Fear of uncertainty in anxiety and acceptance of uncertainty

Uncertainty is the process of waiting while not being able to identify a situation or event. The sense of uncertainty is experienced in the present and aims to predict possible future outcomes. For example, an exam result, unemployment, being late for a place, meeting someone new, coronavirus are all uncertainty. As you will notice, there are individual and social uncertainties. Social uncertainties can be more frightening than individual uncertainties. But why does uncertainty scare people?

From an evolutionary point of view, we can say that it is a part of the human defense system. For example, it may have helped someone who went to collect fruit in ancient times to stay alert against predators, but wouldn’t it be surprising when we come to today, that the test with a predator, meeting someone new stimulates the amygdala region of the brain at the same level? So far I have explained the mechanism. Let’s draw attention to possible problems.

We speak of psychological problems when there is a mismatch between the ambiguous situation and the existing emotion. Take the cat phobia, for example. People with cat phobia talk about the fact that the cat is very active and they cannot predict what to do. This frightens them. They do not feel safe. In this way, the thoughts of “he will be harmed” become more realistic. So if we don’t feel safe, we perceive everything as dangerous. We can see that people who experience such fears react with intense fear to uncertain situations in other areas of their lives (VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION). We call this condition anxiety disorder. However, uncertainty does not only cause anxiety, it also brings feelings such as hopelessness, burnout and anger.

People cope with feelings of uncertainty in various ways. The most common way of coping is CONTROL. That is, they try to remove uncertainty. Anxiety is more intensely controlled. However, as life is not so controllable, her feelings become even more intense. Then again, the uncertainty-checking goes on and on…

We will talk about the increase in anxiety when CONTROL is excessive.

When you look at the image, you will see what I control and what is out of my control. We should limit the exaggerated measures we will take against uncertainties in our lives. Our actions must be reasonable.

If there is caution on one side of the coin, there is not taking risks on the other side. To quote Leo Buscaglia: “The biggest risk in life; is to take no risks. To laugh; It’s about taking the risk of looking like an idiot. Cry; is to take the risk of being labeled emotional. extending one’s hand to another; taking the risk of becoming addicted. To love; It is taking the risk of not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. Hope; is to take the risk of despair and failure.” In anxiety problems, this risk is not compatible with reality, as a result, anxiety increases. For example, for a person with a cat phobia, encountering a cat is a risk. Avoid risk as much as possible. Break your daily routines sometimes to make it easier to take risks. Make snap decisions. In a moment, turn the steering wheel to other roads (literally and metaphorically)..


This image is about accepting uncertainties and having to leave your comfort zone in order to reduce your fear. As you stop taking precautions and take risks, your comfort zone will deteriorate. It’s normal to be frightening at first, but you will improve as you disturb your comfort. In summary, I talked about the learning process rather than a success story. We have to let it fall. As we fall, it will hurt, and as we hurt, we will learn.

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