I’m exhausted. Now granted there’s a lot more going on this summer than is normal, but, if I’m being honest, the exhaustion isn’t just coming from the energy being put into all the things that are happening. More so, all the uncertainty around those things is bleeding my energy out. Not having a firm schedule as to when and where we’re going to be in the next two or three weeks. Traveling back-and-forth to Pennsylvania. Bringing my daughter across the country for college, and trying to play Nostradamus for how her first year of college is going to be and what kind of support she’s gonna need.
This is what uncertainty does to all of us. I’m pretty sure it’s the first cousin to anxiety. Uncertainty tries to get us to predict the future of what’s going to happen in a given situation, and, while it’s doing so, we energetically bleed out. One reason for this energetic drain is because we can’t solve a problem in the future because it hasn’t happened yet. Secondly, the energy that should be going into the things that are happening in the moment instead are going to things, the ‘what if’s’, that you are creating in your mind. But here’s the thing, your mind will create the exact same emotions as if you were going through whatever you’re imagining in real time in real life. That’s right. Your mind doesn’t know it’s a simulation, so it expends the same amount of energy on the imagined future as it would expend if you were actually dealing with those things right now. But, while your mind is busy burning away on this imagined future, you’re missing what’s going on right now.
We all get caught in this loop. The uncertainty can either create anxiety, or we can learn how to get comfortable with it. Now I’m not saying we’re gonna become best buddies with anxiety, eat bonbons and want to share a bubble bath with it. That would be quite a thing. What I am saying is that knowing that a healthy relationship with uncertainty is good for us, and allows us to stay in the present moment, might be enough motivation for us to get to know it. The same kind of motivation you have when your body is sore and achy and you know that an ice bath would be good for it. You get in slowly, maybe cursing to yourself under your breath, and you’re a bit uncomfortable. But your body and your mind get used to it. And, in the long run, it makes you feel better.
Here are some tips that might help you get used to uncertainty, so you can slow things down in your life, become more present, and expand your energy on the here and now instead of being caught up in all of the possibilities that haven’t happened yet.
Embrace that change is the only thing that is certain – easy to say, for sure. You would think you’ve got to wear some mystic robes and chant on a hilltop to really get this. Truth be told, you probably see it everywhere in your life and you don’t even know it. A simple detour on the highway, when you were expecting to get to your brother-in-law’s house in an hour and a half and now it’s gonna take you three is enough to teach you that.
It’s only the size of the situation that makes you believe you don’t live with uncertainty – Look around at all the actions that you are taking in the present moment that require micro-adjustment. Your toothpaste runs out, but you brush your teeth anyway, with water and your mouthwash. The pants that you thought you were going to wear for work or dirty, so you just choose another pair. All day long there are things that don’t go the way that you expected or planned, yet look at how naturally and easily you accept them. This idea that you’re not dealing with uncertainty on a regular basis is false.
So, yeah, this summer isn’t turning out to be ‘normal’ with all the things that are uncertain looming once. But, in the end, I can’t predict the future. I do know that I have lived this long and adjusted to change time and time again, so I know I’ll do the same this time as well. I’m going to show myself some compassion, accept that, while this summer is different, I don’t have to solve everything right now. I think I’ll go take my daughter out for a coffee, because that is precious time and it’s where I want to invest my energy in right now.
If you would like to learn tools and skills to help you improve your emotional aptitude, reduce your emotional isolation, lessen your avoidance of shame, fear, and anxiety, and enable yourself to reach your goals, break old habits, or create new ones, I can help. I provide emotional resilience coaching, so you can achieve your goals. We can meet either virtually or in person at my office in Waterbury, Vermont. Just click the button or the link below for a free consultation and let’s talk.
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