Uncertainty, discomfort, and some negative realities are a regular part of life and work. But we're conditioned to avoid that reality in the interest of becoming reactive rather than proactive. We're conditioned to believe that life is meant to be bright and shiny and to ignore the truth until facing it becomes absolutely necessary – the divorce, the lost job, the major illness.
Here are a three things we know about working through uncertainty. We hope they help to inspire you in moving closer to the life or career shift you might be pondering.
1. Accept the reality of situations.
One of our chief ah-ha moments a couple of years back was facing the fact that we needed to slow down. We had found our mojo and didn’t want to let it go.
This client is a referral, so we have to accept it.
We can’t pass up this opportunity?
We can make the time.
You likely know this thinking very well, don't you?
What did we do? Late in that year we stopped accepting new clients for a month. Admitting the need to do that was challenging, but it was imperative. Throughout that year, we had promised to slow down the pace, but it didn't work. A lot of our business’ arms are driven by referrals. Our desire to not let clients down regularly trumped saying no. Because that form of delaying "facing the music" only got us deeper into discomfort, we had no other option but to draw a line in the sand.
We stopped accepting any client work for a month. The reality of our situation demanded it.
2. Practice facing the unknown
Deciding to cease our small business for a month+ was a scary decision. Actually, the first week didn't go so well. We were consumed by the fear that being "unavailable" was sending the wrong message.
In truth, it wasn't. Either way, it needed to happen. As we worked through the discomfort, all of this space opened up for creativity and other facets of ourselves that had been on hold. We had the time to discuss and plan steps we could take going forward,
Facing that unknown was a foundational step in bringing us to where we are now.
3. Focus on the possibilities waiting on the other side
Sometimes you need to get out of your present reality in order to gain perspective. The problem is... that's not easy. When we're in the thick of our lives, it's difficult to see things any other way.
A practice we've taken to – as individuals and as a couple – is writing down what might be "waiting on the other side" if we make a change we're pondering. It's very helpful to get out of your current reality to forecast what might be over the hump if you simply take the plunge.
And you know what? Our experience says that our lists of what might be waiting are accurate 90% of the time.