Coping With Uncertainty
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The world is an uncertain place. Things change fast, and it can be difficult to see what's coming next.
But with the right approach, you can make things easier for yourself, learn to be comfortable with uncertainty, and be prepared for whatever the future brings.
Here are six simple strategies for coping when things get messy.
Fear is a natural reaction to uncertainty, but you can't let it rule you.
Worrying about the future is pointless. So don't ask, "What if?" Ask, "What will I do if?"
Knowing how you will react if things do go badly takes a lot of the sting out of the worry. Feeling out of control can be scary.
So, instead of fretting about the things you can't affect, focus on the things you can. Work out what you can do, and do it.
You'll probably feel better for knowing you're doing something useful. Plan for various possibilities, not just the outcome you think is most likely.
Build in contingencies so that, whatever happens, you're in a solid position to deal with whatever comes next. Being agile means you're able to respond quickly to differing needs or adapt to changing circumstances.
Think about developing new skills, which would not only make you more valuable, but give you new career options too.
At the same time, be alert. Stay on top of changes that could affect you and your business. The sooner you know about something, the quicker you can react!
Uncertainty can cause anxiety and stress, which can damage your health and get you stuck in a vicious circle. Exercise helps clear stress hormones from your body, while meditation and mindfulness can help you relax and reduce anxiety.
Talking to someone you trust can also help you find perspective – a problem shared is a problem halved.
One of the greatest causes of unhappiness and stress in uncertain times can be comparing how we think things "should" be with how they are.
But ask yourself, "According to whom?" Often, the answer is "nobody." It's always good to have goals, but make them your aspirations, not your expectations.
If you can accept uncertainty for what it is, prepare yourself for various outcomes, address your worries head-on, and manage your personal stress levels, you'll cope much better in "interesting" times.
And, hopefully, put yourself in a position to deal with whatever comes your way.