Dealing With Uncertainty

Throughout our lives, each of us will face a time of incredible uncertainty. It could be when someone close to us gets sick. It could be when there is some sort of break up. It could be the threats associated with a pandemic.

As people we don’t like uncertainty. In fact, we hate it. It makes us grumpy and anxious and unnerved and just plain of or sorts. We even hate it more, when we see the same thing in others. All we want is answers, whether they are good or bad.

If there is one truth, you will not have the answers you seek until it is over. There is no way to fast forward. Please let me say that again….THERE IS NO WAY TO FAST FORWARD.

I repeat this, because even though each of logically knows this to be the case, there is this little voice inside our head, that likes to play games. It is a voice that runs the “what if” or “worst case” scenarios. You know the one. That voice that says, “what if this lasts until July…or even worse September?”, “this will be the full collapse of the economy.”, etc.

Unfortunately, that voice generally only plays from one side of the court. It is not like it gives you the counter argument of, “what if this lasts only a couple of weeks?”

The reality is, you will never know the answer, right now, because there is fast forward function. But its this kind of thing that makes us grumpy and out of sorts and really hard to live with. And if there was ever a time you want to be easy to live with, it might be now!

Now, there will be some of you that believe running those “what if” scenarios helps to protect you and your family or business. They can, but it comes down to what you do with them.

I think you would agree with me, the only things you can really control are the things that are in your control and are in front of you. That means, while we can not control the spread of a pandemic, we can control whether we stock up on food. We might not be able to control the economy, but we can phone the bank and ask to defer a mortgage payment.

When that voice is giving you a “what if” or a “worst case”, use it. Rather than getting frustrated solving the unsolvable problem of trying to predict what could happen. Instead, identify the things you can control related to it and then take the appropriate action. Make a list each morning of the things you are going to do, or the actions you are going to take. You don’t need to solve word hunger, you just need to certain in taking back control.

There are things you can be certain of and that is where your focus needs to be. It doesn’t mean that some of those “what if” won’t happen, but when you stay focused on the things you can control, chances are things will never be as bad as that little voice predicted.

I know if might sound a little idealistic but focus on this moment. Focus on the chance to reconnect with family and spending time, you never seem to have, doing or learning something you have been putting off. Take the time to reflect on your accomplishments and to set some goals for the future. Focus on being grateful for all you have in your life.

In uncertain times, remember to be certain on where you focus.

Stay well…