How to deal with ambiguous situations

Life is a roller-coaster ride. You might never know what the next moment has in store for you. But you have to sit through the ride and try to enjoy every moment of it. True, life is full of extraordinary challenges and ambiguous situations. Uncertainty brings thrilling moments in our everyday life. People who manage them rightly, enjoy their everyday life; and people who don’t, struggle to face ambiguity in their life. Here are a few simple tips for dealing with ambiguous situations.

Remove meaning

choose whether a task is right or wrong

Whatever you have learned so far in your life may give you enough reasons to choose whether a task is right or wrong. When you don’t possess any sort of experience with something that you are about to do, obviously, you will feel uncomfortable about the uncertain situations. The situation might be worse if you have heard something bad about them through some of your friends or colleagues. Never believe that if something hasn’t worked for others, it’s not going to work for you as well. As every human being is born unique and possess his/her own talents, you may not know your capability in making a task successful, unless you try it by yourselves. It’s good to know others’ experience. But, while dealing with ambiguous situations, don’t compare your situations to them. Instead, just consider them as the guidelines to perform your work in a successful manner.

Be aware of your feelings

happiness

There is no human being in the world who can understand you better than yourself. You are the master of your own life. In order to estimate whether you are uncomfortable with ambiguous situations or not, you must be aware of your feelings. In fact, it’s so simple than to suffer from the confusion about facing uncertainty. One of the best ways to know your feelings is to rate yourselves about your comfort. To be precise, rate your happiness level in a scale of 0 to 10; 0 represents nil happiness and 10 represents 100 percent happiness. Ask yourselves whether the ambiguous situations you are about to face will make you happy or not. If your answer is yes, then you have to face it at any cost. If your answer is negative, obviously, you may simply avoid the opportunity.

Act fast while dealing with ambiguous situations

decision

Once you become aware of your feelings, you must plunge into action immediately. If you delay in making your decision, your mind will flood with negative thoughts. These thoughts will prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone. As a result, you may miss your opportunities for a better life. That’s why you should act fast. However, you must not hurry with your actions. Make your decisions fast and proceed with your actions steadily. Of course, ambiguous situations involve stepping into a complicated system where you might not know how to proceed. But, once you step into it, you will trace your path on your own, thereby leaving no written rules for facing any situation. It will result in either more success or less success.

Evade your fears

Evade your fears

Fear is one of the worst enemies of human beings. It prevents people from being themselves. With a lot of uncertainty in your path, obviously, you will be flooded with fearful thoughts. Fear is common to every human being in the world. But some people overcome it to become successful, while some others don’t. When you visualize yourselves about the negative side of your ambiguous situations, you will have hundreds of reasons to leave the opportunity. That’s why you should avoid them. The only thing that prevents you from being great is your fear. You cannot control yourselves from fearful thoughts; but, you can make them disappear if you focus your attention on the benefits of stepping into your ambiguous situations. Consider your fear as the other side of yourself who prevents you from becoming successful. Challenge your fears and fight against them.

Embrace positivity while dealing with ambiguous situations

Embrace positivity

Positivity boosts one’s self-confidence and ability. When you have the courage to face any situation, obviously you will have favorable circumstances. Millions of people speak about positivity; but, they fail to embrace it in their real-life situations. One of the success principles of dealing with ambiguous situations is to focus your attention only on the positive side of the outcome. If you need the results deliberately, you must face such situations without thinking how hard it will be. Make decisions on your own and be yourselves. You may seek help and guidelines from others, but the final decision should be entirely yours. With these basic techniques, you can deal with any number of ambiguous situations. Enjoy the thrilling moments of life!

One more thing…

It is easier to deal with uncertain situations if you have trained your mind to be flexible and creative. If you are unsure of how to achieve that flexibility and creativity, read on.

Be Flexible in mind and  Creative in life

“The mental flexibility of the wise man permits him to keep an open mind and enables to readjust himself whenever it becomes necessary for a change”.

– Malcolm X

[Noted American Muslim minister and human right activist who advocated the rights of blacks instilled the sense of self-esteem in Black Americans]

girl with red glasses

As per researches, persons with flexible nature are adaptive to various situational demands. They are able to shift their mindsets and behavioral patterns in any social confrontation planning strategies and acting accordingly. Researchers also believe that flexibility is the key to good psychological health that has a significant contribution to the daily wellbeing of an individual. Flexibility induces versatility making an individual adept in meaningful activities.

Flexibility implies that our mental set up should not be rigid but able to shift abstract and specific thoughts in response to various situations. Life brings us numerous twists and turns and a flexible mind can react to those situations intelligently; thus, carving out amazing ways of betterment. Flexibility improves problem-solving skills and hence, increases mental intelligence.

Being flexible in an uncertain world

planning and timely execution

In today’s world of uncertainty, the course of your action depends upon a number of variable factors. Nothing holds good indefinitely. Alternate planning and timely execution are always recommended if the original strategy doesn’t work. An agile mind helps in developing contingency plans and gives you enough room to learn to roll with punches and handle issues resulting from countless possible outcomes. Proper mental alignment to swim along or against the tide leads one towards the desired goal. Be prepared to play golf with an apple.

Being a stickler and perfectionist is good but it is not wise to think that this principle will work perfectly 365 days a year. To what extent you can bend or accommodate determines your flexibility. I cannot think of passing a single day without getting my rooms cleaned. If I leave this activity for one day, certainly the room will not turn inhabitable but my rigid mind will prick continuously about this undone activity. A flexible mind will help me think that I have devoted that time for some important study that was urgent.

Flexibility helps in prioritizing. Suppose you have made a weekly lesson plan for your kid and he fails to conform to it. Instead of coming hard on him, it is wise to give a patient hearing for his inability to deliver. Certain things could be brought to light which may have gone unnoticed. You can come up with a better feasible plan. This is applicable in the work front as well while dealing with subordinates and teammates.

Human nature is prone to mental inertia. Developing mental flexibility demands practice just as your body needs regular yoga sessions to maintain flexibility. Trying the following will be of great help.

Know your behavioral pattern

 right course of action

Are you a conformist? Are you a perfectionist? Or you are a happy go lucky person? We need to understand this first clearly. Mental flexibility depends largely on a person’s behavioral patterns. Unless you realize your behavioral pattern, it would be tough to take the right course of action. If you fall in between the extremes, then you have the right mix of discipline and mental flexibility.

Avoid sticking to ‘one and only’ principle

Being a perfectionist is a great achievement

Being a perfectionist is a great achievement. A perfectionist has a very higher level of creativity and motivation that leads towards great success. But the problem sets in when the person goes on raising the bar and thinks that his way is the right one to follow and expects others to think along. He fails to recognize that others may have better alternatives. Perfectionists can also be flexible, provided they do not give importance only to their own viewpoint of doing things but accommodate other’s methods as well. You become more acceptable and life becomes easier.

Find out the areas that can be compromised

Leadership

Mental flexibility demands a little compromise in certain areas without affecting the person’s basic value system. In weekly review meetings, you, as the boss, might always the first talker highly stressing your opinion, expecting it to be instantly taken since you have tasted success earlier. But in one meeting, as a team leader, ask another teammate to place his views first. Understand that this too is important. Often, you need to give way to others. That won’t affect your performance.

Avoid riding on negative emotions

Avoid riding on negative emotions

Typical negative emotions like fear, fury, and humiliation that result from adverse situations negatively affect mental flexibility. As for example, if a person faces a severe financial loss in business or his partner ditches him, he finds difficult to come out of fear and humiliation and accordingly, mental rigidity sets in. His thought process becomes one tracked. Though life offers negative situations, one should not dwell too much on these.

Take up flexible actions

Take up flexible actions

Just as we take up different exercises at regular intervals to maintain our physical flexibility, similarly following different work patterns or a different course of action induces mental flexibility. It is easier said than done as we get so accustomed to our routine activities. Just changing the sequence of daily activities can help. Definitely, we need to check that such actions do not create huge turmoil. It is as per convenience that small alterations can have a good impact.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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