3 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Uncertainty
3 ways to overcome the fear of uncertainty.
COVID was an unprecedented rollercoaster; it halted our lives and threw everything into turmoil. COVID-19 got the entire world in a state of fear and uncertainty over finances, employment, health, relationships, and so forth.
Here comes the important question… How can we overcome fear and uncertainty? How do we overcome circumstances we cannot control?
A Perspective-Changing Conversation
When I think about the event that changed my mindset on embracing change and overcoming uncertainty, I remember when I used to work as a shift leader at a local Dairy Queen in High School.
Our location went through a change in ownership, and the new owner Mike, took over from his brother, who, from my understanding, wasn't running the location in the way it needed to be operated.
So naturally, when Mike took over, he had to make some tough calls and changes. These changes caused a great stir among the employees accustomed to no real structure and use to the old way of doing things.
Mike became a mentor of mine and always allowed me to ask any questions. So one day I asked Mike. "Why is there always so much pushback to the changes he's making, even when they're positive changes?"
What Mike said that day changed my perspective on change and uncertainty.
Mike replied, "Darryl, people are used to doing what they have always been doing."
That line was essential; most people do not like change, people do not want to push through and embrace change, they would much rather stay in their comfort zone rather than stepping out, taking a risk, and trying something new.
How do you react to change?
How do you react when things don't go exactly how you expect or may have wanted them to go?
I've realized from Mike that day that if I can react to change quicker than others, I could lead and live a better life because I wouldn't be stuck in what was.
From that moment on, I welcomed and embraced change, whereas the people around me don't. Consequently, this pushes me ahead of the curve.
What is it that leads me to embrace this mindset? How can you lead and make progress through uncertain and scary times of change?
Ask Yourself What is Certain
You need to go back and hold on to what you know is certain or rediscover your foundation in uncertain circumstances. Find those things and be grateful for all that you've been provided and have up until that point.
We often underestimate the power of gratitude.
Not only does it significantly increase happiness, but it also helps people feel more optimistic, relieves good experiences, enhances their well-being, and helps to deal with adversity.
Moreover, leading psychologists Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami, conducted a fascinating study regarding gratitude.
They asked participants to write a few lines about different daily events regularly.
Out of three groups, one group wrote down things they found irritable and displeasing throughout the week.
In contrast, the second group wrote down events that affected them without emphasizing it being positive or negative, and the third wrote about things that had made them feel grateful for during the week.
After nearly two and a half months, the group that wrote about gratitude was the most optimistic and in a better state of well-being.
Find gratitude in your life and use it to propel yourself towards a more optimistic mindset. Your circumstances will change when you believe they can.
Ask Better Questions
Often, in an unfamiliar situation with uncertain circumstances, humans get quite pessimistic and start worrying about the worst possible outcomes.
The key is to ask yourself the right questions, questions that help you benefit from the situation, questions that allow you to turn tables on the situation.
Instead of asking, "Why is this happening to me? What else can go wrong? Why can't things work out for me for once?" ask a positive, focused question.
As Tony Robbins, a leading speaker and high-performance coach, says:
"Successful people ask better questions, and as a result get better answers."
When in uncertain situations, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this situation? What is the best thing that can come out of this situation? What skills can I learn during this time that can further my career?
People often tend to cloud their subconscious with negative thoughts that lead to a whole lot of anxiety, overthinking, and stress.
Be optimistic! Develop a learning mindset that allows you to embrace change and step out of your comfort zone. Ask a better question.
Look for Opportunities
Continuously look for opportunities, especially in fearful and uncertain situations.
Even in bleak times, you need to keep an eye out for opportunities. You will make it through uncertainty and fear by actively seeking circumstances that can make something happen in your favor.
To come across beneficial opportunities, you need to develop a good network, be willing to learn, and gain the courage to step out of your comfort zone.
A famous saying on Wall Street is "Contacts make Contracts."
The more people you know, the more opportunities you open yourself up to. Be it a financial investment, a business partner, an entry-level job, or a career switch, as long as you know the right people, the odds will always be in your favor.
Secondly, you need to be willing to learn and gain knowledge. With the right set of tools, you can conquer any field you please. All that matters is your willingness to learn and grow.
And finally, you need the power to step out of your comfort zone, embrace the change and tackle the situation head-on. By doing that, you take control of the uncertain circumstances and lead through them with confidence.
Look for the Light in the Darkness
Yes, it may sound too dramatic, but that is literally what you need to do.
One powerful quote I like to remind myself of is:
"If you look for the light, you can always find it. But if you look for the dark, that is all you will ever see".
You need to be optimistic and ask yourself what this moment of crisis is going to teach you. Search for the lesson and watch yourself grow into a more robust and better individual.
A daily mantra that helps me and many others cope with troubled times is "Whatever's meant to be, is to be for the greater good."
Yes, the 'good' may not be apparent in the moment or even the next day, but pretty soon, you will realize how the crisis you were so worried about ended you up in a much better place.
As a closing note, I wish you well in walking towards and through uncertainty because I'm sure it will lead you closer to the things you want for your life.
Remember, nothing is permanent, and this tough time will pass too.
Meet You At The Top!