As people, we all want a certain level of control in our lives. Some people are okay with relinquishing control occasionally, and others feel the need to be in control of everything. When we are faced with uncertainty, it’s common to feel nervous, worried, stressed, and even scared. It’s not easy walking into the unknown, especially if you have bad memories associated with uncertainty and surprise.
If you find yourself feeling uneasy about the unpredictability of what’s to come, consider learning how to find comfort in the fact that you can’t always know what will happen next.
Become unphased by the unknown.
While attempting to shift your perspective the unknown, it’s worth recognizing that uncertainty is, in a way, certain. It’s a fact that even the parts of life that you can regularly guarantee have the potential to become unexpected (besides gravity, we’re pretty sure that’ll always stay the same). You can take comfort in knowing that even when a negative scenario enters your life, it won’t always be a part of your life. It will change, eventually.
Since you cannot see the future, it’s best practice to prepare for anything (within reason) and work on becoming adaptable. Becoming more flexible in the way you think and act will make you more resilient in the face of unexpected events.
Measure your control.
how a pilot can’t guarantee the weather they fly you can’t guarantee what obstacles will appear on your path. But pilots aren’t flying blind or unprepared. They have years of training, extensive tools, and various monitors that help them decide just how to maneuver their aircraft. Like a pilot, you can study to become a better navigator (in life) and use all the tools provided to you. Prepare yourself for unexpected events by increasing your flexibility and monitoring the factors that are within your control. When those components start to and slip out of your hands, grab the controls and readjust them accordingly.
When flying a plane, pilots are in control of three axes: vertical, lateral, and longitudinal. Whether they lift and lower the plane, turn it, or tilt it on its sides, pilots use various levers and pedals to manipulate the plane’s flight. Although this is a drastic oversimplification of what it takes to fly a plane, these are the basic things that pilots have control over. In your life, you have control over so much more than just a few levers, pedals, and switches.
You’re in control of many things in your life but it’s hard to pay attention to them all at once. When you feel like you’re losing your grip on aspects of your life, know that you can always control the following:
- Mental stimuli
- Body language
If you always keep these factors in mind, you’ll be able to turn to them in moments of uncertainty.
Look for support.
Nobody provides quite the support that family, friends, and team members do. Don’t be afraid to lean on them and ask for help. Whether you need assistance solving an actual problem or you’re just looking for someone who’ll listen to your concerns, they’ll be happy to help. In return, always be willing to lend a hand when they need one or offer it up if they’re too embarrassed to ask.
To extend the pilot metaphor, most commercial airlines don’t have one pilot flying the plane, right? There’s also a co-pilot in the cockpit who helps ease the pressure of the job. You’re even more fortunate because you can have multiple “co–pilots” to help you when life throws unpredictable interference your way. No, they won’t be able to take over the controls for you, but they can offer advice, perspective, and encouragement when you need it.
Maintain your destination.
Even when things get hairy and curveballs are flying at you from every direction, don’t change your goals. Embrace the beauty of uncertainty; it’s full of endless outcomes, many of which are positive. Keep a close eye on what you can control and throw what you can’t out the window. When the pressure of preparing for the unknown becomes too intense, look to the ones you love and trust for help. You will reach your destination and you won’t be alone when you get there.