I’m not a spontaneous person. I’m the person that wants to know what’s going on ahead of time. I’m the person with the notebook. The person that plans her day. Go to the gym. Check. Send emails. Check. Write. Check. Read. Check. That’s me. So you can imagine that coping with uncertainty is not easy for me. But I am learning that uncertainty will arrive and leave without my permission. Now, I can choose to get frustrated. I can be bitter when it comes or I can cope with it. To dare I say, have fun with it. I want to discuss ways to deal with the uncertainties we all face in life.
Accept That You Can’t Control Every Aspect of Your Life
Some of the uncertainties I cope with now is life after my service year and pursuing full-time employment. I have to accept that as I plan and make moves and efforts, I don’t know when things will be stable career wise. My other uncertainties are not knowing if I will fully be acclimated to my environment. I’m constantly learning to challenge my mind to be present to where I am. Not just where I hope to be. This is hard for me because I often think towards my future and my vision. I don’t know whether that’s here in Nigeria.
However, I have to accept that life is filled with uncertainties. Things will always happen that will shake up my world. I’m learning how to deal by accepting that I can’t control every aspect of the way my life unfolds.
Reflect On The Times When Things Went Alright
Accepting that uncertainty is part of life might not be easy when you’re in the present moment. So let’s go back. Let’s reflect on moments in the past when uncertainty barged into our home and things actually ended up alright.
After high school, I planned to go to law school in England. I didn’t want to but it seemed practical. I’m Nigerian and most of us know that for those of us in the arts, law is always that option our parents love. Anyway, I was in Mexico City then, having been accepted to colleges in the UK. The decision of the university I would attend in England was made. But suddenly, the process of obtaining the documents to go was stalled. It was September and I was at home.
I had no idea where I would be attending university and that caused me great frustration. Meanwhile, other things began to emerge. I started discussing with my parents the possibility of coming to New York and it worked out. I came to New York. I had the opportunity to study what I loved and I met some amazing people.
When you’re facing what you’re going through, it’s hard to believe that things will be alright. Life appears to be falling apart. But then, suddenly, life is good again. It’s better.
Reflecting puts things into perspective. It helps you understand that uncertainty doesn’t always mean ruin. At times, what comes after could be exactly what you need.
I now tell myself that though I’ m uncertain once again, there must be another better thing that will come after this…
Take Action With What You Can Control
Now, you’ve accepted that life is going to throw things at you that you don’t expect. You’re reflecting on the times when it worked out. What comes next? Just sit down and take it? No, go ahead and still continue to move. Take action with the things that you can control. Do what you know you can do.
In spite of the uncertainty, I still continue to pursue my writing. I’ve started freelancing for She Leads Africa. I continue to go to conferences and networking events to update my skills and learn new things.
You can still be productive in the midst of uncertainty. You just have to continue to live your life even though you might want to wallow in self-pity. Keeping yourself busy actually helps you to feel better because you’re not sitting and thinking about all the problems and issues.
Give Yourself Time to Relax and Take Life Easy
We have to find ways to relax. We have to do the things that bring us joy and peace. I remain active and keep myself happy by going out. I go to movies. I have my book club. I write. I treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. Do activities you like and enjoy. Instead of panicking and being frantic because you don’t know what’s going on, use the moment to breathe more. Relaxing gives you back energy. You will need the energy to take action towards the things that are within your power.
What are some of the ways that you deal with uncertainty in your life?