Uncertainty Fatigue Turned me Into a Bratty Teenager

This is what it sounded like inside my head earlier this week:

“I don’t want to do stuff and I’m mad about it and I don’t want to talk about it.”
*foot stomp

How much do I sound like an entitled angry teenager? I don’t sound like someone who should be allowed to have a coaching podcast. But I have it on very good authority that I’m not the only one who has felt like an angry teenager at least once recently. I want to call out the culprit so that we can move past this and back into alignment: Uncertainty Fatigue.

We Already Did That

We all know the 2020 plot twists. Everyone I know has been forced to make decisions, pivot plans, and figure stuff out. Big things and truckloads of small things.

The big things were often unavoidable. Fortunately, I didn’t have to figure out how to home school and work simultaneously, but I was busy. I created new pandemic related content for my clients, and I recently adjusted my online group coaching program for women  framework to better integrate global issues such as social inequality. The day to day things were a constant inconvenience. Like learning what a ring light is, teaching my parents how to video chat, meal planning for a week at a time, sourcing masks, wearing masks…

That said, going into the summer many of us have created new domestic routines and habits that at least feel comfortable, if not enjoyable.

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Change Coming? Cue Uncertainty Fatigue

Restrictions are beginning to loosen up and there is no collective sigh of relief. In part because things aren’t actually “normal”, but there is something else. Each time the restrictions change we are back in uncertainty and we need to make decisions. Have you heard variations on these?

  • I don’t know how I’m going to do the pod thing because we can’t agree on the people
  • Should I go for that distance hang, I need to consider transport without Uber or TTC
  • What if I’m mandated to work out of the home but don’t feel safe or just really don’t want to?
  • Is it reasonable to go grocery shopping more often if I really suck at meal planning? (That one might be me)

What’s I’m trying to figure out today is Father’s day and what plan will make everyone happy. I know there will be a solution if I use my critical thinking skills and just make some decisions, but…. This is where the bratty teenager in me comes out.

(Internal teenager voice) I don’t want to figure out how to do it in a new way. I’m mad we aren’t allowed to do it the old way. I’m just going to go to my room and sulk.
*door slam

And I didn’t really know what was behind this mood at first. More than anything I was overcome with a feeling of resistance and rebellion. Now I understand that it was. Uncertainty Fatigue. And the irony is that this resistance is actually making it worse. You need to make a decision to get past the uncertainty. Resistance is keeping me tangled up in this issue. Waffling between the options in my head is making this a way bigger deal than it needs to be. I feel stuck. I’m frustrated. I just want to do what I usually do which is not an option, right now but I don’t want to have to figure it out. And do you know what many people do when they feel stuck? They disengage. 

Now Father’s Day is easy because it is coming no matter what, and I’m going to call my dad the second I send this and figure it out. But Uncertainty Fatigue can be more insidious and have bigger implications, for example, people have been resisting making decisions about their careers, their family, or even their own personal healthcare.

Do You Need to Decide Something?

So pay attention to your inner teenager. Are you feeling an unidentified resistance to something? You might be dealing with Uncertainty Fatigue. What are you putting off dealing with? Stop waffling and make a decision, It will feel so good to take control in a world which will always be filled with uncertainty.

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