Are you feeling on a wobbly footing with all the uncertainty that’s surrounding society at the moment?
It’s something that’s not to be ignored because as we know, our unconscious thoughts and feelings are always driving our behaviour.
So if our inner voice is one of stress, panic and uncertainty then it’s going to have an effect on our work one way or the other.
It’ll also have an effect on our relationships and our health long term.
Here in the UK the death of our Queen, even though she was the grand age of 96, sent shockwaves of sorrow.
She has been a constant in our lives.
With her passing comes a new King and at this point nobody knows what that could mean long term. I’m sure he doesn’t even know yet!
It’s all too easy to get set into the ‘what if’s’ and as story making and meaning making machines our brains will be going into overdrive creating stories right now if left unchecked.
Naturally as humans we’re really not wired to love change and uncertainty to put it mildly.
We’re wired to avoid ‘new’. To repeat ‘familiar’. So the collective energy is feeling heavy.
We’ve had the pandemic, followed by a huge amount of political turmoil, we’ve got the cost of living crisis, talk of recession and soaring bills and now the loss of the queen and a new King.
It’s totally natural if people feel discombobulated.
So what do we do to try and find some firm footing when we feel very much on shaky ground?
You won’t be surprised by some of the things I say here because I’ve always been banging the same drum because after 8 years of intensive study, multiple qualifications in multiple trauma informed modalities and working directly with people. I know what works.
If I ever feel on wobbly ground, which I do because I’m human and life happens, these are my go tos.
I practice what I preach.
So, what do we do first?
Notice how YOU feel, and focus on that.
Don’t get dragged into other people’s ‘shoulds’.
As a society it’s become all too easy to project or opinion onto others, vocally and publicly.
People LOVE to tell you what to think and how to feel. They project their ‘stuff’ onto you. They blanket generalise that if they think something that must be how everyone thinks or you’re a bad human.
Yes we need to be able to critically analyse our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs that’s hugely important. Always be open to learning and the ability to change your mind but you have to deal in truth with yourself about what YOU believe.
What are your thoughts at the moment?
What are the stories?
How influenced are you being by the loudest opinions and how does that feel?
What do YOU think, believe and feel? Is it yours or something you’ve picked up from someone else.
Figure out the stories around the uncertainty. What are you telling yourself is going to happen? What could you do NOW to make sure it doesn’t?
I did a practical episode last week because so often we overlook the practical because we’re caught up in our thoughts and feelings.
We overlook the ways we have control over our experience.
Which leads me nicely onto what I do next.
Ask, what do you have control over?
This is so huge and so easily overlooked. Is there anything practical that you can actually do to change the way you’re thinking, feeling or shift the stories you’re telling yourself?
What ACTION can you take?
Allow yourself to think outside the box here.
Instead of catastrophising focus on the short term and be in the present. There simply are a lot of unknowns at the moment. We’re all in that boat.
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to do this. You are literally TRAINING your brain to be in the present moment. You’re wiring it in. With that neural pathway naturally comes less catastrophising and ‘what-if-ing’. The ability to be present allows you to be in your prefrontal cortex too. Conscious. Rational. We like that!
I know I bang this drum a lot but you simply have to look after yourself as a priority. Your internal world is the one you’re in the vast majority of the time and if you’re not looking after that and your physical world it causes problems elsewhere.
Making sure you’re in the best possible place you can be is never not going to be helpful.
The better place you’re in the better you can show up for others too. Don’t underestimate how much of an impact you not firing on all cylinders can create.
Actually supporting yourself in the best way you can. Nourishing food, plenty of water, regular exercise. The basics that such a huge percentage of the population ignores.
Learn to tolerate discomfort. This is something you can train yourself to do.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’re always going to feel that sense of discomfort when you’re trying to do anything outside of your familiar patterns.
Learn to send cues of safety in your body. Breathe, EFT, Heartmath, movement. The usual things that soothe and calm an aroused nervous system.
Seek joy. Goodness me I feel like this has fallen to the wayside in the last few years for a lot of people. I think people are feeling stuck doing things that they aren’t loving or NOT doing things they do love because of stories around sunk cost fallacy and time pressure. It’s time we MAKE time for things that bring us joy.
Let go of hustle culture and tune into what’s REALLY most important to you.
Take time offline. I was really happy to see how many people actually took a proper break over the summer. I do feel though like people have come back with a ‘refreshed and raring to go’ attitude…which is great…but not if that’s the very thing that caused you to need such a big break in the first place. It’s just going back for more of the same.
How can we allow ourselves to embrace a little bit of a slower pace if that’s what we really want? Without feeling the pressure of random judgement from random people. Let it go.
Don’t bottle up your feelings. You’d be hard pushed to find anybody who hasn’t had the slightest wobble or struggle over the last few years so please know you’re absolutely not alone. The more we normalise talking about it the easier life gets.
The certainty of worry can be addictive. It’s familiar. Predictable. Rehearsed and repeated. Your brain releases dopamine through ‘certainty’ so you literally get rewarded for worrying.
In terms of feeling better in yourself and managing what life has to throw at you it often comes back to the simplest of things that are the easiest to ignore.
Regulating your emotions. Looking after your nervous system. Challenging the automatic thoughts and stories. Using the cognitive AND the somatic tools and techniques. Brain AND body.
It’s not rocket science, it just goes against most of our natural automatic programming so it feels harder until it’s habitual.
That’s how habits work. They take more energy before they conserve them.
So if you’ve been feeling a little on the wobbly side please don’t beat yourself up. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster of a few years.
Focus on what’s within your control right now.
Be honest about what you really want and let go of self judgement.
Focus on the present moment and look after yourself.
Don’t future-trip on worst case scenarios.
You find solid ground by creating it within yourself. Wobbles and uncertainty are a natural part of life.
You’re doing great.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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