How to be comfortable with uncertainty


We, humans, are a strange creature – we crave stability, yet we often get bored by it. In turn, we desire uncertainty because we deeply know that in it lies the seed to opportunity, the path to success. No leader in the history of humanity has ever managed to do great things, to bring about the betterment of our species by sticking to the known, to the comforts of security.

We know that we have to follow uncertainty even though it frightens us, but we are scared of all the uncomfortable and unexpected things that might come with it. We always think that it can quickly happen that we’ll end up being hurt by them.

So, how do we stop fearing the uncertain and embracing it? How do we end this vicious cycle that impedes our way to success, the cycle of yearning for uncertainty and yet dreading it?

You can feel comfortable in uncertainty

Uncertainty lies in our everyday lives; it exists for every person in the world – from the regular hard-working person to the leaders and CEOs of big companies. It is part of our lives, no matter what we do.

That is why we need to learn to live with it, and even embrace it if we manage to do so. No matter what life manages to throw at you, you can achieve this; you only need the will to do so and some helpful methods that will guide you and help you on this journey.

As Pema Chödrön has aptly pointed out in her book, many practical methods can help you cope with uncertainty and start feeling comfortable no matter what lies ahead. She shows that you do not need to know Buddhism to follow some of her practices that can help you in your everyday life. Her methods are not bound to the people who know this religion – everyone can learn and practice them.

How to live with uncertainty

The implementation of Pema’s methods and other methods that can help you with uncertainty also implies the right mindset. You need to acknowledge the fact that doubt is necessary and that it will always exist. Then you have to fight the fear, reminding yourself that this emotion, as like every other emotion humans have, is necessary and will never completely go away.

That’s also the main thing behind uncertainty and living with it. You have to accept it and consent to the fact that it will never go away – as it is a natural part of our existence. The only way to live with it and honestly feel comfortable with its presence, is to stop fearing and opposing it, and start embracing it.

David Lindley, in his book Uncertainty, deals with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle which explains that not even scientific concepts can have an absolute precision and detail, they cannot be conclusive. Scientists have embraced this, even though it went against one of the greatest minds in our history – Albert Einstein.

As they have managed to embrace the principle, so should you embrace the fact that uncertainty will be a part of your life forever. Once you genuinely embrace its existence, you will finally feel comfortable and happier.