How To Tolerate Uncertainty

Do we need to know EVERYTHING about events that haven’t happened yet?

This morning, I was absorbed in a Facebook post in the group I like. The group is about renting holiday homes and cottages across the UK.

A holiday cottage owner posted screenshots of the conversation between her and one of her ‘to-be’ guest.

We all watched in disbelief how this lady patiently answered hundreds of holidaymaker’s questions.

The holidaymaker wanted to know absolutely everything; from how much sugar and pepper was left to what material the roof was from (!!).

This post, understandably, attracted a lot of negative comments, targeted at the holidaymaker. Members literally crucified her, calling her names, crazy and much worse.

But I saw a struggling Anxiety sufferer, with no control over ‘needing to control’ future situations.

Another reason I wanted to share this story was because Mental Health problems aren’t always obvious.

Unhealthy Anxiety and Low Mood can be blamed for a lot of what we see and hear, especially on Social Media.

Don’t judge – be kind.

As part of my therapy process, I offer a complimentary consultation.

This is what I tend to hear:

‘At home, I’m able to have a control over everything. It’s only in (fill in the blank) when that control goes.’

Clients are normally very surprised when I say that having control over things isn’t helping with unhealthy Anxiety.

And even more surprised to hear that during therapy, we will learn new skills on how to tolerate uncertainty and distress it may bring.

Share With Friends, Family & Colleagues

If you also need to be ‘prepared’ and ‘have control’ over things that haven’t happened yet, ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Can you be absolutely, 100% certain about everything in life?

  • What are the advantages of needing certainty in life?

  • How has needing certainty in life been helpful to you?

  • What are the disadvantages of needing certainty in life?

  • How has needing certainty in life been unhelpful to you, or even detrimental to your life?

  • Do you tend to predict that something bad will happen, just because you are uncertain? Is this a reasonable thing to do? Could something good or neutral be just as likely to happen?

  • Are there some uncertainties in your life that you can live with? How do you do this? Can you do the same thing in situations where you have difficulty tolerating uncertainty?

Talk to the people you know. How do they cope with the uncertainty and unpredictability of life? Could you do the same thing they do in situations where you have difficulty tolerating uncertainty?

Chances are, by answering these questions you may have discovered that needing ‘certainty’ over future events may not have been very useful, or helpful to you at all.

In my  *Mastery Of Worry* Program (8 weeks long), we focus on learning how to live with, and tolerate uncertainty, by:

Increasing awareness.  

In which situations do you need certainty?

In my above example, the lady couldn’t cope with not knowing EVERYTHING about the property she was about to rent. Do you think it was helpful to her, knowing the answers to her questions? Do you think it prepared her for every eventuality? Do you think she ended up booking the property?

(She didn’t. She made up some story about something ‘coming up at the last minute’. But I bet her Anxiety had a lot to do with that decision. She then proceeded to demand her money back, despite being in breach of contract).

Not responding to the need for certainty.

Now, this is a tough one. Learning how not give in to the need to ‘control’ will cause initial distress to the sufferers.

What can you do, or tell yourself, to help you cope with not responding to your need?

Being focused on the present.

Here, our wonderful mindfulness techniques come to practice.

Download your free copy here:

Learn Three Immediate Anxiety Relief Techniques That You Can Implement Into Your Life Right Now

*Free Immediate Access. The workbook Includes Focus Awareness (Mindfulness), Breathing Techniques & Negative Self-Labelling Impact*

Dealing with a wondering mind.

Yes, our minds are sneaky things- they wonder. After all, they’ve wondered for years- why stop now?

What can you tell yourself to help you when your mind wanders back to needing certainty?

To sum up my article:

Tolerating uncertainty and expected distress is no easy task, if this is how you’ve been ‘preparing for every eventuality’ for years.

If you feel there’s no balance between regular and excessive Anxiety about future events, please do get in touch.

CBT Therapy, coupled with Coaching and Mindfulness, will deliver:

  1. Understanding WHY you do things you do;

  2. New skills and techniques to help you live healthier, happier life (let’s face it, constant ‘preparations’ and ‘scanning for future threats’ is no esy task);

  3. Ability to live in, and enjoy, ‘present’;

  4. And much more.

FREE Workshops you may like:

*Understanding Social Anxiety*

FREE, One-Hour-Long Workshop

Watch Now

*Understanding Worry*

FREE, One-Hour-Long Workshop

Watch Now

6 Ways To Say *NO* Assertively

FREE, One-Hour-Long Workshop

Watch Now

Procrastination Workshop

+ 6 Step Procrastination Action Plan

Watch Now

Share With Friends, Family & Colleagues

Book Complimentary Consultation if you need support with Anxiety, Worry & Tolerating Uncertainty:

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.
Home Page
*Mastery Of Worry* Program
*Overcome Social Anxiety* Program

Further articles you may like:

405, 2022

9 Steps To Improving Your Assertiveness

I just delivered yet another Assertiveness Workshop and I'm feeling so pumped up! Buzzing, in fact. The amount of self-confidence it instantly gives you is amazing. And yes, I'm talking as a Therapist | Coach. It's not only beneficial for clients- I benefit, too. So I've decided to give [...]

1204, 2022

How To Get A Grip On Procrastination

Today, I was inspired to write about procrastination by a long-term, young client of mine. We've been working together for the past 2 years (on and off), as he struggles with Social Anxiety and Low Mood. A big symptom of both is procrastination, or a 'lack of motivation' to do things he should be doing. [...]

1709, 2021

How To Stop Worrying And Start Problem-Solving

Worrying Versus Problem-Solving: Many people believe that worrying and problem-solving are the same thing, and that worrying is very beneficial. It's called having 'positive beliefs about worry'. But the truth is, worrying and problem-solving are two very different things. In this article, we're going to [...]

107, 2021

4 tips on how to get good nights’ sleep when you worry at night

Picture this: You come home after a long, hard day at work and you're looking forward to getting a good night's sleep. But as soon as you lie down, your mind starts to worry, wonder and overthink events to come and situations you're facing. You're lying there in [...]

2022-05-07T17:01:32+01:00
Go to Top