Why do we dislike uncertainty?

Angela Cox – Executive & Life Transition Coach

We know what we like, and we like what we know.

Isn’t that how the saying goes? And isn’t it funny how true it is when we think of the lives we lead currently. So many of us live in a state of comfortability, shying away from things that are uncertain or unclear.

Now that isn’t always a bad thing, before you think I’m proposing that we all should wander through the world completely uncertain about what we’re doing and what’s coming next. As with all the best things in life, it comes down to finding the right balance.

The question that we should ask ourselves is this:

Do I only do something if I know exactly how I will feel and what the outcome will be?

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It may surprise you to learn that for many of us, the honest answer to that question is yes. We shy away from change, from trying new things, from feelings of being uncomfortable.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way, and more importantly it shouldn’t stay that way, because it is in those moments of change, of new beginnings, of being uncomfortable, that we grow as individuals.

These moments provide us with amazing opportunities to challenge our assumptions, overcome our limiting beliefs and surprise ourselves with the scope of what’s possible when we get comfortable being uncomfortable.

How do we get there?

It starts the moment we decide to embrace what we find on the other side of comfortability and that includes feelings of anxiety, doubt, frustration or fear.

Recognising that they are perfectly normal in the situation and being kind enough to ourselves to explore each of them with compassion in order to overcome them and move ahead.

Holding onto the reasons why we’re choosing to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone is so important. It helps regulate the emotions we talked about above, because it connects us to the purpose of our pursuit which stops us falling down the rabbit hole of negative overthinking.

Asking ourselves what’s the worst thing that can happen, probably sounds like terrible advice in an article about why we dislike uncertainty but go with me for second.

All too often when we really spend time thinking about it, we realise that the worst-case scenario really isn’t as frightening as we made it out to be.

Perhaps it’s that we’ll fail, and maybe we will, but if we reframe our thinking around the word fail and view it as a First Attempt In Learning does it still feel as scary?


Finding the balance between moments of certainty and comfort and moments of uncertainty and being uncomfortable is what makes life amazing. That we can be grateful for the times of comfort and also revel in the moments when we seek more from ourselves and the world around us.

The final tip I will give you in how to get there is a simple one, start now.

It doesn’t matter if you start with something small, if you start feeling scared, the most important thing is that you start.

Closing Summary

All clients of Longhurst are provided their first session with me completely free of charge, as a gift from them to you. If you’d like to explore if executive coaching is right for you, please get in touch.

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Legal Notice & Links

Angela Cox operates under her own business, which you can find here.

Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services Angela Cox provides.

Behaviour Life coaching is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.