Feeling uncertain? You're not alone.
How To Thrive During Uncertain Times
The state of the world today is very unpredictable and this leaves a lot of people feeling scared. In this post, Mentor Amanda Gore offers you 5 fabulous lessons on how to thrive during uncertain times.
Today, more than ever, it is important to know how to overcome worry in the face of uncertainty. Unfortunately, there are only a few people, or businesses, who have found themselves thriving under the current circumstances!
Here, I share some of the lessons I have learned from my experience of COVID mania! Read on if you think you would like to hear more – otherwise turn on a good comedy and laugh to boost your immune system! Or better – go and laugh with someone – even if they have to be 6 feet away!
Uncertainty creates FEAR because we feel out of control. But here’s the great news!… We always, always have control over one thing. And no one can take that away from us.
We control our thoughts.
Yes, we control our thoughts; the stories we tell ourselves; how present we are; what we choose to believe, and consequently how we choose to behave. We create our life within the bubble of disruption. We choose to find something good and work with it – or not. We choose to show up and do our best – or not.
The greatest ability we can develop is to observe our thinking and the stories we are telling ourselves. Then assess whether they are helpful or destructive. 95-99% of these thoughts are unconscious, so it is important to bring these into your awareness. Your stories rule your life – but you are NOT your stories!!
Your emotional state and feelings can change even though nothing in your environment changes.
Why do some prisoners of war survive well and others don’t? Mindset. Awareness of thoughts. Control of thoughts and stories. The decision to serve others. The conscious decision to stay present and show up. These are what make the difference.
So how can you start to thrive during uncertain times? Here are a few tips:
Thrive lesson 1: YOU CAN CONTROL HOW YOU FEEL, RESPOND AND THINK.
Where do we belong? Most other global crises I have lived through at some level created cohesion. They pulled people closer together against common ‘enemies’ or entities. But COVID has separated us in many different ways – obviously and insidiously. Humans NEED other humans.
We need interaction, touch, emotional highs and lows, heart to heart connections, the capacity to see each other in person and to feel our ’tribe’.
The concept of ‘fitting in’ and belonging somewhere is paramount at home and at work. It is what helps us to feel alive, and this is even more important at the moment.
All of the work done trying to connect people virtually is aimed at one thing – to help people feel they belong to a team and to help them function in a coherent way. Even though they can’t really ‘experience’ each other in the flesh, this sense of connection is still vitally important.
So find ways to connect with others. This could be in your neighbourhood, workplace, online or even through a charity or organisation you support. It is really important to feel like you belong somewhere right now.
Thrive lesson 2: WE ARE NEVER SEPARATE
In the current climate, we need each other more than ever. With technology today and the endless amount of websites and platforms, we are all connected, ALL the time – even if you don’t feel it. We are connected through our devices, experience, emotions and thoughts. We are connected because we are human.
Know that and make the effort to acknowledge and enhance these connections, whether personal or professional, for leisure or learning. Acknowledge those around you; have long and deep conversations with them; be real; share what is going on for you and ask them how they are – truly listen to them.
Thrive lesson 3: BE PRESENT
What can we do with this massive change in our life? We have all had to learn new routines and patterns, and if you have no work at all (like me, initially) learn how to not escape into busyness. Wrapped in the difficulty is a precious gift – if you choose to unwrap it! And that gift is to be present. All the time!
Slow down. Take a breath. Be right here, right now, and notice how you are feeling. Then observe what you are saying to yourself to create that feeling. Then choose a different story or at least realise you have been living your life on the story of a 0-7-year-old and decide if you want to keep doing it! (Visit my Youtube channel – amandagoretv – to see more detail on this.)
For me, it was a totally new experience to be present, let alone present in every moment! Being present and aware of my feelings was the most difficult challenge! I had no idea that I had not really felt for most of my life.
Pre-COVID I was busy and I usually felt overwhelmed most of the time. I was rarely home and it was difficult to accept I actually didn’t have a life – I had work. I was more at home in airports and hotel rooms than at home. Although it was not easy, the value of learning to feel and be present has transformed my life!
Being present and feeling means we don’t focus on the drama of the past or the fear of the future. It means focusing on feeling calm and noticing what disrupts and causes stress.
Thrive lesson 4: WORK ON YOURSELF
Show up! Show up as YOU! Find the real you – that amazing being that you really are. Be authentic to that, be real and vulnerable. Have the courage to do the work and show up!
This means taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be conscious of any dissonance within you and ask yourself – are you being really honest? With yourself and others?
The low-grade feeling that something is not right, a sometimes subconscious fear that people will find out you are actually not up to the task – or you are not good enough, is called imposter syndrome and is rampant – but we rarely talk about it!
The first step to working on this is being compassionate and kind to yourself, even when you mess up. Self-compassion and self-acceptance are one of the first steps to overcoming imposter syndrome.
Discover the stories you have been telling yourself and recognise how these stories are not you, but how they continue to rule your life. Observe your thinking and anytime you are not feeling good about yourself, listen to the story you are telling yourself at that moment and question it!
Next, is to decide if you are authentically expressing how you really feel? As long as the environment you are in is a safe one and with people you trust – it is important to be vulnerable and connect heart to heart with others.
Sharing your experience and feelings with others gives them permission to do the same. It takes courage to be vulnerable, but the rewards are huge. As I have learned in the last year myself!
I believed I was being authentically me. In fact, it was one of my core values! However, what I have learned as I have worked ON myself is that I was ‘authentic’ to my persona! The version of me I had created to make sure no one realised how worthless I felt.
Thrive lesson 5: FIND THINGS FOR WHICH TO BE GRATEFUL
Be Grateful! Every morning, every night – and preferably every minute!
Gratitude needs no introduction. Oodles of studies show that feeling gratitude and choosing to be grateful changes your entire physiology. It is the master ‘re-framer’ and is able to change everything that happens to you or around you. IF you choose to see things with gratitude, everything becomes valuable.
Gratitude is the practice of looking for the good in every situation. It is the practice of being thankful for what IS, not for what you want or think should be.
Are You Ready To Thrive?
So while the ‘WTF?!’ year from hell held within it a number of challenges, it also offered amazing opportunities for you to find yourself and your real purpose in life.
I have and am SO grateful I embarked on this challenging but really rewarding experience.
And I can help you do the same!
With years of experience across a number of industries and a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy majoring in psychology, I bring a unique perspective to help you THRIVE in these uncertain times.