A Psychologist On How To Overcome Uncertainty With Confidence

A little math, shall we? As Beurkens mentioned, the two parts of the anxiety equation are uncertainty and your capability to handle it. Uncertainty, sorry to say, you can’t exactly control—that’s what makes it uncertain. However! You can control the other half of the scale—how you view your ability to cope with different situations.

Allow Beurkens to explain: “We cannot control the uncertainty side of the scale, which is why saying, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that,’ or, ‘It will be OK,'” doesn’t work—because we know it’s not true,” she says. “We can’t control the uncertainty. What we can control is focusing on the other part of the equation: our belief and confidence in ourselves of being able to handle it.” 

So instead of trying to create a sense of certainty around what will, in fact, happen, Beurkens says it’s much more effective to create a sense of certainty around the fact that you will be able to handle whatever ends up happening. After all, you likely have a lot more data to support the latter than you do to predict the former.

So, how do you develop a sense of confidence around your ability to handle what may happen? According to Beurkens, take a look at past examples: “Here’s what you’ve already handled. Here’s how you handled a situation like that,” she offers. “That emphasis and focus is really what helps us support our mental health in the big picture, as we continue to go through this massive period of uncertainty that we don’t have control over.”

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