavants says:

    Hi Garima,

    What a timely message as always. Change is certain to come unexpectedly but our response it we determine. This is a great coping skill: readiness.

    Thank you. Be well,

    Gary

    On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 12:45 PM Be Inspired..!! wrote:

    > Garima posted: ” Life is uncertain: we can never be 100% sure what is > going to happen. Some people are OK with this and find it easy to embrace > new experiences. Other people struggle with uncertainty: it is almost as if > they have a phobia of it, and they often do things ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Gary. Glad you liked it. One of the surest ways to avoid worrying about the future is to focus on the present. Instead of trying to predict what might happen, switch your attention to what’s happening right now. By being fully connected to the present, you can interrupt the negative assumptions and catastrophic predictions running through your mind.

      Like

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