Reducing Anxiety, Rumination and Avoidance

5. Learn when to stop seeking information and start acting.

People who are intolerant of uncertainty often read masses of information before taking any action because they’re trying to feel absolutely certain of (1) how best to proceed, and (2) that their actions will lead to the outcome they want.

For example, reading 10 books about writing a novel before putting pen to paper yourself. Or, reading hundreds of articles about overcoming anxiety before trying any of the suggestions.

If you have this tendency, learn to notice when it’s happening and experiment with the idea that trying something yourself is often the best way to accelerate your learning.

7. Learn to recognize when you’re jumping from one idea to the next due to intolerance of uncertainty.

This tip is most relevant for the business sector.

Anxious people sometimes jump around from one idea to the next because they can never feel absolutely certain that the idea they’re currently working on is going to be successful.

Something similar can happen in romantic relationships – People who want certainty sometimes “keep one foot out of the boat” in their relationships because they struggle with not feeling absolutely certain if the relationship is right.

Pay attention to whether these patterns keep happening to you. Sometimes a cue to change direction is a valid instinct but repeated patterns may be more related to intolerance of uncertainty.