We tend to want things to be cut and dried in our lives. We rely on matters being “one way or the other”. It’s really uncomfortable to deal with being in an in-between condition, isn’t it?
Whether we’re in between jobs, in the process of moving house, or getting over the end of a relationship, periods where we’re changing from one state to another can be disconcerting and even painful. Uncertainty and ambiguity are big contributors to stress and anxiety.
Ambiguous situations seem to be on the increase.
The frantic pace of life in our world today means we have to make decisions without having all the information we’d like in order to properly assess situations and act. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t seem to be in any rush to slow down, and decisions still have to be made by all of us.
It’s natural to want to be able to rely on certain aspects of life. If we have “sure things,” we can more easily build expectations on them. Problem is, sure things are rare. Expectations can also be an endless source of frustration. Embracing ambiguity is tough for us all!
It requires a great deal of patience to make our peace with ambiguous situations. Patience is necessary, but unless we practice patience, our anxiety will skyrocket. Once again, mindful awareness of just exactly what we’re doing in this present moment can help. As long as we stay observant of ourselves—our actions, thoughts, feelings, sensations—in the now, we’re ahead of the game in learning to develop patience.
Without patience, coping with ambiguity is nigh impossible.
Coping with ambiguity is a skill that can be learned. Once you have the realization that it’s the uncertainty of many situations that’s the stress-invoking aspect, you’re on the trail of reducing anxiety. I’ve heard more than a few people say that what bothers them in any given situation isn’t the outcome—any outcome could be dealt with—but it’s the uncertainty that plagues them.
Fear of ambiguity can really hinder us in our lives. It’s quite fine to use patience to see if more information presents itself about an issue. However, we cannot put our lives on hold waiting for every scrap of data to come in before we act. Fear of ambiguity, like all forms of fear, paralyzes us and prevents forward development in our lives.
Always be aware that one of the very best ways to get used to ambiguity is to take an inventory of your abilities, skills, and talents—and go right ahead and act! Action is indeed sometimes the only way to resolve an ambiguous situation.