When we are in a state of uncertainty, it is impossible for us to keep at bay not only a context objectively beyond our control but our thoughts. Especially in times like this, where we are literally overwhelmed by what is happening to us for the Coronavirus COVID-19, it can be helpful to have an effective method in mind to manage uncertainty.
Uncertainty translates into a state of alarm that, not having a precise object, is wavy and sensitive to any new external stimulus. All this causes irritation and discomfort. It can come to depress us, to paralyze us or to fill us with anguish.
Reduce uncertainty and negotiate with the uncertainty
Since feeling uncertain is not pleasant at all, over time we have invented a thousand strategies to keep uncertainty at bay: take out insurance and other contracts. Activate planning, forecasting, and verification tools. Issuing certificates and certifications. Formulate rules and laws, promises and oaths. Establish procedures and hierarchies. Take exams and investigate. Accumulate money.
Since the second post-war period, we have built a world in which uncertainty seems to have progressively slipped to the margins: the most remote, most disadvantaged, most unfortunate and least visible. We value the idea of comfort and all the tools that can get us even more. We underestimate the intrinsic fragility of the systems we have built. We ignore our individual fragility and that of the planet we inhabit, and which we exploit with unconscious rapacity.
Having to change the way we work, or not being able to do things that until yesterday seemed obvious to us, can also help us think about what is really important and understand what our priorities are. Maybe to redefine them, because perhaps, without our realizing it, they have changed with the passage of time. Or maybe they are changing right now.