Self-love In The Time Of Uncertainty


“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”   –   Mark Twain.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. The concept of self-love may be widely known, acknowledged and talked about. Unfortunately, it is not practised or implemented enough.

One fails to understand that we may fancy the leaves, flowers and fruits that a tree offers, but what really holds them together, as we all know, are the roots. The roots are below the surface, act grounded, take in everything, and give out what is required for a tree to grow stronger and bigger. Self-love is nothing but these roots.

As nations across the globe fight the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 and the disruption caused by it, we are all trying to cope with the unprecedented levels of uncertainty. One of the major causes of stress, during this time of uncertainty, is the lack of self-love or the inability to create one’s own resource of love.

Though we are all born with the ability to deal with the “unknown”, a large portion of it is learned as we mature. And developing our ability to cope up with the uncertainty holds a chance to make us more creative, successful and better able to turn uncertainty into an opportunity.

Frustration and Framing can be two products of uncertainty. We can use these two to our advantage to not feel a failure. Here’s how.

  • Accept that we feel frustrated.
  • Allow ourselves to feel the frustration that stems out of uncertainty.
  • Hold the frustration in for a while and ask self:
  1. What can I learn from this?
  2. What is the next step that I can be working on?
  • Put it down on a piece of paper and reflect on it.
  • Get resilient for handling the frustration that comes from uncertainty.

On the other hand, the impact of Framing has been studied by behavioural science researchers. Frames are a bunch of examples that we use to do a cost-benefit analysis in order to have an estimate of the uncertainty. We evaluate the good and the bad with the help of these frames. How we perceive our options and what our responses to them should be are also based on our frames.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have shown us how, when presented with virtually identical options, we become loss-averse and gain-seeking. Take for example a treatment that has 5% chances of failure or a 95% chance of success. We will all want the 95% chance of success than the former.

Though this and many other types of frames have sometimes been described as biases, they can be used to our advantage.

One of the most powerful frames that can help us create this self-love within is the Hero Frame. We all must have experienced a moment, where we had a person we looked up to; someone who inspired us, or someone who set an example by facing a tough situation effectively. This could be a real-life person or someone from a movie we watched.

It all starts by developing an ability to see ourselves in the place of our hero and navigate through the uncertainty. Sounds wary, but unless we place ourselves well in life, how can we expect others to place us well? Hence, the key element of breaking this chain of uncertainty is to accept this hero frame.

Most of us see uncertainty as an obstacle and a sign to stop. Instead, if you face these obstacles, you are heading in the right direction and questioning yourself in the right manner. Every story we love, from Luke Skywalker to Harry Potter, is about the hero who goes through obstacles. Everyone loves the hero. But what we sometimes don’t realise is that the obstacles are what make our hero the hero. Grow through what you go through and never let uncertainty doubt the love that you have for yourself.

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