I hope everyone has had a great week. I was thinking this week about how plans have changed for so many people due to the ongoing pandemic. Besides people being sick and dying, I find that the greatest issue with the pandemic is the uncertainty.
If you are a control freak, like many of us can be, then you want to plan your next hour, day, month or year. But how can you plan when those plans can be changed in an instant due to an ever evolving health crisis.
Guess what though? Uncertainty is not new. It did not start with this pandemic and will not vanish forever afterwards. Some people have put their lives on hold waiting for this to pass while some others are making the most out of the situation.
Are you making lemonade out of your lemons or complaining bitterly about how sour lemons are? How are you dealing with the uncertainty of today and how can you deal with uncertainty when it arises in the future?
Personally, I have learnt a few ways that help me handle it.
- Stick With the Big Picture
When you know your life’s purpose, you know your destination and even though we would like to control every single move and everything that happens, it does not always work out that way.
When challenges happen, you are allowed to take detours but focus on the destination. If you’ve ever watched the wacky races like I did growing up, you will know that even though all the contestants had to reach the same finish line, they had different vehicles, they took different turns or detours and met their obstacles at different stages in the race.
The journey was entirely different for all but the destination was the same. In the same manner, focus on your destination (the big picture) and don’t alter your destiny or life’s purpose because of a few rough or uncertain patches but be kind enough on yourself to know that some unexpected turns and detours are often needed to make it through.
In the midst of uncertainty, those who adapt are more likely to excel. Even old dog can be taught new tricks. Is it tougher? Perhaps! But it is surely not impossible. When things are changing rapidly, holding on to rigid ideas of what we have always done is not always the best strategy.
If you have always been a morning person, you might need to be a night person. If you’ve never liked to travel or relocate, relocation might just be the best course of action.
Keeping an open mind and tackling uncertainty with new information and ways of doing things is bound to help you navigate an uncertain turn in life. Old and stuck up ways of doing things will probably leave you frustrated.
3. Secure your peace.
When uncertain situations arise, it is natural as humans to have fears of what could happen and how things could turn out. Many times, uncertainty throws a wrench in our plans and makes us feel like we are not living the life we planned.
The uncertainty is compounded when it is not exclusive to you and you begin to get influenced by the way other people are dealing with theirs. If you are lucky, the people around you will inspire hope and courage in you but otherwise, it could end up becoming a fear mongering situation.
At such times, it is very important to secure your inner peace and not compound the uncertainty with fear because it will only dig you deeper down the pit of despair and discouragement.
4. Focus on the things that are certain
When everything around you is uncertain, the only thing you can be sure of is that only the fate of the dead has been sealed.
If you are alive, then there is a measure of hope you should have from some of the things that you are still sure of. Focus on those things and let the other things be.
No one ever changed their situation by worrying the most but when you consciously live in an appreciation of the things that are still working out, it might be all you need to hang in there until the storm passes.
5. Live in the moment and take each day as it comes.
Similar to the last point, you have to seize the moment. Live in the beauty of each day.
Do not live in denial but choose to magnify what matters. If you are too focused on what is going wrong, you may never notice what has gone right.
Ditch the idea of picture perfect. Life is not a story book where you get to control what all of your fictional characters do. You have to accept that some things will be beyond your control in life but it is part of your journey.
You might get to the finish line with a dirty shirt or a broken leg or maybe you get there unscathed. What matters is that you got there.
Water your lawn and forget about how green the neighbour’s lawn is. Different lives, different journeys and yours is not any less beautiful or authentic because you had times when you were not in absolute control.
Heart to Heart: How do you deal with uncertainty? I’ll love to hear from you in the comments xo