Last week, the crash of the American stock market sent my mind spinning into a ferocious tornado of “what ifs” until I couldn’t function anymore. For several days, I found myself shut down from the world and holed up in a proverbial cave. Even coaches occasionally lose their footing and tumble into a downward spiral of twisted thinking, because we’re human too :).
When the financial storm finally started to lift, I peeked out long enough to catch a ray of sunshine, and that was enough to remind me that “this too shall pass”. And that’s when I began thinking about how to share this lesson with you.
We’re living through a time where our jobs are not secure, the value of our homes is not increasing, and our investments in the stock market are at risk. It’s almost as if a dense fog has settled in and we’ve lost our bearings about where we are. We’re not sure which way to go because we’ve reached a fork in the road and we can’t see the choices in front of us. Uncertainty can paralyze us with fear, or if embraced, it can thrust us into a world of new possibilities.
Regardless of your circumstances, if you feel like you are driving through a long stretch of fog right now and you’re not sure where you’re headed, we’re in this together. So let’s explore four ways to embrace uncertainty:
Accept what is and detach from the outcome – Face reality with as little judgment as possible. Think of the unknown as neutral, rather than good or bad. Let go and detach from any outcome you can’t control. Keep your options open.
Explore the unknown – Work through these questions:
- What are all of the things that could be great about this?
- What is the worst that could happen?
- What is the likelihood that the worst will happen?
- If the worst were to happen, what would I need to do to prepare?
Interrupt worry – Uncertainty can worry us sick, but only if we let it. When worry creeps in interrupt it! Here are four ways to interrupt worry:
- Get busy – Occupy your body and your mind will follow
- Put it off – Decide to enjoy today and maybe you’ll worry tomorrow…if it feels right
- Turn it over – Write down your worry, put it in a box, and turn it over to a higher power
- Hum a little tune – It is impossible to worry when you’re singing or humming. Even if it’s not out loud. Find a song that gives you strength, “I Will Survive” is a good one, and start singing or humming…over and over again
Trust yourself – Chances are, you’ve faced difficult times in the past. Reflect on those situations and remind yourself how well you handled them, even though it may have been uncomfortable at the time.
And finally, remember none of us are certain about tomorrow. We can fret about the past or about the future, but often we can’t control it no matter how hard we try. What we CAN do is make the most of each moment…each NOW…because in reality, that’s all we really have. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
What will it be for you?
How do you deal with uncertainty? Share your thoughts here!