30 Mar Dealing with Uncertainty
What is happening around us is something we have never experienced before in our lives and hopefully will never go through again. It has sparked emotions and a new norm that has physically separated us, scared us and thrown us into a level of uncertainty because there are few answers. It is very harmful to linger in feelings of fear and uncertainty. We can’t and shouldn’t avoid them because they serve us in many ways. However, if they live within us continuously for extended periods of time, we risk falling into depression, leaving us unable to manage our day to day lives. We need tools to help us shift out of these feelings so we can manage our days productively.
The first step to any change is awareness. By taking the time to become aware of our feelings and the thoughts they generate can help us to consider how they are impacting our life. In the book The Unopened Gift, authors Dan Newby and Lucy Nunez teach us that our emotions move us our behaviors. They cite that “leadership can be thought of as the ability to generate the emotions required for the task at hand.” Therefore, to move people into appropriate actions to achieve their goals, leaders must evoke the necessary emotions in their workforce. Whether we are leading a team, or just yourself, to remain effective in your work, you must ensure your emotions are appropriate for the task at hand. Fear and uncertainty will stop people in their path. You can bet that you won’t create business opportunities living in fear and uncertainty. We need to be able to manage these emotions and shift them to ones that are better serving through important situations.
Shifting Perspectives – Exercise 1
Take a pen and paper and write down the emotion and the related belief that you’ve been thinking most often over the past few weeks.
Under this, create two columns. Label the left one “True” and the right one “False”. In the “True” column, write down three reasons your statement is true. Go for it, let the truth out! In the “False” column, write six reasons the statement is false.
By reinforcing the fallacies of the statement, you’ll feel the grips of its release and your mindset shift.
This exercise can be used at any time for any emotions you want to shift out of. During our Reflection Friday call, participants shared that once they started to think about the reasons their belief was false, more and more reasons flowed; and after they did this exercise, they so much lighter and calm because the belief has released its hold on them.
Going from Negative to Positive – Exercise 2
The next tool is just as simple and yet, can prove a bit challenging for some. You may have to do the above perspective-shifting exercise a few times on different beliefs you’re holding before you can attempt this exercise.
We are bombarded with negative information 24-7. Our mind absorbs and replays all this news. It adds fuel to the flames of our gloom and doom mentality. We know that from every hardship, come rays of good, hope and opportunity. It is at times like this we must look for the positive things can have come. During our Reflection Friday discussion, we came up with an array of positive outcomes from our current experience. As you read some of the outcomes I’ve listed, I invite you to reflect and see what else you can add. Here we go…
- There is much less pollution due to fewer flights and traffic. This is helping to heal our planet.
- We are realizing how globally interconnected we are. Our actions impact others. People are more aware and respectful of others.
- We have been given more time to spend with our families. Parents are more involved with their children’s lives and this provides the opportunity to build stronger family bonds.
- We appreciate the abundance that has been available to us. As we see empty shelves in grocery stores and food and products being rationed, we become grateful for the abundance we have during normal times.
- Neighbors are coming together. Social media platforms are providing the opportunity to share information, ask for and receive help from others in one’s community. We are becoming a consciously caring community.
- We are being reminded of our strength. We are agile and resilient. While things might feel uncomfortable, we are able to remind ourselves that we will come out of this stronger.
- The pace of life has slowed down. We have time to reflect and appreciate what is important to us in our lives.
- Businesses have been challenged to break the molds they have been working in for so long and show their true colors. We see who is looking out for their workers and customers, and who is resisting change. As consumers, we have more information to make better decisions on what companies to buy from in the future.
- This is also true for our politicians. They have been given their greatest opportunity to shine. For many, their actions will rest firmly in the minds of voters.
What are some of the positive outcomes you’re seeing? I would love for you to share your thoughts in our social media post or email me – [email protected]
While none of us know how long this will last, and what life will look like down the road, what we can hold onto is that we are all incredibly smart, resourceful and whole. Shed the emotions that contract you into negativity and embrace emotions that open your mind and attitude to possibilities. You’ll come through this time of uncertainty stronger and more appreciative of yourself and those around you.