Emotionally speaking, a large percentage of people *highly* value certainty. Like, at an 8, 9 or 10 out of 10.
I know because my clients talk about it all the time and when I ask them to put a number on it - that's what they tell me. And sometimes they show me in action and in shared thoughts how highly they value certainty, even if they don't put a number on it. It's obvious in the language they use, the goals they set, why their goals are important to them, and in the plans they craft to achieve them.
And they needn't be.
Certainty is a feeling of safety, comfort, and for many, normalcy. Certainty is knowing what to expect. It's feeling you're in control. It's having your expectations of what was going to happen...happen.
I'm not vilifying the need for certainty. Neither should anyone else.
Certainty is a basic human NEED, not a want.
And when we don't have the type of certainty we want, at the levels we want it...we get a little nervous because we don't like the unknown. The unknown is full of fear, doubt. (And wonder and awe, too. We just don't normally think about that part of it.)
It's rare that I have a client that prefers chaos over order.
And let's just state the obvious - there is a lot of chaos right now. The Coronavirus has brought unprecedented disruption and mayhem. We've never seen this before in our time. We don't have anything to which we can compare this.
We don't know what will happen with the markets, with jobs, or with special events. We don't know when we'll be in the clear from this disease. (Although in some cases we do.)
Certainty is what so many crave right here, right now. Yet, if you rely 100% on external sources to get your certainty fix, you may have a tough go of it for a while.
All is not lost. There is plenty of certainty to be found from within yourself. If you're wondering how, keep reading.
For starters, you can check what you're focused on. There is no shortage of "what's wrong" options for you to focus on right now - no need for me to recap. If you look, there are also lots of options for what is right. Take an inventory of what's going well, what's right, the positives of what's happening. What do you notice when you look for something to celebrate? It's there if you choose to see it.
For all the people who said they wanted more time at home to spend time with family, more time to do projects they've been meaning to get around to or to read a book that's been on the shelf a while - here you go! Here's your round tuitt. [Get it? Around to it??] Anyway...moving on...
Listen to how you talk about it. Doom and gloom language doesn't help you or anyone else. It just perpetuates the negative. When you say things like "this is just awful," "I don't know what I'm going to do" or "there is no end in sight" you are perpetuating your own (and others') feeling of suffering. Ease up. You can trade intense words for less-intense words for a positive impact. Consider being "inconvenienced" versus "cooped up."
Look for opportunities. This is especially true for business owners and leaders. This is not the chain of events any of us would have chosen. But it is the chain of events we've been given. Where in this chaos can YOU shine? We all have unique situations. And in that - we are all in a similar place - looking to solve our challenges and those of the people we serve - clients, customers, employees, vendors, our families.
It's unchartered territory. Ask yourself great questions. How can I make an impact, big or small? How can I uplift others? How can I add certainty for others?
It may be time for a good ole-fashioned SWOT analysis. What are your company's strengths and weaknesses (internal) and opportunities and threats (external)? Take inventory and look for strategies you can employ now. and in the future.
Perhaps there's an opportunity you're needed for now. Don't assume that because some industries are temporarily out of business right now that you have to be. Have you really examined all your options? What if you got creative? What could you do right now that's a bit out of the box? What have you never considered before?
Consider your daily habits. Minimize negative habits like over-watching the news. Be informed, but not addicted to the news. Again, that's focus.
Stand guard now more than ever at the gates of your mind. Double down on good habits like your gratitude journal, aspirational journaling about what you want, affirmations and incantations, self development reading, some podcasts, anything you do that positively feeds your mind.
BE READY. This downturn won't last forever and you can spend this time getting poised and ready for the upturn that is sure to follow. Many great companies were born or made in challenging times.
HOPE. It's a nice word. There's a difference though in "I hope xyz will happen (but I don't think it will therefore I won't take any action)" and hope in the sense of optimism. It's the optimism people want and need - and can absolutely have. With it comes the expectation that good things will happen. And simply put - when you believe good things will happen ... they do.
Stay safe my friends, and optimistic. Things WILL get better.
Today is the day to #GoForIt and Live Deliberately.
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