Balancing Certainty & Uncertainty


Moving through life can be an uncertain path with all the decisions we make everyday. Knowing or not knowing which way to go.

If you’re like most people, you have concerns about your finances, your career, where you live, your relationships, and raising children. There is a lot to think about.

One of the 6 basic human needs is certainty. We all need certainty in our lives in some capacity or another. It gives us a feeling of security to know what is certain, or a sure thing.

In finances, certainty gives us security in knowing that our paycheque will be there every payday. In our career, certainty is knowing you have a job to go to every day. In your relationship, certainty is knowing that you have a partner that loves and cares for you and will be there for you when you need them. With children, knowing that they depend on you every day and that you are there for them when they need you. Every one of these situations involves certainty.

Certainty is a basic human need that when seen in a positive light can have great results, but not having certainty can really cause a great deal of anxiety and stress for some. For example, if you didn’t have a job to make money and didn’t know when you would have some, that would create a lot of uncertainty.


We take certainty for granted most of the time. Imagine being in a war-torn country and not knowing when a bomb could go off. Obviously, this kind of uncertainty is life threatening and is a lot more important than being out of money.

What about driving somewhere and not being able to find your way? Again, this situation causes uncertainty.

Uncertainty is also a basic human need. The positive side of uncertainty can be very exciting such as a surprise birthday gift or party. An unexpected promotion, or just something as simple as someone doing something for you when you don’t expect it. What a nice surprise that would be.

In a negative situation, uncertainty could be walking on eggshells around someone, unsure of what they may do. The uncertainty of whether your partner could leave you, whether you are good enough or will be loved. These situations can have a very negative effect on one’s self esteem and confidence.

Here are 5 things you can do if you find yourself in an uncertain situation:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive.
  2. Breathe slowly in and out, this slows your heart rate down so you have more control and can make rational decisions
  3. What’s creating the uncertainty? This will give you time to rationalize what’s going on.
  4. Ask yourself, what can I do that’s within my control in this situation right now to create certainty for myself?
  5. Act! Make it happen. Create certainty through rational thinking, creating familiarity for yourself

These 5 things may only take you a few seconds to do depending on the severity of the situation. Following these steps may help to create certainty in any situation that may find yourself in.

Until next time… If you would like to book an appointment to discuss your future plans, contact me at