Anxiety caused by uncertainty


Sometimes we face anxiety, unclear brief in the work flow of the studio while the iterations happen, there are two typical person who will response to this kinda situation. First, the typical person, who will let the coordination going on with no so much clear direction, working with assumption of what the other people think. Second, the typical person who tries to clarify whether the direction is correct, that person will spend much time on calibration, clarification before working, and do the job.

Olivia fox Cabane Illustrated this condition in her book, The charisma Myth, she wrote that For many of us, a state of doubt or uncertainty is an uncomfortable place to be. Robert Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, says his patients often report they would rather receive a negative diagnosis than be left in suspense, even tough the uncertainty would still allow hope of a positive outcome. [1]

Book By Olivia
Book By Olivia Fox Cabane, Titled The charisma Myth MAster the Art of Personal Magnetism

Imagine that you are dealing with difficult situation whose outcome is uncertain. You envision a variety ways it could play out and you strategise on how to best deal with each, you imagine several scenarios, rational , logical thing to do. Obviously this condition takes much of your time on uncertainty. Olivia then concluded that our natural discomfort with uncertainty is yet another legacy of our survival instincts. We tend to be more comfortable with what is familiar, which obviously hasn’t killed us yet, that with what is unknown or uncertain, which could turn out to be dangerous.

I think this is happens occasionally where-ever you work, when clients called you, and the intent is not so clear. sometimes it left you in the condition of uncertain, unclear, and waste much of your energy. Olivia wrote concise way of act on how to solve this problem into 3 steps of doing. Step one and two are so so, first is de-stigmatize discomfort, thinking that this condition is common, normal, sometimes happens. Second, is neutralise negativity, there must be fallacy in our thinking, thinking that this condition is like our brain, which has filters for relevant informations, and our mind will present us with a seriously distorted view of reality. This tendency is called negativity bias.

The step three, is the most important. It is called Rewrite Reality. It’s the moment, when the situation is not clear, and you are trying to push, to clarify the information as clear as possible. This technique is not easy, because in order to do this, you have to connect with direct communication by phone, talking directly and avoiding email, indirect communication. The information need to be very clear, and attitude of solving problem and willing to be helpful will be needed.

Suasana Internship di Studio
Suasana Internship di Studio


Olivia concluded after these three steps you have can now do phase “putting it together” , while you put all of the informations into several sequence in action. It includes the instructions you can use any time to de-stigmatize discomfort, neutralise negativity ,and rewrite reality. and finally, you are in the condition of comfortable in discomfort, to delve into the sensation of discomfort, which can help you to access your best performance during highly comfortable situations.

Suasana Diskusi di Studio RAW
Suasana Diskusi di Studio RAW

Thank you Olivia for writing such beautiful book. It’s worth learning.

Merry X Mas and Happy Holiday for everybody
Merry X Mas and Happy Holiday for everybody

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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