Uncertainty fuels anxiety. Living with life’s unknowns can be distressing. Uncertainty can make it difficult to plan for the future. Not knowing what to do, what’s going to happen or what other people are thinking and feeling breeds anxiety.
Some people are able to tolerate uncertainty more than others or even experience its upside.
Temporary unknowns can generate excitement, curiosity and even a sense of freedom and autonomy when we have options.
Living through uncertainty requires accepting it. Acceptance doesn’t mean that there won’t be discomfort. The secret is to learn to sit through the discomfort. Sitting through the anxiety allows it to dissipate all by itself. Have you ever jumped into a cold swimming pool? The shock of the cold is very uncomfortable at first, but if you stay in the pool, the water seems to warm up.
Trying to escape uncomfortable anxiety may bring temporary relief, but if we turn towards the discomfort, learn to face the fear and tolerate the unpleasantness without “jumping out of the pool” we can move through the fear until the pool feels warm.