There are few things more certain in life, than knowing we will all be challenged by uncertainty eventually. The past weeks have forced a great deal of uncertainty upon all our shoulders. So why is it that some seem unfazed, why is that some even flourish?
The answer may come from our mindset, the implicit beliefs surrounding the pliability of own personal attributes (Dweck, 1999). Such beliefs are often polarised by prefixes like fixed and growth. Though it’s more likely, no person is universally one or other. We all almost certainly have fixed mindsets about some beliefs, and growth mindset about others. To believe intelligence is an innate ability, or to accept that intelligence grows with learning practices? Perhaps to answer, we should firstly ask, how we define “intelligence.” Though I suspect that’s for another blog to answer.
The question remains, why do some individuals thrive where others wane? Perspective as always, makes all the difference. Those that naturally view uncertainty with vigour are truly blessed, for others we may need to reframe our perspective a little. With uncertainty comes doubt, and the increased likelihood of failures. But perhaps that’s okay. Becoming accepting of failure is essential to embracing growth. Ask Steve Jobs after his first or second ousting from Apple. With uncertainty also comes opportunity. An opportunity to choose a new path, a new experience, one which allows us to flourish or fail with equal gusto.
Perhaps then it is fitting, that we face uncertainty together this Spring. Whilst we come together over Easter, surrounded by the shoots of new growth. Let budding blossoms remind us that growth is a choice. As we strengthen our roots deeper, we allow ourselves to reach farther than before.
Some considerations to ease uncertainty;
- Speak to friends or family and ask how they cope with uncertainty. Could you learn anything from them?
- Think back to past experiences where you have coped well with uncertainty and pick out what really helped you feel better back then.
- Take each day one step at a time. Focus on the present moment. A routine can help give you some structure
- In times like this, increase your focus on self-care and kindness. Take time to slow down, to breathe, to connect and to relax.
- You’re likely to be having lots more worry-type thoughts. Be ready not to react to them. Make a commitment to noticing them, rather than trying to respond to them.
- Rumination is a common factor during times of uncertainty – if your mind starts to wander, use your senses to refocus on what you are doing in the present moment.
- Write down a list of helpful facts that you want to stay focused on, so when your mind wanders, you come back to solid ground.
Dweck, C. S. (1999). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.