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By February 26, 2014Work it Out

My inability to see into the future really bugs me. I want to know things and move forward each day toward something known and secure. More often than not, this certainty escapes me. Since so much of my time and identity is invested in my work (for better or for worse), losing equilibrium in that space seems to have a greater impact than I’d like to admit.

Co-workers come and go and rattle the team chemistry. Management changes in the form of new people or new policies introduce a threat to the status quo. Expectations morph, deadlines slide, and all of a sudden the realization sets in that I am not actually in control.

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That loss of power manifests differently depending on your personality, your relationship with your work, and your personal level of resilience to change. Maybe it’s one more glass of wine, shouting at the kids a little bit louder, or working extra hours on the weekend to prove your worth and exert control over defined projects. In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown sums it up this way: “Without purpose, meaning, and perspective, it is easy to lose hope, numb our emotions, or become overwhelmed by our circumstances.”

As followers of Christ, how do we reconnect to purpose, meaning, perspective, and ultimately hope? There are no easy answers, but here is my to-do list to consider when I feel like the uncertainty seems to be circling closer than usual.

  • What IS my purpose? Identifying our gifts and callings help us to realign with God. Can I lean into the knowledge that I’m living life where I’m supposed to be? Or am I feeling uncertain because it’s time for a change? (or what Jim Collins would call being “in the wrong seat”? ) Pray and ask God if I’m still where He needs me to be. Am I doing the right thing, with the right people?
  • Get connected. Who is that person (or group of people) that helps me navigate the uncertainty? When I moved to DC I had lunch once a month with a group of other finance people that worked nearby. We were constantly assessing what “normal” was in our offices and encouraging each other. Some uncertainty you have to accept. Can we connect to others in a similar channel of culture who may understand the pressures and unknowns there? What about one or two trusted personal friends (separate from work) that know me well?
Perspective/Regain Hope
  • Pray. Pray for strength, courage, and wisdom. Ask for it. I am grateful that we have a God that enters into the uncertainty with us.
  • Worship. Do I worship God for being bigger than the uncertainty, and find security in the very nature of God? Right now Hebrews 6:16-20 is my go-to. I need to constantly remember that my hope in Him is a secure anchor for my soul.
  • Find more fun. What activities do I enjoy, that actually help me to feel better? (e.g., biking, painting, reading) Can I let go of the worry when I am with friends and family and really be present with them? Am I having enough fun?
  • Give myself grace. Tomorrow morning I might be starting down this list all over again!

What do you do to deal with uncertainty and find your bearings again? Share your suggestions in comments.

Read More/Source Article: How to Live with Uncertainty by Brené Brown


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