5 Strategies for Moving Through Times of Uncertainty
Uncertainty. I’ve experienced a bit of it lately. Actually, if I’m really truthful, I’ve experienced a LOT of it lately. There have been several curve balls that have thrown my world as I know it into a tizzy.
I know that I am not alone in experiencing uncertainty. Everyone faces uncertainty from time to time; it happens, it can look a lot of different ways, and it can stem from a variety of situations.
Sometimes, uncertainty arises slowly, creeping up on you, giving subtle warning signs that things are shifting, but not really alarming you along the way. At other times, uncertainty can blindside you; you’re moving along, thinking that all is tickity-boo and then, WHAM! All of a sudden you’re completely disoriented and asking yourself, “what do I do now?”
Generally speaking, uncertainty can have some degree of foreboding attached to it; as a result, if you’re not careful, uncertainty can derail you, or leave you feeling stuck, rather like a deer in the headlights. Uncertainty brings with it a whole host of limiting beliefs, and a sense of powerlessness.
In light of all of this, the questions to be addressed are these: how do you move through uncertainty? How do you turn uncertainty into a gift rather than a time of torture?
Here are 5 simple strategies to employ in those moments when you’re just not sure about anything.
1. Consciously shift your perspective. Rather than focusing on the unknown future (which is what uncertainty is always rooted in), focus on what you do know about THIS moment, right here, right now.
2. Uncertainty can bring with it an abundance of “free time” – since you aren’t certain of what to do. So choose activities to engage in that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were otherwise occupied. Clean and clear closets, read a book that you haven’t had time for thus far, meet a friend for coffee. Be productive in these ways now because once the uncertainty clears up, your time will fill up once again.
3. Clarify what you truly want RIGHT NOW. Grab a notebook and jot down your answers. Let yourself continue to write until you’ve exhausted all your thoughts. This process can result in fabulous clarity – and clarity helps shift uncertainty.
4. Get out of your head. Uncertainty is generally a mental construct, so (at the risk of sounding hoaky) connect with your heart instead. What is your heart calling you to do?
5. Take one step at a time, one moment at a time. Rather than trying to plan a whole day’s worth of activity, stay in this moment and give yourself whole-heartedly to whatever task calls you now.
Bottom-line: when you’re feeling uncertain, it’s a sign that your focus is out of the moment and firmly rooted in the “cursed hows” (something Mike Dooley, author of Leveraging the Universe, would say). Shift your perspective back to the present moment, connect with your heart and savour what is. When you connect with what is, uncertainty evaporates. When uncertainty evaporates, you can get unstuck and focus on what really matters.