Uncertainty about the future is one of the biggest stressors students face. It’s completely normal to feel anxious about the future, especially if you aren’t sure what you want to do. We all want to find that unique, tangible purpose for our lives. While it’s impossible to eliminate uncertainty in our lives, there are ways to embrace the unknown in all its complicated glory.
Change your Perspective
Instead of seeking a life purpose (a specific direction or career), focus on discovering the things that make you feel the most alive, thankful, inspired, and joyful. What connects you to the present moment? When do you feel the most alive? Your sense of purpose is unique. While some people enjoy learning new things, others may find peace in serving others. When you face challenges, your unique purpose reminds you of what’s truly important.
Make a Plan
While you can do everything possible to plan your future, you won’t have complete control over the outcome. We often measure our future with expectations. Negative expectations may close us off from opportunity, and positive expectations may lead to unrealistic standards. It’s healthier to find the middle ground and prepare yourself for all possibilities. When you create a plan that includes different situations, you’ll be able to adapt when plans shift. Instead of worrying about how your life will turn out, appreciate the actions you can take now.
Bring Awareness to your Feelings
When you start to feel anxious, take a deep breath. Try to think about the reasons you’re nervous or scared. Talk through your thoughts with a parent or counselor. A lot of our worries are about things that may never happen. Let go of those worries. Live your life and do what you love. Make short-term goals that include your passions, hobbies, and talents.
When you experience uncertainty about the future, acknowledge the unknown, then look for ways to embrace the uncertainty with wonder and awe. Life would be boring if you knew everything about your future. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Use each unexpected event as a stepping stone to the best version of yourself.