Uncertainty is like being on the outside of giant inflatable bouncy house. You run around the perimeter, checking the folds and flaps but if there’s no one actively leaving the bouncy house, it can be hard to tell how to get in. It’s seeing a goal, having a desire, even knowing the basics of how to get in, but being unable to do so because you’re missing something critical. So what do we do when we are unsure? How do we survive?

One of the first things we can do when we become nervous and unsure of what to do, is to calm ourselves down. As stereotypical as it is, deep breathing is a wonderful tool to doing so. In addition, try to block everything out for a moment. Get some silence, some area with stillness, so you can think properly. When there’s chaos around us, it becomes easy for there to have chaos within us. Stimuli also takes energy and focus to understand, so getting away from that gives you more cognitive resources to put towards solving that uncertainty.

Then ask yourself, what do I know? With any problem, there is context. Try to map out what you understand and what you don’t. From there, it’s easier to make an educated guess about some of the gaps in your knowledge. In short, zoom out on the problem. Put that uncertainty in its natural broader environment. Then, if you can, do something to solve your uncertainty by getting more information.

If you happen across a strange dog at night, there are different solutions that you could come to, but you could solve that uncertainty of what to do in a pretty quick fashion. Not all uncertainty is like that. Sometimes it’s longterm because its a big question. The tactic doesn’t change too much however. Put it into the broader context and try to get more information. Uncertainty can be a harsh, powerful emotion, but you can tame it with logic.

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