How Do I Deal With Uncertainty?

The world is in the midst of a pandemic. Will we survive it? Will I survive it? Will I have a job in six months? Will we have enough money? Will I be able to take care of my family? What will happen to my kids education? Each one of us now, faces many of […]

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The world is in the midst of a pandemic. Will we survive it? Will I survive it?

Will I have a job in six months?

Will we have enough money?

Will I be able to take care of my family?

What will happen to my kids education?

Each one of us now, faces many of these common questions that we ask of ourselves again & again, seeking an answer though we know there is not a concrete one!

We have run through 4 weeks of straight unemployment running into millions of people losing their livelihood. With uncertainty looming around everywhere you look, it’s natural to be stressed and anxious.

The world is changing, as we know it and change is not easy to accommodate for many. Yet, change is continuous. And, when it comes to change, you may not always be able to control the outcome, but you can most definitely control your response to it. And, there lies the birth of resilience! The knowledge and ability to control your response to external factors contributing to change will provide you with the strength you need in these times. You will be able to garner strength, acumen, tools & techniques to manage through the difficult situations and thrive in the face of challenges.

Look through your past and I am sure you will find times when you were resilient in the face of challenges, in the face of adversity & yet, thrived.

20 years ago, I packed my bags and came to the US as a student, with a dream in my head and resolve in my heart, but no control over what lay in the future. Yet, I am here today, continuing to make my mark in life.

Questions I faced during that time include:

Will I complete my MBA with flying colors?

Will I land a good job?

Will I secure my visa, green card, citizenship, etc.?

Will I be able to build and nourish my American Dream?

Was the experience difficult and unsettling at times? Absolutely, but I would not trade it for the world! That giant leap into the unknown was well worth it!

Along the way, you learn a thing or two about uncertainty and how to tackle when faced with it. Today, I want to share a few of my lessons, lessons that came through experience.

First, Let Go & Accept!

Accept the fact that change is constant and we do not control the outcome but, only our response to it. Relax, be open minded about it and instead of fighting it, accept it and plan your response to it. Treat it as realistic, accept and tolerate it while responding to it with your benefit in mind, as the end goal.

Be the human you are by accepting your limitations, not feeling powerless or overwhelmed. Acknowledge your feelings, even the difficult ones. Be kind to yourself and those around you. This will give you the mental ability and space to plan, act and react.

Next, Believe in the Best but Prepare for the Worst!

Don’t dwell on all things that could go wrong and how they will go wrong. Doing this will force you to develop a skewed perception of the risks and consequences, much worse than they actually may be.

And what could that do? Hype up your anxiety and stress levels, thus setting you up for failure.

Be pragmatic about the happenings. Think through without being judgmental. Hope for the best but, prepare yourself to brace for the worst case scenario. Being realistic helps buffer the consequences of the situation and you will have to deal with something more manageable, as a result. Hope is not a strategy but is the foundation of one, thus allowing you to mentally toughen up, find clarity in your thoughts and helps with your ability to make sound decisions when needed. All of this allows you to be more successful in facing the challenge than you actually thought possible.

Third, Reflect on Your Past Challenges and Successes.

What are some of the challenges and uncertainties you faced in life? How did you cope and come out successful?

Although, your past may seem well planned from your current position, it was full of uncertainties at points in time, when you made decisions and did things, to bring you where you are today. Remember, you have the capacity to think, plan, act and come out successful. You have done it before and can do it again!

At the same time, reflect on the strengths you have that allowed you to succeed. Acknowledge the things you are grateful for. Such thoughts allow you to impede negativity and encourage positivity.

Fourth, Manage your Response to Situations.

Do not seek out a short cut to avoid pain. That is our reflex when faced with a challenge. Give it thought, think rationally, decide and then, act. Wait and watch is never a complete strategy. Always keep planning your next moves and act on them. When you let fear overwhelm you, it leads to bad decisions, inaction and finally, succumbing to negative consequences. Always remember that and use it to your advantage.

Learn to connect with others, perhaps a friend or a family member. Support others and welcome support that comes your way. This allows for exchange of ideas, fosters belongingness and relieves stress.

Finally, Envision Future Possibilities!

The future is yours to shape as you see fit. Connect with your deeper purpose for there lies your truth and meaning for your life.

Now is your chance to imagine it, plan for it and start acting to realize it. Use this time as an opportunity to refresh, restart and reach greater goals. Think of all the possibilities that lie in front of you, giving you the option to choose. Take one step at a time, but keep moving in the direction you want to be your tomorrow’s reality!

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