Dealing with uncertainty is an unavoidable part of daily life. Because we can’t see the future, we can never be certain about what exactly is going to happen day to day. Research has found that people vary in their ability to tolerate uncertainty. Some people are okay with having a lot of uncertainty in their lives, and other people cannot stand even a small amount of uncertainty. Anxious people, particularly those adults who worry excessively, are more likely to be very intolerant of uncertainty. They will often try to plan and prepare for everything as a way of avoiding or eliminating uncertainty.
So, what’s wrong with being intolerant of uncertainty? Obviously, it is normal, and even common, for most people to be a bit uncomfortable with uncertainty. We prefer to know that the restaurant we are going to serves food that we like, that at the party we were invited to there will be people we know, and that our boss tells us exactly what he thinks about our work performance. This knowledge feels more comfortable to us than not knowing anything about the restaurant we are going to, being unsure about who will be at the party, and not knowing whether our boss thinks we are doing a good or a bad job.
Learn more about tolerating uncertainty and face your fears using this downloadable PDF.