How To Deal With Uncertainty …

Dealing With Uncertainty

Wikipedia Commons

Uncertainty: No matter which direction we look in these days, there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty. Here are just a sample of some of the issues, and the types of uncertainty that we are facing on a daily basis:

  • A general election (political)
  • Price of oil, our dollar, jobs (economic)
  • Weather variations (meteorological)
  • Health concerns (wellness)
  • Relationship challenges (social)

The cumulative effect of all of this uncertainty can result in a growing sense of unease and anxiety!

Key Drivers Of Anxiety

The main drivers for anxiety are:

  • fear of the future
  • uncertainty

Any time that we are feeling anxious, we can be certain that our minds are in the future, AND facing the possibility of some uncertain event. Once the thing that we are worried about has happened or come to pass, then we are no longer anxious about it, and no longer uncertain.

Uncertainty: A Key Element Of Life 

On the surface it may appear that life seems very uncertain at times. One can wonder, is it really uncertain, or is it that we don’t know enough about how things work? Scientists are speculating that the behaviour of electrons are haphazard, and that an electron may show up in a random unexpected location.

Is this so, or do we still not know enough about the behaviour of electrons?

Have our lives become so uncertain because they have become so complex?

Several centuries ago, life may have seemed far more simple, as there may have been much less contact between peoples and places. But nevertheless, certain elements eluded explanation, such as the weather because of a lack of knowledge and technology. Today what most of us take for granted, a simple weather forecast, would have been a great pronouncement a couple of centuries ago!

Uncertainty And The Time Horizon

The amount of uncertainty that we are faced with, seems directly proportional to how far out in time we go, and how many factors are involved.

If I were to wonder about what I was going to have for lunch in 10 minutes from now, that could easily be resolved by making a decision, and thus ending my uncertainty.

On the other hand, if I were wondering what I was going to do for the rest of my life, then that would be a very complex issue, with great uncertainty due to a lot of time and many many factors involved.

What Lies Before Us

Perhaps one of the best ways of dealing with uncertainty can best be described by a quote by St. Francis of Assisi:

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Doing What Is Necessary

No matter what the mind may conjure up or think of, the thing to do, is always to do what is necessary!

So therefore the problem of “how to deal with uncertainty” resolves itself into figuring out “what is necessary“.

How To Determine What Is Necessary

Determining what is necessary, will require determining what is necessary in the moment. The mere task of focusing on the present moment resolves one’s sense of anxiety because one is no longer focused on the future!

Then the task becomes one of deciding. Which involves bringing the brain to focus among one of several possibilities.

The task of choosing requires a good criteria for making a choice.

The best criteria that I know for making a choice is: that which maximizes needs.

Once a choice has been found that will maximize needs, be they the needs of one, or the needs of the many, then the next element is to execute the decision.

Thus we find, that in taking action, bit by bit we are resolving our uncertainty and creating our future one step at a time.

Failing to take action, gives over power and direction for our life into the hands of someone else, who may be more than ready to take action to meet their needs!


  • Uncertainty exists in the future
  • Understanding how something works can eliminate uncertainty
  • Be in the moment
  • Choose a criteria
  • Then make a decision
  • ACT!  Do something!
  • Witness the results
  • If you don’t like the results, choose or try again!

But remember, permit yourself to try, to learn, to find out how things work. We can only fail when we have stopped trying.

If you would like help in dealing with uncertainty, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment.


Share This!

About Ron Lafleur

I am a counsellor in private practice specializing in couples therapy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.