Dealing with uncertainty

The future can seem fuzzy at best, and totally random at worst. All the unknowns may seem intimidating, but they shouldn’t hold you back from doing what you want to do. Nobody knows where life will lead them, so it’s normal to feel uncertain.

Uncertainty is scary because it can have negative consequences, but by its nature an uncertainty can also have a good outcome. A better way to look at uncertainty is to see it as an opportunity. Weighing up the pros and cons (and their likelihood) can provide a rough idea of whether it’s worth the time, effort and expense.

We can feel uncertain about anything: studies, a relationship, a living situation, a job, trying something new, the list goes on. So much is beyond our control that it may appear futile to bother making plans. Remember that uncertainty affects even the most successful people, but the difference is they don’t let it stop them. Nobody is confidence-made-flesh, though some people are better at hiding their insecurities than others.

Obstacles are inevitable when attempting anything worthwhile, but they usually only pose a temporary difficulty, and by definition they can be overcome. If the best happens, wonderful! If there are hiccups, take note for next time. It pays to be realistic, so keep aiming for the moon, but remember not to trip on the curb. Play the hand you are dealt as best you can.

Remember that feeling you can’t do something isn’t conclusive proof. Say you started a course and didn’t complete it. This doesn’t prove you are incapable of studying, only that it didn’t work out that one time. Adding in supportive factors, such as assistance from your education provider, could make all the difference.

We needn’t face uncertainty alone. Friends, family and carers should factor into our plans, as should assistance like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If you were to seek support in dealing with uncertainty, what resources would you need to help you feel more confident?

None of us possess 20/20 foresight, so all we can do is keep working day-to-day towards our desired outcomes. Your skillset will broaden, your life experiences will improve you, and over time you will become the person you aim to be.

If we knew exactly how things were going to pan out, there’d be no thrill when we succeed!

Helpful questions about uncertainty

What are you uncertain about? Try to be specific.

Is uncertainty holding you back from doing something you want to do?

What can you do to prevent an undesirable outcome, or reduce its impact?

What can you do to increase your chances of a positive outcome?

What obstacles stand in your way? What support would help you overcome them?

What can Flourish Australia do to support you?

By Grant J Everett, Panorama Magazine


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