How do I deal with Risk and Uncertainty?


The difference between Risk and Uncertainty is what we should understand before we talk about how to deal with them. Risk is known and unknown both. Uncertainty is unknown and only unknown Thus, calculate your risk, believe in yourself and face uncertainty with faith. For every single situation in life, the risk is a factor that we can calculate. The rest is the uncertainty we must accept. The trick here is to mindfully manage risk and uncertainty.

You are going to pick up your friend from the airport. You will calculate your journey based on your prior appointments. The traffic and weather conditions in your city. Based on an assessment of factors you say that today being a Saturday you will leave a little late as traffic on the airport road is not that heavy. You reach the airport in the nick of time only to learn that your friend’s flight was cancelled at the last minute. Thanks to a flash strike by airport staff. Risks you know of and can plan relatively well for, uncertainties are the killers here.

Listing your risks

Begin by listing your risks. I do this on a daily basis for any situation I find myself in. So, say, you want to give up your present job for a new one. Before you do that, write down the risks you will face. Also, note the factors that will play an important role in your decision. Make a list, because it gives you clarity and focus on the matter and spell out for you what you are getting into here.

Play the situation out

Playing the complete event or situation in my mind helps me see many a risk I did not see before. For me, this helps plan for every uncertainty I find myself in on a daily basis.  How I do it is to begin at the end and play out the uncertain situation in my mind. Say I’m running a marathon. Here I begin at the podium, win then go back to the cheers from the crowd and then to the breasting of the tape, then onto the starting block.

For instance, here I may realise that  I’m wearing the wrong shoes today. Holding onto that thought I keep rewinding the event and making notes along the way. I make notes for all the steps to the event right up to say when I leave home for the race. I ask myself – Am I carrying the right kit? (Here is when I put my track shoes in the duffel bag).  It is a great way to prepare for any risks you may take in a given situation. If you are well prepared it erases the risk factor and also takes the question of uncertainty out of the mind. Only do not ever let the playout become a cause of fear that is to pitfall here, so avoid it.

Grow your mind-muscle

This growth mindset is based on the knowledge that you have some basic traits to work within any given situation, talents aptitudes or interests to help achieve your goal. As for the elements, you do not have is where the risk and uncertainty factors come in! Here, you flex your mind-muscle and learn. You learn either, before or along the way while dealing with the situation. This flexibility helps you succeed. Much like bodybuilding, I call this mind building. Thus, folks who succeed over and over again, have what I call a 6 Pack Growth Muscle.

Be ready to fail

Why would you even take the time to do something if you’re not going to do it to the best of your ability? Risk and Uncertainty cause fear and sometimes it is paralysing. So give it your all, this is terrifying at times. Uncertainty robs you of any excuse you may have for not succeeding to go all out. If you do fail – be ready to tale the risk by picking yourself up and repeating. Do this enough times and you’ll succeed.

Learn from your mistakes

You don’t always succeed. Thanks largely to the uncertainties.  Making mistakes doesn’t feel good. A failure is an event, not a person. It does not define you. So don’t let it ever! When you fail to go back home and make a list of why you failed this time around. It will give you many an insight you never saw before. Yes, it is an uncertain time and you may have to take risks. Take calculated risks. Learn from the mistakes and get back on the road. You do not want the mistake to make you, do you?

Until you take the risk you will never know how far you will go. Thus, learn to deal with the risk and uncertainty so that you start to enjoy the process more than the outcome. Success will be yours!  

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