Confidence In Uncertain Times
We are living with uncertainty in massive proportions. The current world crisis is something I would never have imagined I would live to see; I turn 60 this year.
I remember how scared we were as a nation when 9/11 went down, but the current state of affairs is beyond fighting back with military force. We are only a short time into the global crisis, and I’ve witnessed fear, uncertainty, panic, and terror in voices, faces, body postures, and in social media posts. Fear has struck as our economy is failing, people are losing jobs, we are afraid to go out, to be near other people, to touch a doorknob, to see our grandkids, and so much more.
Fear is normal; it’s an age-old instinct. We are hard-wired to fight, run, or freeze when threatened. However, if we continue to live fearfully, we will undoubtedly face other forms of health issues through this crisis.
Every day we face challenges or fears. Yet, we also live with faith or a belief that all will be okay. How many millions of people step on to a plane every day and believe that they’ll arrive at their destination knowing that planes crash. We drive our cars knowing people die in auto accidents every minute of every day. Yet, we still do these things. I hop on a horse regularly trusting and having faith that I’ll step off when the ride is complete.
Uncertainty is especially difficult for persons who struggle with anxiety, depression, or who have a higher sensitivity. Yet, our beliefs or our faith fuel us through uncertain times. It’s in our DNA. It’s a more powerful emotion than even fear, and if we allow ourselves to move towards away from fear, we will surely make it through this uncertain and challenging time.
Five tools to increase your faith or beliefs –
Intention – If we set our intention towards staying in the present moment and looking at what we can control, we’ll be better able to cope with uncertainty and stop the flow of fear. We also have the ability of setting an intention of continuing to move our lives forward. Sure, some things have changed. You can’t go to the gym; it’s closed. Yet, you can walk, run, ride a bike, dance in your home, do Yoga, Pilates, or a variety of other exercises while housebound. Set the intention to move. If it’s a small business you own, keep working on the back end of it so that when things turn around, you are ready.
Psychologist Elisha Goldstein, author of The Now Effect: “Our intention is at the root of why we do anything and plays a fundamental role in helping us cultivate a life of happiness or unhappiness. If we set an intention for well-being and place it at the center of our life, we are more likely to be guided toward it.”
Fear of the past – Fear, a disabling emotion, has the same bodily sensations as excitement. Controlling it is a matter of mindset. Remember a time when you felt fear that if you did “xyz” that you’d be making a big mistake or looking like a fool. You showed up anyway, and all turned out better than you’d hoped.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face … You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Elanor Roosevelt
Confronting fear isn’t always easy, yet, if we confront it and hear what fear is telling us, we can gain clarity and find comfort knowing we can do anything we set our minds to and develop a mindset of knowing all will be okay despite the odds.
Change the language – The language of your thoughts will become the language of your feelings. Reframe the words. Using a different context, a frame of reference or setting will help to change your point of view. “If I lose my job, I will be destroyed.” Will you indeed be destroyed? Try on; I am feeling anxious about the current situation.” And see if that doesn’t help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety.
Focus on flying – The power of faith will provide unwavering certainty to your world and others you connect with if you remain focused on flying versus dying. In his book The Art of Uncertainty, Dennis Merritt Jones writes: “Between a shaky world economy, increasing unemployment, and related issues, many today are being forced to come to the edge of uncertainty. Just like the baby sparrows, they find themselves leaning into the mystery that change brings because they have no choice: It’s fly or die.”
Seasons of change – Even though spring has sprung, the current state of affairs feels a lot like winter. The good news is, spring always follows winter. Flowers bloom, the grass grows, animals shed their winter coats, people get out more, life feels like it has meaning, and opportunities are abundant.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ~ Albert Camus.
In the meantime, what do you do to prepare for spring?
This new winter won’t last forever. We will return to NORMAL, whatever that new normal will be. Opportunities will be abundant. How will you prepare for them?
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” ~ Seneca
These difficult times we are currently living will reshape our nation; they will reshape our thinking, our way of living, and our priorities. We are resourceful, resilient, adaptable. We Will Bounce Back!
Now is the time to shine, to rise up, trust that you can deal with that which is currently our reality. Help yourselves, help your neighbor, volunteer in some way to assist someone in need. With many of us having time on our hands and lots of it. If you are working from home, you aren’t spending hours in traffic to head to work. If you’ve lost your job, you’ve got even more time. Perhaps it’s time to get in shape, to plan better meals, help your kids find ways to stay active. If you’re a small business owner like me, this is a great time to work on your business plans, strategize, complete a vision board for your company, work on social media campaigns.
Whatever it takes to be prepared for the new future. Because it will be a new reality, and preparation is better than not.
Please know that I am here, ready, and willing to chat with you. Reach out and let me know how I can help. Perhaps it’s helping to develop a game plan for your social media. Best workout options while staying at home and mapping future business goals. Whatever it is, let’s get creative together. I want to help.
With Love, Vonie
As a life coach, I’m always working on ways I can help women to achieve success both personally and professionally. With education and teaching being one of my top values, I need to make an impact and help others. To provide the best possible service to my clients and to help them achieve their dreams and goals is rewarding and makes my heart sing.
One of the workshops I have hosted the past two years does just that. It’s called Look Back/Look Forward and this year we not only looked back on 2019, but we reflected on the last decade. The process is around what we learned, what we were proud of, what we accomplished versus what we were lacking in, or didn’t do.
The entertaining part of the workshop this year was the horses. Elliott Horsepower Ranch, where the workshop was held, has a viewing room and arena that were perfect for our classroom. With the heat on and window open, the horses were poking their heads in the window and showing a lot of curiosity for the participants and providing support during coaching experiences.
Once done with the review portion of the workshop, we dove into the next decade and what top goals to set for 2020. What goals would we set, what tools would we need to accomplish the goals, who do we have to become to achieve the goals? More questions – what character traits will you need, and what habits or skills do you need to develop or strengthen to make your dream happen?
I know so many questions, and not all of them easy to answer. It truly is a reflection and a mindset for growth.
One of the participants had recently relocated to a new barn and desired to achieve more horse experiences and create more friendships with like-minded horse ladies in 2020. We set time aside for a coaching session with Cody. He offered a great deal of love and support to her as she processed through creating new friendships. With the many demands of work, how could she find a work/life balance that would give her the desired time she wanted with her horse? Together, we came up with some reasonable solutions and ways to overcome obstacles that might interfere.
Work/life balance seems to be a common thread with many of the women I coach. If you’re at all searching for some answers or still trying to figure out what you want this next decade to look like talk to your horse. Let them be your coach.
Get into a round pen with your horse. Ask yourself some of the hard questions you don’t seem to have an answer for. Get centered in your body and start walking counterclockwise. Without demanding your horse follow or without a lead rope just start walking. Let him/her connect with you and help you facilitate the answers. Here’s how, if you aren’t honest with yourself and staying in your body and get out of your head, your horse won’t connect. If you do, they will follow. When you stop being centered and, in your body, they will disconnect, step in front of you or do many other things to get your attention. Be with your horse and let them, coach. Listen to the subtle cues they give you.
If you find yourself still not sure, reach out and let a coach help your horse facilitate the coaching process or come on over to my barn and let Cody help me help you.
If you’d like some of the questions I provided during the workshop, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to send them over to you.
Happy New Year, Vonie