These days, things feel more uncertain than ever. Take the economy, for example. By almost any objective measure, we’re doing much better economically than we were nearly three years ago, but the vibes are… off.
According to a recent CNN poll, almost 60% of people say that Biden’s economic policies have made things worse — yet wages are on the rise, and unemployment rates are at one of the lowest levels they’ve been in the past 50 years. So what’s going on?
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For one, we’re still bouncing back from astronomically high prices due to inflation in 2021 and 2022. Mortgage rates are also at their highest levels in more than 20 years making it really difficult to buy a house and Democrats and Republicans just can’t seem to get on the same page. But while all of this uncertainty in the world may feel bad, uncertainty itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Maggie Jackson, author of Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure says making hard decisions when we really don’t know the outcome is actually really good for our brains. “The productive nature of uncertainty is closely tied to adaptability, flexibility, creativity, and resilience,” Jackson says. “And those are skills that we need in times of flux when things are changing. So our human uncertainty which we denigrate and undervalue is actually a path to human flourishing.”
Uncertainty is also incredibly important when we’re deciding where and how to invest our money. We know that this is especially difficult for women because there are no “perfect” or exact answers. However, Jackson says that’s where women have an advantage: “Women like being comprehensive, seeing the problem from multiple angles and weighing their options. So the natural tendency on the part of many of us to research more or to get more information, is actually an asset.” She says taking time to make a decision is never “wrong,” because in that moment, you’re thinking deeply about what to do next.
Curious about the advantages of practicing more uncertainty in your day-to-day life? Maggie Jackson says the next time you get a call, try answering your phone without first using caller ID. Or, if you’re wondering about the answer to a question that’s on your mind, try to figure it out on your own without reaching for your phone and Googling it first. 🙂
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- How She Does It Podcast Episode 19: Invest Like A Woman
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