Our brains are hardwired to make much of modern life difficult. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with uncertainty.

On the bright side, if you know the right tricks, you can override your brain’s irrational tendencies and handle uncertainty effectively.

Our brains give us fits when facing uncertainty because they’re wired to react to it with fear.

In a recent study, a Caltech neuroeconomist imaged subjects’ brains as they were forced to make increasingly uncertain bets — the same kind of bets we’re forced to make on a regular basis in business.

The less information the subjects had to go on, the more irrational and erratic their decisions became. You might think the opposite would be true — the less information we have, the more careful and rational we are in evaluating the validity of that information. Not so. As the uncertainty of the scenarios increased, the subjects’ brains shifted control over to the limbic system, the place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated.

This brain quirk worked great eons ago, when cavemen entered an unfamiliar area and didn’t know who or what might be lurking behind the bushes. Overwhelming caution and fear ensured survival. But that’s not the case today. This mechanism, which hasn’t evolved, is a hindrance in the world of business, where uncertainty rules and important decisions must be made every day with minimal information.

As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact. Successful people are able to override this mechanism and shift their thinking in a rational direction. This requires emotional intelligence (EQ), and it’s no wonder that — among the 1 million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested — 90% of top performers have high EQs. They earn an average of $28,000 more per year than their low-EQ counterparts do.

To boost your EQ, you have to get good at making sound decisions in the face of uncertainty, even when your brain fights against this. Fear not! There are proven strategies that you can use to improve the quality of your decisions when your emotions are clouding your judgment. What follows are eleven of the best strategies that successful people use in these moments.