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How to Embrace Uncertainty When You're Struggling

How to Embrace Uncertainty When You're Struggling
Reading Time: 2 minutes, 34 seconds
Uncertainty affects everyone at some point in their lives.
It’s especially common with anxiety.
With anxiety, it can stop a person in their tracks.
But it’s certainly not limited to anxiety. Anxiety can emerge from its dark hole at any time.
Read on to explore the meaning of uncertainty–and what you can do if you’re struggling with it or know someone who is.

Living With Uncertainty
When I’m feeling uncertain, it’s usually because I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to be doing or what will happen to me next.
This emotion mixes with whatever else I might be feeling to create an uncertainty storm. Yes, anxiety is common with anxiety and OCD, but anyone can experience it. It’s an everyday mental health issue.
I feel uncertainty about the simplest things–about what to say when I call a business to schedule an appointment or a friend I haven’t talked to in a while, about the best discount at a store, or about what task to focus on next.
The uncertainty grows when I’m feeling anxious or nervous. After all, uncertainty is at the heart of anxiety.
It hasn’t been an easy journey learning to embrace uncertainty, but I’ve found that it gets easier the more I work on it.
Embracing Uncertainty is a Worthwhile Journey
Maybe that dark path is the one to take...
Maybe that dark path is the one to take...
Let’s get one thing straight: embracing uncertainty is a journey. It never really ends.
You could look at this and hang your head, or you could view it as an opportunity to master your emotions and emerge from uncertainty stronger than before. This is called reframing, and I’ve written about it before. Reframing is when you take a not-so-great situation and paint it in vibrant, more hopeful colors. It’s restructuring your assessment to put a positive, more productive spin on it.
How to Embrace Uncertainty
First, you have to acknowledge the feeling. You have to accept that you’re feeling uncertain. To move through an uncomfortable feeling, you have to accept that you’re having an uncomfortable feeling in the first place.
This has several benefits. It makes you self-aware, which makes you more alert and ready to handle the unknown. Acknowledging uncertainty also starts an important process in this journey. It gets you into planning mode.
Now, too much planning can be problematic, but just enough prepares you for an uncertain future. Planning is taking productive action based on your current uncertainty. It ties into the reframing you did earlier.
If reframing is shifting your thoughts, planning is shifting your response to those thoughts. Reframing and planning are a powerful combo when used in the right way.
Acknowledging leads to reframing, which leads to positive and productive planning.
This is a process that you can repeat as many times as you need to. What’s great about this journey is that you gain knowledge as you move down the road.
For me, I’m not sure I’ll ever fully overcome uncertainty, but I don’t think that’s the point.
Embracing uncertainty is like taming the wind. You’ll never bottle up the wind and fully control it, but you can learn to use it to your advantage.
It’s a new week. I hope you get off to a strong start!
P.S. I will be emailing the first book club cohort soon about how the Mental Health Book Club is going to work. If you’re wanting to connect with others and learn about mental health in a new way, there’s still time to sign up.
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

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