What’s going to happen today, tomorrow, next month, this year? You may have plans, but whether things are really going to work out as you’ve imagined is certainly very uncertain. Maybe at the moment even more so, given the world is exposed to a pandemic, and we don’t know if we can still go on our well-deserved spring holidays, let alone go to the office or leave the house at all tomorrow, in order to avoid the further spreading of the virus.
Corona aside, the list of uncertainties in my life at the moment seems to be never-ending. My career is a huge question mark, and my mind is floating between self-employment, founding my own business or going back to corporate life… Knowing what I want is not the problem (not anymore, I dealt with than extensively in 2019!), but what’s actually feasible and working out is a whole other question. One day an opportunity pops up, the next day something I thought was certain goes down the drain. Same day another sparkle of hope comes out of nowhere, and the day after it’s gone again. It feels like a roller-coaster ride in the dark.
This level of uncertainty is frustrating and not easy to deal with. But, hey, that’s life! There is nothing uncertain, but the uncertain! You can either stick your head in the sand, or consider these 6 ways on how to manage uncertainty:
1. Make plans, not wishes
We all have wishes and dreams for our future. That’s nice. But what’s way more important is the first step that we can take now in order to fulfil our vision of the future. You know you want to be a millionaire in 5 years’ time? What can you do today as a first step to get there? What can you do tomorrow? Convert your dreams into concrete actions! Doing something to achieve your goal, even if it’s only baby steps, is going to make you feel empowered and in control of your destiny.
2. Find solutions, not problems
You may hit more than one roadblock on the way. Take them like a good driver would: Recognize them from afar, prepare yourself and find a way to navigate around them. Or get help to clear the obstruction from the road. The point is, don’t get discouraged with every challenge you face and put your whole plan into question. Focus on finding a solution, solve the problem or figure out a plan B, and continue marching forward. Persistence is the key.
3. Act from confidence, not fear
It’s not so easy to be persistent, if you face one roadblock after the next, you may say. I get it – sometimes giving up just seems so much easier. But don’t estimate yourself! You’ve already overcome so many obstacles in your life, and you have acquired so many great resources that equip you to handle this one just as well. Have confidence in yourself and don’t let the fear of failing hold you back.
4. Be your best, not perfect
In an uncertain situation, don’t make perfection your goal, because you’re bound to fail. If you set the expectation to achieve the impossible, you will likely end up frustrated and demotivated, because it is impossible. Instead, do yourself a favour: set humble, feasible goals that take the uncertainty into consideration, then do your best and celebrate as you achieve one goal after the other! Each small success is going to fuel your motivation for the next one.
5. Get excited, not stressed
Hearing a story for the second or third time is boring, right? See, there is actually a beautiful side of not knowing what happens next. After all, life is supposed to be an adventure and we do not need to know how our story goes in advance. So relax and trust yourself that you are walking the right path. Acknowledge that the right path might not be the shortest or the prettiest one, but it is the one perfect for you. Just like reading a good novel, we should be excited to see what unfolds in the next chapter of our life!
6. Appreciate certainty
If you feel like your whole life is one big blur of uncertainty, take a deep breath, a piece of paper and a pen. Write down a list of things that are certain in your life: maybe it’s your coffee in the morning, your work-out routine (I wish!), the weekly dinner date with your bestie, the daily phone call with your sister… It helps to appreciate what you can count on happening with 99.9% certainty, unless… well, a pandemic breaks out 😉
Stay safe and curious,