In times of uncertainty, it is natural to crave certainty. The mind is very good at giving you a sense of safety that often is a false one. The unknown is the unknown and right now the world is engulfed in it.
Have you convinced yourself that something is going to happen that will eradicate your present discomfort with uncertainty? Perhaps that you’ll be back working in your office soon and things will be as they were, your children will be back at school for good or there will be a vaccine next month. Yes, it’s helpful to have a sense of hope that what you want will happen; however certainty is an illusion in times like these.
As challenging as it is, getting comfortable with uncertainty is the best thing you can do right now. Stay in the present moment, find ways to cope and instead of waiting, be the best you can be in these times.
photo: Umit Bulut, unsplash.com
In some circumstances, we say we are in a project or partnership for the long haul. What’s going on is that we are making a commitment to stick with something. It is our choice and agency to do so. These days, it is dawning on us that we may be in this COVID-altered world for the long haul in the United States. It is not within our full choice or control.
Since this possibility exists and the changes we are experiencing are significant, it does not hurt to think out the best way to navigate this time. Many of us are trying to get back to “normal”. It no longer exists. We live in an altered world and we best accept that. Giving some thought to being in this situation for the long haul can increase your chances of success and fulfillment in the future.
photo: Joel Genhart, pixabay.com
When things around you are in flux, uncertainty and dissolution, it is a challenge to stay focused and productive. One thing that can help is having an aim. Having an aim aligns your energy in pursuit of a concrete outcome. It gives you purpose and is a good buffer against distraction.
Are there specific things you must accomplish this week? These things can become your aim. Decide when and how you will get them done. Create ways of reminding yourself of your aim. By the end of the week, with your aim accomplished, you will have created some stability and momentum for getting things done, as the new week beckons.
photo: poodar chu, unsplash.com
Some clients have been mentioning to me that they are losing track of days. That’s understandable. Work spaces, work routines and pacing have all turned upside down. What once was easy may now take some conscious effort. If you are having trouble keeping track of days, start each day recognizing what day of the week and calendar date it is. Then, you know where you are and can proceed with your work day.
photo: Conger Design, pixabay.com
You have dealt with the unknown all your life. There are a variety of ways to do so: fear, making up things to fill unknown spaces, getting comfortable with it, pretending it isn’t there or running from it.
The world you live in now, however, is filled with a multitude of unknowns and asks you to look them in their face. Once you do, you realize that the bottom line of all you are experiencing is that you don’t know what the future will bring. As hard as it is, if you start from there you have the best chance of making it through and thriving in these times.
photo: John Hain, pixabay.com
Missing the mark in your communications can be very frustrating. Your actions are not matching your intentions and confusion or trouble ensues. Sometimes, it happens. To give yourself a good chance of avoiding miscommunication, give these approaches a try:
•Prepare for any work-related communications you have. Review ahead of time your purpose for communicating, what result you want from the communication, how the person(s) you will communicate with may react to what you say and what could go wrong.
•On a personal level, employ your emotional intelligence regarding how your communication may be received by the person(s) you will be communicating with.
•When communicating, stay centered. Don’t rush into a conversation or let pressure get you off center. Cultivate your ability to respond in the present moment to whatever occurs.
Good communication is an art, treat it as such. If you want some expert advice, check out my friend Diana Peterson-More’s book Consequential Communication In Turbulent Times as well as her articles – just right for these times – on Linked In.
photo: emylo0, pixabay.com
When you take ownership of something, it is yours. You take responsibility for it and, by implication, it is something that you want to do. In your work, are there projects, attitudes or activities that you have or haven’t taken ownership of? Not taking ownership can involve lack of enthusiasm, not performing at your best or doing things by default. Taking ownership can involve accountability, moving at a good pace or raising your profile.
If something is yours, you might as well take ownership of it. Doing so serves you and increases your value to yourself and your organization.
photo: Jordan Huie, unsplash.com
I am beginning to sense that with the COVID-19 situation we are in for a number of ups and downs. Week to week in my coaching and communicating with friends, I am seeing them in action. Of course, the degree of how up and how down varies with each person. Some are dealing with extreme challenges; others are finding themselves tossed to and fro. Few are experiencing life as it used to be.
We need to find ways to navigate these ups and downs or they will mess with our focus and knock us off balance. I am developing ways to handle them. Focus is key to me. If I can get myself back to center when distracted, I can regain focus. I allow that a portion of my energy is going to coping with change and have lowered my expectations a bit. I also create some structure each day so that I do not drift too far.
If ups and downs are with us for a while, lets find ways to deal with them. There’s a good chance that they are leading us to positive change and will be worth it in the long run.
photo: John Hain, pixabay.com
There are a range of experiences you can have in the situation these days: being on the front lines of response, dealing with illness, staying at home or something in-between. Do you find yourself reacting to these changes by feeling uncertain and anxious? That’s natural, when you are out of your comfort zone.
A lot has changed and you are facing a high level of unknowns. Fear is palpable and what the future will look like is anyone’s guess. To cope with these changes staying as centered as possible is essential. Find your new center amidst it all and create ways to get back there when things distract you. Maintaining focus helps as well. Create times of the day when you focus on certain things and stick with them. Allow that you may get distracted more than usual, but don’t let distraction take hold for too long. Manage your expectations as well. Keep them reasonable and nurturing.
You will get through this. Stay steady and our new normal will gradually emerge. Be well!
photo: Tworkowsky, pixabay.com
1. Take more breaks during the day
2. Let go of anything you can that is currently an energy drain
3. Identify the most significant changes you have experienced this month and adapt to them in positive ways
4. Bring three things into your work day that fuel you
5. Indulge yourself once a day
6. Define what balance is for you now
7. Keep your physical body in shape
8. Stay very aware of what is happening with your emotions and find ways to center them
9. Start a new creative project that excites you
10. Identify the opportunities you have now, that were not available to you at the beginning of the year
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