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Certainty in Uncertainty

Although many adjectives describe current times and situations, the most applicable descriptor of modern days is likely to be ‘uncertain.’ Certainty and control are often illusions, and as humans, we desire control even if it is only perceived. However, many cannot even perceive certainty for the next two – let alone five or ten – years. For those who enjoy planning and preparing their lives, this lack of control can cause a great deal of stress.

Consider the following principles when navigating what may be indecisive times ahead:

  • Problems sometimes work out and do not require outside intervention. In some ways, humans possess less control than is believed. Usually, worrying or catastrophizing is not necessary because unexpected solutions exist and take action at the correct time and place. Similar to thoughts in the human mind, some life circumstances resolve themselves like “mud in a pond settles and the water clears after the kids have ended their swim” (Cohen, 2004, chapter 5).

  • Time will exist in the future to deal with specific stressors. Additionally, more resources (ideas, knowledge, money, etc.) may also be present to deal with those problems. Worrying may be difficult to avoid, but it often contributes nothing.

  • Most are more resilient than they believe. Humans were created to survive. The spirit of mankind usually takes actions necessary to continue living, and it often triumphs even when it thinks it will not.

Although these principles are strong coping strategies, circumstances can often present themselves too overwhelming, and outside help may be necessary. In these cases, the national crisis hotline is available at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text chat line 741741.


Cohen, D. (2004). The one who is not busy: Connecting with work in a deeply satisfying way. Gibbs Smith.


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