An increasing number of articles on “the time of uncertainty” dispense quick advice: how to handle uncertainty, how to reduce it, what to do in uncertainty…. Let me ask you:
When have we ever lived through the time of certainty?
Certainty, condition in which one knows with 100% probability what will happen, hardly exists.
We may experience fragments of certainty: add $10 to your existing NYC Metrocard, and your balance on the Metrocard will increase by $10. Even then, there are caveats: the machine should be working properly, etc.
We have been living in the time of uncertainty our whole lives.
Like freedivers who have methodically developed higher tolerance to carbon dioxide, and like ballerinas, who mastered techniques for spotting, we have developed our own strategies for getting through uncertainty.
Unlike professional freedivers and ballerinas, however, we may not be aware of our strategies (i.e. our knowledge is tacit).
I won’t tell you what to do during the time of uncertainty, because you’ve been already coping with uncertainty all your life, but I will tell you where to look to make these strategies more apparent.
- Where do your time, attention, and energy go? Allocating these resources is the way you cope with the world. If it is not working, think how you can re-allocate these resources for better outcomes.
- What do you stand for? When things seem uncertain, decide what you personally stand for, what matters to you; let these ideas guide your actions.
- What is working well? What do you love as it is now, without having to fix it? Invest more of your time, attention and energy into it, because this is what sustains you.
Striving for certainty is like Sisyphus’ rock: we can try to build it up, and inevitably, it tumbles down.
Instead, we can use time, energy and attention to create a feeling of safety. We’ve been doing it all along.
If you would like more support, and could use a coaching session, let’s schedule a talk. If you’d like to donate a coaching session to someone who cannot afford it, you can do it here (just add a note with your purchase instead of scheduling).
SOME GOOD PERSONAL NEWS:
I’ve earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology in Business and Management as a step on the way to the PhD. The learning made it easier to argue about politics without resorting to concepts like “idiots!”.
A book chapter on intuition, which I co-authored with my mentor and PhD advisor, has been published! You can request a free e-copy of our chapter, Intuition: Scientific, Non-scientific, or Unscientific? here, or by sending me a quick email with your request (the full book, Handbook of Intuition Research as Practice, is available on Amazon, but is pricey).
I know 2020 has been a tough year. If it hasn’t been all bad, would you share some of your good news with me? Just reply to the newsletter or send me a note at Alina@AlinaBas.com .