What IS in Our Control
Amidst all of the uncertainty we face today and all of the stress, tension, and anxiety that comes with it, we CAN create certainty. There ARE things in our control! We CAN ease the stress, tension, and anxiety which comes from not knowing what is next, because there ARE things in our control which come next. Three (3) easy ways we can help create certainty today through control are listed below.
- Shifting Our Focus – It is easy to get caught up in what is happening around us: what the news is reporting, what our governments are doing, what our schools are doing, and if our sporting events will start back up again, to name a few. Going down this path often carries stress, tension, and anxiety with it because it is chalk full of uncertainty stemming from not having any definitive answers. However, there is another path to walk. We CAN shift our focus to us instead of the world around us. Doing so allows us to ease the stress, tension, and anxiety we feel because it’s not quite as large; it is easier to focus on a single person than it is the entire world. It also allows us to focus on what we CAN control in our lives: the way we feel, the way we think, and the way we behave. Shifting our focus onto us WILL create certainty because we KNOW we ARE capable of controlling how we feel, how we think, and how we behave.
- The Small Things in Life – Typically, we hear not to sweat the small things in life; however, it is the small things in life right now that WILL help us. It is a lot easier to take one small manageable step at a time, rather than large unwieldy ones, to create certainty for us. The small things we do, such as, getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, reading our kids a bed time story, and going for a walk GIVE us certainty because they are things we CAN and DO routinely control in our lives. Moreover, when we embrace we ARE controlling things in our lives, it is a lot easier to see what else we CAN and WILL control in our lives.
- Planning for Outcomes – It is natural to feel uncertain of what will happen next when we face the unknown, not only because we don’t have a definitive answer, but also because we don’t know when things will happen. This affects our ability to plan when what we are waiting for certainty on is a key piece of the puzzle for our goals or daily lives, i.e., will school be virtual for our kids at the start of the new school year? However, there are things we CAN control and plan for. Even if we do not know the answer quite yet, we CAN predict the possible outcomes and plan accordingly for each of them. We may even find there is some overlap in our plans or one plan is simply going back to how we used to do it. Creating a plan for the outcomes rather than the goal WILL create certainty from knowing we CAN control how we plan AND what we plan for.
Clarity Leads to Certainty
In times of uncertainty it is easy to lose track of what serves us and brings certainty when we focus on the world around us and what obstacles we are facing. This can cause us to feel rushed, panicked, like we are always going back and forth without an answer, anxious, and unable to move forward because we can’t plan not knowing the answer. One thing in all of this which we seek is clarity. Clarity isn’t just awareness, it’s an understanding. An understanding of what we want and why we want it; in other words, why it is important to us. With this clarity comes certainty because we know why we are taking the steps we take and find the comfort in knowing they will help us reach our goals. Three (3) easy ways we can help create certainty through clarity during these times are listed below.
- Remembering What’s Important for Us – There are many things in life which are important for us. Supporting ourselves, raising our children, being with friends and family to name a few. However, depending on the level of importance we assign to each of these, some of these can fade away during challenging times, like what we are facing now. Remembering what we hold to be important, not just in the moment, but across the entirety of our lives, DOES bring clarity to what actions to take because we know why we want to take them. With those actions comes certainty, knowing what do next and there is a path forward.
- Centering Ourselves – We often hear about taking a step back, breathing in deeply, or counting to 10. Each of these are common ways which help us come back to center; come back to a state of calmness, relaxation, and peace. A state which, importantly, allows who we are, what we want, and the tools to make it happen freely flow from within us because it puts us in a physio-psychological state that is more conducive to confidence, courage, and certainty. Centering ourselves WILL inherently create clarity for us, through the impact it has on our minds and bodies, which leads to the certainty of knowing what action to take and why we are taking it.
- Our Calling – Our calling, being a part of something greater, is what we feel compelled to do; what every fiber of our being tells us we should be doing and the impact which comes from it. Our calling, in short, drives us! It fulfills not only the needs we have for ourselves, but also the impact we want to create for others. Whether that is our children, our co-workers, or people as a whole, our calling goes beyond ourselves and impacts the world around us. Knowing our calling, revisiting it, and embracing it WILL create clarity on what to do next because there is a purpose underneath it for us that goes beyond us to others (a level beyond what is important solely to us). This clarity of action WILL create certainty for us around how to proceed forward.
P.S. Click here to watch a short video on one of the greatest examples of what having a calling – what being a part of something greater than ourselves – can do.
Certainty Through Reflection
Reflection is a great tool. It can help us create clarity, understanding, see new trends and perspectives, as well as, create certainty. When we reflect on our strengths, what history has taught us, and the world around us at large, we can find the certainty we seek amidst a challenging uncertain world. It is possible to put one foot in front of the other with confidence, knowing where it will take us, even if it appears we don’t know where our path is headed. Three (3) easy ways we can help create certainty today through reflection are listed below.
- What Am I Good at? – What we’re good at – our strengths – provide great insight for us! Reflecting upon them and how we use them gives us a boost of confidence as we’ve used them many times before to bring us success! When we recognize what they are and how they help us, we can align them to our current situation and how they help us now. Reflecting on what we are good at WILL create tangible actions we can take with certainty right now!
- Looking Back in Time – History teaches us many lessons and we often say “Hindsight is 20/20.” There is a lot of truth to that statement, especially now! When we reflect on history to see how we have endured through epidemics, pandemics, and other challenges our country has faced, we find certainty in WE WILL OVERCOME because we’ve done it before! Reflecting on what has happened over time GIVES us the certainty that this too WILL pass and there IS a way forward!
- The World Around Us – One definitive certainty throughout this pandemic is that the entire world has felt its impact! We are not alone! The entirety of the human race is facing the same questions, and all countries have had to put measures in place, make changes, and adjust to the challenge we are now faced with. When we reflect on how the world around us has handled this pandemic, we find certainty that there IS a path forward! Other countries have shown us the way and paved the path for us! Reflecting on the world around us WILL give us the certainty we seek knowing other have led the way for us.