Last year I left the comfort of my day job to start up my life coaching practice. During this period my life was filled with uncertainty and riddled with the unknown. Sure, I had freedom and the ability to spend my days as I pleased, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t petrified. I went from set work hours to no routine or structure.
I went from a guaranteed monthly pay check to wondering how I would pay this week’s rent. I went from being able to do my job with my eyes closed, to feeling like a total amateur.
When we are in situations such as this, we are extremely prone to overwhelm (and yes, I went in to epic overwhelm – in fact, one time I actually decided that scrubbing the mould from every tile in my shower was more appealing than sitting at my desk to do work).
Do You Crave Certainty?
When our life is full of the unknown, we crave the certainty that comes from things which are familiar and safe. So, we develop patterns of overwhelm or procrastination which allow us to avoid or take a break from the uncertainty and instead indulge in activities that comfort us, such as watching tv, eating, checking facebook, sleeping etc.
Since I have been going through this journey, I realised that my ability to handle uncertainty and the unknown is fundamental to my ability to thrive and follow my dreams. I simply cannot do what I want to do, be who I want to be or get what I want to get unless I am willing to get ridiculously uncomfortable in the process.
Any time we go to take a step outside our comfort zone we are going to be faced with the unknown. And, as we become braver and stronger and take even larger steps outside our comfort zone, what we will soon find is that we are spending a large portion of our time facing situations riddled with uncertainty.
What I have learnt over the past few months is that for me, the key to thriving in uncertain times is to know how to support myself and also find ways to meet my needs for comfort and security in a resourceful way.
Create And Implement Rituals
Oh delicious rituals. These are my absolute saviour during uncertain times. They are soothing, nourishing and supportive.
When we are surrounded by chaos we need things around us that we can rely on. That make us feel grounded, settled and safe.
My rituals come in the form of: a morning routine filled with green juice, yoga and lots of quiet time by candlelight + an evening routine of sitting quietly with a cup of tea and reading a book + a lunch time yoga practice where I wander up to my local yoga centre for my midday fix + a big beautiful ‘to do book’ where I could dump all of my mental chaos on to a page and at least feel like some of it was going to get done.
The biggest risk of being surrounded by external uncertainty is that this can start to effect our internal sense of certainty. We feel less secure in ourselves. We are less certain about what we are doing. Doubt sets in. Mental chatter tears us down. We allow the outer external uncertainty to unbalance us internally.
During my initial upheaval, I spent a lot of time working to re-gain my sense of certainty in me. Backing myself – “you got this girl”. Praising and acknowledging myself at any opportunity. Focusing in on what I did well rather than nit-picking on the areas that needed improvement. Cheering myself on. Celebrating my successes.
You have gotta work on keeping the inside stable, calm and strong even when everything around you is crumbling.
Trust In Something Bigger
This is by far the most powerful thing you can do to support you throughout uncertainty. Part of the reason we find the unknown so scary, is because we feel we cannot control it. Our mind cannot predict or plan. And predicting and planning helps the mind feel at ease. So, without the ability to do this, we go in to a tailspin of anxiety.
But when you have faith in something greater than you, something bigger than your body, something wiser than your mind you are able to feel safe even when you have no idea what is happening.
You trust that everything is unfolding for your higher good. You turn inwards to seek guidance and support. You have a knowing about who you really are and as a result the external world does not define you. This brings incredible peace and allows you to create a calm and grounded inner world even when your external world is fraught with uncertainty.
Do you thrive in the unknown or do you do whatever you can to avoid it at all costs? How do you support yourself through times of uncertainty? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.