The last six months of lockdown, isolation and the ‘new normal’ has signified unprecedented change, disruption and transition in all of our lives – that all happened very quickly.
Your employment situation may have changed, living situation or dynamic, family, childcare, social contact, exercise, health, travel and future plans to name a few. This means a total shift in priorities for us all.
The overriding feeling for you through this period may be one of uncertainty, or lack of control. What is the economy doing? Will I lose my job? Will there be a second wave and lockdown? Will I be able to go on holiday? And as humans, that doesn't sit well - we like to understand, to know, to control. The result of this can be seeing ‘threats’ everywhere - whether to your health, loved ones, finances or relationships, and a lack of confidence in where you are, and where you're going.
Taking back control and building confidence
So, how do we move away from this sense of uncertainty to feel like we have direction and control and can re-build our confidence? Here's two simple tips that you can implement to get started:
1. Focus on what you can control
The chances are you have no control over most external circumstances that are invading your thoughts and eroding your confidence, whether that is societal decision making, pandemics, or just another human being's thoughts, actions, emotions, behaviours. We can attempt to influence, but ultimately the power is not in our hands.
If we can move to a place of acknowledging that and completely letting it go, we can place all our attention and focus on what we can control and influence, such as our reaction to external events, our behaviours, the way we communicate and interact with others, our actions, the next step we take, decisions etc. This shift can make all the difference, moving from feeling anxious, powerless, overwhelmed to empowered, calm, action focused, in control of you and only you.
Top tip - at the start of each day, identify three things you can take action on and influence today that will move you in the right direction.
2. Reframe your internal chatter
On the surface, it might seem that something external is negative and out there to bring you down. But we always have a choice in terms of what lens we view the world with. If you notice something that feels like it's eroding your confidence or making you feel uncertain, take a moment to stop and ask yourself a couple of questions:
how could this be a positive for me?
how could I use this as an opportunity in some way?
what can I learn from this that's going to help my development as a person?
what would I advise a friend in this situation?
This breaks the cycle of catastrophising and again brings you a sense of empowerment, control and possibility.
If you'd like to explore in more depth how to overcome anxiety and build authentic confidence, even in these uncertain times, email firstname.lastname@example.org