When Faced With Uncertainty

The undercurrent of doubt is strong. Doubt takes you places that you don’t want to go, but sometimes can’t help going to. It whispers in our ear, “What if….,” “What if….,” “What if….,” It cycles a pattern, becomes a rhythmic drum beat. Doubt can chip away at our faith in humanity and our faith in just about anything or anyone. That’s what makes it dangerous. We can’t let strong currents of doubt numb us, or worse yet, drown us. Don’t let doubt pull you under.

“What if….” thoughts are normal as we weigh the odds. They can range in gravity from small to grand. “What if….”  thoughts are okay if they pass by us like waves. We acknowledge them, consider them, and move on. “What if….” thinking only becomes problematic when it morphs in chronic ripples of dread. A cycle that is stuck on repeat.  What if’s can stress us to the point of paralysis leaving us with the inability to respond or function. We don’t want to fall into a hopeless pit of worry.

In contrast to feeling anxiety and worry, we need to learn to tolerate some uncertainty in life. Worry is only one reaction to a challenging situation. There are other ways to respond as well. Another response to a “What if” scenario is to play it through in your mind. Every situation has more than one possible outcome. Imagine what could happen and how you would deal with it, and what resources and people you would have/need to help you. It’s also okay too to self distract – especially if you are waiting for “news” on a situation or condition. Go for a walk, listen to music, talk to a friend, read about a survivor who made it through what you may need to go through. Lift it up. Ask for strength. Reassure yourself that you are not alone.

Worry stems from an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that has gotten stuck on rewind. We know that worry never solved nothin’. We need to shut down the replay and move forward the best that we can. One step at a time.


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