Feeling Uncertain is Dangerous

Feeling uncertain sucks.

The ‘what ifs’ debilitate us, endless vacillation exhausts us, and worst of all . . . feeling uncertain stops us from doing things that are in our best interest

As busy professional women, this is dangerous!

Decisions made or a decision avoided when you’re feeling uncertain, makes you particularly vulnerable to making poor choices and puts your best outcomes at risk!

We close ourselves off from the wise counsel of that still small voice within. And that’s always a mistake.


The fear of uncertainty can have profound consequences on our decision-making ability.

In 2006, economists Uri Gneezy, John List, and George Wu studied a disturbing phenomenon called the uncertainty effect.

In this study, they found that feeling uncertain causes us to make decisions that don’t necessarily make sense. Since “this curse of uncertainty makes every option feel unappealing.”


Doubt, fear, and regret are very poor companions. These tumultuous emotions stop us in our tracks, throws us into “analysis paralysis,” and tears at the very fiber of our well-being.

As simple as it may seem, the only way to move out of feeling uncertain is to learn how to make decisions that empower you and cause you to feel certain.

Simple, I said. Not easy.

There are four primary ways to move your thoughts from uncertainty to certainty. Let’s look at them one at a time:

  1. Logically.

Logically means focusing on the facts. By removing emotions from the equation and focusing on facts, a clear path to which actions are in your best interest will emerge.

I have clients who enjoy using a ‘T-chart’ when they want to look at things logically.

Here’s how: grab a piece of paper and draw a ‘T’ across the top of the page. Write the two choices you’re vacillating between above the line. Next, write all the logical reasons why you should take each action. The most reasonable answer will become obvious from this exercise.

  1. Intuitively.Intuitively is the opposite of logically. Instead of thinking, you’ll be feeling into your decision.

    To tap into your intuitive answer, ask yourself this question:

“How does it feel to take whatever action step I’m questioning?”

To get the most out of this exercise, give yourself some quiet time and imagine the potential results of each choice. Then be still and listen. Listen to what your heart feels rather than what your head says. This will bring you your most contented outcome.

  1. Financially.

If you have a financial decision to make, this is the best way to move from feeling uncertainty to certain.

Grab a piece of paper, pencil, and calculator. Draw a T-chart and list your out-going expenses on one side and your in-coming revenue on another.

Then make your decision based on the facts —the numbers don’t lie.

Oh, but watch out for the trap here.

The thoughts you have about finances are a result of the ‘money story’ you learned as a child. Unless you’ve completely worked through your money story, no matter what the numbers say, you may not be able to take healthy, empowered action steps.

By the way, there are coaches available to help you create a new money story, and I’d be happy to provide a referral for you.

  1. Collectively.

Some decisions involve other people and need to be made collectively.

When this is the case, schedule a time when all involved can converse at the kitchen table or office boardroom. Bring a T-chart with you.

Elicit ideas from each person to complete the chart so you can come to an inclusive, well-reasoned decision together. Collective decision-making is especially important if there’s a financial component involved.

Decisions made from a place of feeling uncertain are dangerous.

However, there’s hope and help.

If you’re a busy professional woman experiencing indecision and having trouble making decisions, I encourage you to learn a new skill: emotional empowerment.

It’s the best skill you can learn to turn feeling uncertain about the decisions you make into feeling confident. When you do, you’ll experience an empowered shift in your life. You’ll feel much better, and your life will move forward in positive and thrilling ways.  

Click Here to step into your emotional empowerment