Life is a series of uncertainties, and….that’s OK. But, the struggle comes because, as humans, we want to have control and explanations for pretty much everything. We feel it helps us stay somewhere in the sane category and keeps those anxiety feelings at bay. But, by definition, life really is a series of uncertain happenings.
So, what do we have control over – our actions, our responses to circumstances and events around us. What we don’t have control over is a global pandemic, accidents, other people, and the weather.
The trick to it all is being comfortable navigating through the uncertainty of life. The more you can ‘let go’ and be OK with the not knowing, the more in flow and at peace you will feel. And, from personal experience….this is hard, takes effort every day, but is worth it!
It’s about the journey…we’ve all heard this phrase! But the science backs up that looking too far in to the future, pulling out of the present, into the fast lane and careening down at full speed to 2025 with all the possibilities along the way….equals unnecessary stress and anxiety! And this, we can learn to control.
None of us know what’s coming, so being able to stay present, in the moment, is all we can do. And acknowledge, that it is OK to not be OK all the time, it’s OK to not ‘get it right’, to have a day where we feel far from upbeat. The important step is to acknowledge how you feel, feel it and allow it, reach out for support, and know you’re not alone.
Some thoughts on guiding yourself to presence:
- See the lessons and beauty in every day. The optimism switch does exist. You can choose to be optimistic. This isn’t being unrealistic, it’s challenging and changing your mindset. Have you had a bad day or did you have a bad 30 minutes within your day?
- Watch out for negative self-talk, and look at your use of language such as ‘you always’, ‘you never’ and ‘should’ when talking with others.
- Step outside the zone of comfort – yes, that truly is where we grow. Comfort may feel like the place to be when everything feels so uncertain and scary, but, you’ll get stuck…coz it feels ‘nice and familiar’. Take a deep breath, 30 seconds of bravery, and step into the place that makes you feel scared. Life is short and we’re here to evolve and grow, and when you’re doing something new, your brain has to focus, and so has less capacity for over-analysing.
- Find that inner compass – the one certainty in life…inner joy. No one can take this from you, you are in control of having it, and finding joy, even in challenging times, re-programmes the brain, switches on that optimism button. You can’t have a negative and positive thought at the same time…so find the joy, the grateful, the good.
When everything seems to be coming undone and we feel out of control, take a breath, know it’s OK, stay open minded and open hearted and lean in. And know you are not alone.
Photo: Tim Wildsmith