Living in uncertainty
Since March 2020 I feel like I’ve lived in almost constant uncertainty.
My world was spinning comfortably on its axis and then a global health pandemic completely knocked it off, since then my world has been rolling around, lost.
Life as I knew it vanished and a new life emerged. There was the stress, uncertainty and fear around COVID yet I was fortunate enough to be quite unaffected by the virus itself.
Instead, COVID was the catalyst for my world to start turning in a new direction.
I began to put myself at the centre. My health, my relationships, family and then work. In that order.
I have changed a lot and one thing I’ve reflected on is that I have to take responsibility for a lot of the uncertainty that I am creating, because I am the one asking big questions and doubting what was once certain to me.
There are uncertainties that are outside of my control, like economic uncertainty, interest rates, a recession and the cost of day to day life. They impact me and I sometimes feel like I’m treading water with nothing to stand on.
I chose to ask some big questions about the direction of my career. I chose to change roles in my business. I chose to leave my business full time and take a part time board role. These are changes that I decided to make and they have created uncertainty for me.
I chose to leave the certainty I had behind because I didn’t feel deeply fulfilled at the time. Therefore in a sense I have chosen uncertainty as a path.
I feel relieved to be taking ownership of that rather than blaming whomever I can whether it be Kwasi Karteng or Liz Truss for making me feel this way.
On a personal level I have a high dosage of uncertainty in my life right now. I am writing this from the spare bedroom of my in-laws, whilst my wife commutes down to London a couple of days a week and the house we’re buying has no clear move date in sight.
More and more uncertainty.
I could easily not be facing any of these uncertainties. Yet if I didn’t I wouldn’t be changing or growing which I believe I am.
I spend my life searching for certainty. I like to be in control. I like to know what is going to happen and when. That’s not life though, or it is but it’s a very fixed and rigid life without much room for spontaneity, opportunity and growth.
I know to fulfil my potential and be all of who I believe I can be, I must live in uncertainty at times, must stay in it, so that I can pass through this corridor to the next room, wherever that may be.
For me, uncertainty is both a constant when we open our eyes fully to it (and we’ve all had our eyes opened to the fragility of the world now) and it’s a choice too that we all have in our lives as to how much risk we want to take. Moving house creates uncertainty. Changing jobs creates uncertainty. Letting yourself dream of a career change creates uncertainty.
If you dare to dream, I believe you must welcome uncertainty. I have and it’s not as easy as I’d have liked it to be.
I’m being kind to myself that I do feel a bit washed up and like I’m treading water. I accept that this is where I’m meant to be.
Every night in my journal I write; “I am where I’m meant to be”
The small rituals I can keep in this period of transience I do. My morning coffee, daily writing, a walk around the block, a gym routine and the hobbies like reading and rowing that I can still do.
I hope that’s enough to keep me afloat and I trust that when I’m ready for some more solid ground, life will take me ashore.
I know many people are feeling the weight of uncertainty right now, I can feel it. I see hope in that, because I believe change is afoot on so many levels. If you’re reading, know you’re not alone. Leave a comment, share what you might be experiencing or what you do to keep you grounded and find your centre. I know there’s a whole world of us out there feeling similar.