Dealing With Uncertainty

What to keep in mind when faced with uncertain situations

TLDR: At some point in time(maybe even quite often) we'll be faced with uncertain situations, instead of avoiding or fearing them, let's be calm & embrace them

One of the most effective ways to improve yourself is to dive into situations with lots of uncertainty. It might be a task at work that you've been trying to avoid or it might be a startup idea that you've always wanted to try out.

By definition "uncertainty" == "unknown" and to deal with something that is unknown, be it a task at work or simply a life event, you need to do at least 3 things:

  • Transition the "unknown" into "known", so that you have an idea of the shape, color & taste of the problem at hand
  • Identify wether your existing skill set is enough for dealing with the problem at hand or you need to learn/develop a new skill.
  • Using skill set to deal with the problem at hand

so it's pretty intuitive that dealing with uncertainty is an excellent way to improve yourself & to develop new skills. In context of facing & dealing with uncertain situations, i've observed 2 types of people:

  • 1st type spend their whole life trying to avoid as many uncertain situations as possible. They've been trying to operate in personal or in career life only in the circle of certainty. Their emotional reaction, so called fear, to the uncertainty controls them and they'd rather miss an excellent chance of learning something new, becoming someone better rather than be involved in the uncertain situation. Usually they replay many different bad case scenarios in their heads up front & end up not going for it. And after all this they might even be displeased regarding their stagnant/stuck in career or life.
  • 2nd type embrace uncertainty. Even though they know that their involvement might cause great deal of psychic or physical discomfort or they might fail, their psychological security & inner worth compensate for these emotions and potential failures . They don't let their emotional brain, that causes fear or anxiety to over rule their rational mind and they keep calm in the storm of uncertainty & discomfort.

We should all try to be 2nd type. It's kind of a "Becoming comfortable with uncomfortable" about which i've written a whole another essay

As a footnote, let me share that today, after having to deal with an uncertain situation at work, i've noticed that not all uncertain situations are alike, there are different types to uncertain problems as well. Some uncertainties might be so hard to declutter that you might be forced to walk without knowing the final destination for couple of days or even weeks. You might not even fully understand what you are dealing with for quite some time, so you need to have an internal psychological security & commitment to stick to the problem and solve it till the end.