When Faced with Uncertainty
When you are faced with the unknown, that is when you don’t know what to do with a novel situation, there is only one thing to do- explore. Why? Exploration is the solution that has been baked into our brain’s structure and formulation.
Our brain consists, largely, of two hemispheres. The right hemisphere regulates and spurs forth the areas of creativity, imagination, intuition, and negative emotions. These variables combined with the capacity to coordinate larger motor skills has adapted the right brain in the dealing of unknown and novel occurrences, environments, and objects. That is to say, anything that may possibly pose a threat. Conversely, the left hemisphere has been adapted to deal with that which is familiar, the known.
Due to this difference, pondering about how to solve and/or approach the unknown with the linear, habitual, detail oriented left hemisphere is ineffective. Essentially the left hemisphere will search through its pre-existing database for logical solutions based on past experiences and encounters; however, let’s be honest- in most cases new problems require new solutions. And new solutions can’t be found and implemented until explored, researched, and discovered.
The frustration that arises in moments of not knowing what to do comes from the inability to categorize the new unknown subject into a pre-existing category. Scouring pre-existing categories won’t bring us any closer to identifying, and subsequently defining the new subject. Not knowing something, not being able to figure something out produces negative emotions. Emotions that have less to do with a wounded ego, and more so originating from the uncertainty that the undefined brings. That which is unknown is uncertain and the uncertainty of not being able to define something as good or bad, or said in a different way, safe or dangerous, is anxiety inducing.
So, when faced with the unknown, don’t sit around saying, “I don’t know.” Once you identified your inability to identify the unknown, be courageous and explore. Exploration requires trial; exploration requires risk, and trial and risk involves chance- a chance to be either right or wrong. You don’t need fine tuned skills or pefection to try something. Being logical and having everything planned out won’t help you in addressing the unknown. You can’t understand the nature of a shadow until you approach that which is shadowed.