The opposite of uncertainty isn’t certainty but certainty in you

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself…'I can take the next thing that comes along.'" – Eleanor Roosevelt.


These profound words resonate deeply with the nature of uncertainty. Life's journey is often more akin to navigating a river with ever-changing currents than a straight, well-lit path. We rarely have the answers. Yet, our brains are designed to value certainty more than anything else. We often form habits from a young age which tell us that this certainty needs to be outside of us rather than a certainty about our ability to handle a situation.

We look to outside factors and then try to control them, thinking that if we do that we'll be safe and have our needs met. However, this can lead to people feeling stuck and stagnant. Or we can feel confused and demotivated - if we can't trust ourselves we can feel hopeless and like there's no point in trying. This can again lead to use feeling even more stuck. 

Yes, certainty is inherently impossible to find. The main certainty that we have is that we are here right now, and that’s about it. Coaching can help you figure out what else you can be certain about and how to handle times of uncertainty more proactively and in a way that feels like you’re making the most of your time.

A phrase that I return to often is that “The opposite to uncertainty isn’t certainty, it’s a trust that we’ll be ok through the uncertainty whatever it may bring” (Anon).

How can coaching help manage uncertainty?

Here are some ways in which coaching can help with managing uncertainty:

Building adaptability

Uncertainty demands adaptability. Trusting yourself means having faith in your ability to adapt and make decisions when the situation is unpredictable. A coach can help you understand how to be adaptable and what stories hold you back.

Builds resilience

Life's uncertainties can be challenging when they are unanticipated. Coaches can work with you to help you go into situations with the costs of a decision being anticipated so there are fewer surprises. They can also help you to grow from unanticipated situations.

Building self-reliance

Know you’ve got your own back is fundamental to generating self-trust. All of your system needs to know you’re onside. Coaches can help you tap into your inner wisdom and make confident choices, reducing your dependence on external validation.

Facilitate growth

Trusting yourself acknowledges that uncertainty offers opportunities for growth. Coaches can work with you to shift your perspective on challenges -whether they’re in the past, present or future and can enable you to leave situations with a newfound sense of self and often more skills and understanding than if uncertainty had never happened in the first place.

In the context of uncertainty, trust in yourself becomes a true north, guiding you through life's unpredictable currents. Coaching can help you do this efficiently and in a sustainable way, as well as offering the tools and strategies to reinforce this trust and steer your course. It's not about eliminating uncertainty but about cultivating the inner strength and resilience needed to handle it with grace and determination.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW1V & SW19
Written by Rebecca Cockayne, BA. (Oxon), MSc, GDL | Delphi Coaching
London SW1V & SW19

Bex is a coach who loves journeys. She's done a lot and has been on many internal and external ones. She loves to help people long their path too.

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