Dealing with uncertainty

This story showed up on my feed. I had to read it a couple of times and I’m still not sure what I think of it. So I couldn’t give it my recommendation. The advice in it seems like good advice but still there is something about the story that rubs me the wrong way.

I think it’s a feeling communicated in the piece that the way described is the only right way of dealing with uncertainty. But that might not be a completely fair judgement on my side. I also imagine that some, when stuck in an uncertain situation, need an authoritative voice. That can feel very comforting. But he’s telling us that you should try to reason yourself out of the uncertainty induced frozen state. For me personally, it doesn’t seem to work.

It’s absolutely right that everyone has gone through and will go through periods of uncertainty. And that everyone will at some point feel panicky because of it. While I was thinking about that, I realized most people have developed some highly personal strategy of dealing with uncertainty. If everyone ended up frozen or sticking their head in the sand, nothing would ever get done.

When things start to feel overwhelming, I have music therapy. First, to work trough the anxiety fear and frustration and the anger that sometimes comes from that, I will play ‘Lose It’ from Atreyu. With this song I can scream all of that out. With lines like “If I take this leap will I broken? I’m dying to know!” the song bundles all those emotions in 4 minutes. Usually those 4 minutes is enough, but I will repeat the song until I feel spent.

Then, when I’ve let the obstructing emotions out, I put on ‘Drive’ by Incubus. To tell me it’s okay, everyone feels that way. And that it is up to me how I react to the uncertainty. This song calms me down and builds me up to face anything “with open arms and open eyes”.

These songs together, probably say the same thing as Gregg Williams would have me say to myself out loud. The difference to me is that trying to tell myself things I know to be true doesn’t mean they always feel true. Music for me is much closer to my emotions. Singing what I know to be true has a much bigger chance of making me feel like it’s true.

I’m interested to know what the personal coping strategies are from anyone reading this. Feel free to comment.

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