As an elementary school teacher, my days consisted of lesson plans, laughter, and inquisitive questions by ten year olds. But when I hit burnout, I decided to make a change. I woke up to find myself in a cubicle with coffee, my computer, by myself with my thoughts.
At first, I was overjoyed by the silence. But as time wore on, I felt a twisting sensation of anxiety and a dull panic accompanied by an ever-whispering question: What do you want?
Truth be told, I had no idea.
I started calling it the fog of uncertainty. I became obsessed with how we navigate through times of extra not knowing.
Sometimes uncertainty arises from external events like a storm. Our partner gets a job in a different city and we move, or we lose a job and it changes our world.
Other times, uncertainty is like the current in the ocean. It’s internal and below the surface. A thought, a doubt, or a fear creeps across our mind and suddenly, we’re unsure about how to go on.
When life feels uncertain and we can’t see around the corner, many of us have a habit of getting anxious. This is normal, because ur brains are designed to be mindless. For example, you don’t have to think about when to take your next breath while you’re reading this, your brain naturally does so. You’re not concentrating on sending enough blood to your extremities, it’s just happening! If we had to think through everything that our bodies needed to do, we’d never get to the loving and learning parts of life. However, even these happen without us thinking about them.
Because of that, when our brain happens across a circumstance that it doesn’t have previous data for, it panics a little bit.
The trick is to play with uncertainty. When we feel like we are drowning in “what if” or “what might have been”, reframe so that you’re playing with “what is possible”.
Choose an innocuous statement and then try three different types of responses. Let your brain shut it down and notice how you stop yourself when you’re feeling uncertain.
Try on your “NO”
Then try “Yes, but…”
Then “YES, AND!”
We often have to see all the ways that we are saying “No” before we can play with our “Yes!”.
Where can you play with a “Yes, AND!” in your life right now? I read and respond to every note that comes through, so don’t be shy. Reply back to me or leave a comment on the blogpost!
To your blazing YES,
P.S. One of the surest ways of navigating uncertainty is to practice speaking your truth and being able to trust your own words and actions. Join us NEXT Thursday, May 25 at SoulSpeak: Women’s Voices, where women will be sharing stories about times they’ve let their voice ring out and times they’ve kept quiet. Sign up here.
P.P.S. This blog post originally appeared on Ringlet Market on May 4, 2017. Check out the original post here.
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