COVID-19 Editor's Column Self

Uncertainty is the one thing we can be certain about

By Fiona Bugler • 8th May 2020

When uncertainty defines the mood and the times we are in, it’s important to keep your bigger vision in mind and remember change and uncertainty are the things we can rely on in life.

On Monday morning, as I was running I was listening to LBC, a radio show here in the UK. James O’Brien pointed out he couldn’t pick a headline. What’s your headline at this point of the crisis?

At the weekend, the Sunday Times shared surveys which revealed pessimism and fear regarding going back to work, going on holiday and even a reluctance to send kids back to school.

Uncertainty can raise anxiety

Here in the UK, our wellbeing is a little lower than optimal. According to surveys by the Office of National Statistics between 20 March and 30 March 2020, almost half (49.6%) of people in Great Britain reported “high” (rating 6 to 10) anxiety; this was sharply elevated compared with the end of 2019 (21%) and equates to over 25 million people (out of the population aged 16 years and over). The uncertainty of our current times must surely play a part in this shocking rise in anxiety. It will help now to recognise stress and anxiety, and try some simple strategies, from getting outside to talking to others. 

It feels the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty

When times are like this (or at any time) the only place to find certainty is within. Do you have a North Star that you follow in life? A vision for your career, your business, your love life, your fitness and health?

Strategic visioning to overcome uncertainty

It doesn’t matter how you get there and if you have to take some deviations on the way. To help you get past the uncertainty of now, it helps to create a vision of certainty. It’s often said that our mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and the vision we create. In start-up business uncertainty is par for the course. Strategic Visioning, where we look at our end goal, visualise it in full colour, set the scene, smell the coffee will mean it’s more likely to become a certainty, a winning business. 

You don’t have to save the world…

In terms of yours and your staff’s wellbeing now is the time to think about the bigger picture for you and your business but without too much pressure. I don’t mean getting your marketing team to define your ‘purpose’ – at a time when there’s uncertainty about whether we can even pay the bills that might be the last thing on your mind. And as an interviewee in a forthcoming article told me wearily, everybody wants to save the world.

…Just be certain when you can be

Right now this might be a simple vision for a healthy, happy life, where you and your business and staff are safe and secure. Your vision might be focussed entirely on how your weekends will look and feel, or how a leaner, more flexible business will actually look and feel.

Be certain of your vision and immerse yourself in it, and trust with the goal in mind, you’ll find your way. And remember in times of change, ‘pivot’ is good. Check out this from Eric Ries, the author of the Lean Start-Up, who talks about the pivot, a change in strategy but not vision, check out the video.

Fiona Bugler

Fiona is the creator of all things editorial, she’s a journalist with a life-long passion for health, fitness and wellbeing. For more than a decade she worked with business leaders and large groups as a personal trainer and running coach and this background informs the content she creates.

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