In staying consistent with my monthly theme of discomfort, I decided to write about feelings of uncertainty this week. Something that I think we all experience at various times in our lives, but it’s a feeling that I’ve been experiencing more consistently as I get older. Uncertainty can come up in all categories but I think the most prominent is feeling uncertain about our future; at least for me it is. It almost feels like worry, because I question whether I’m doing enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle in the future. I’m using the term “healthy” in the general sense because I’m not just referring to my health. It includes my finances, my physical health (of course), retirement, my mental wellbeing, and a host of other things. Let me be clear, I’m not stricken with anxiety so I haven’t “lost control” so to speak, but I really want to make sure that I’m heading in the right direction to secure the kind of future that will hopefully sustain me….all of me.
For some of us, the instant reaction to feelings of uncertainty is to completely ignore it, or sweep it under the rug. I think we all know that some of us don’t like to address things that we can’t control. But here’s the thing, what we resist will persist and will likely be a lot worse once you come head to head with it. Even if you feel like there’s nothing you can do, there’s always something you can do, even if it doesn’t feel like much. “Something” can look like having a conversation with someone just to get off your chest, it can look like research or reading just to gain some knowledge or insight, acknowledging; by simply having a conversation with yourself (I was comfortable including that in the blog because I’m confident that we all talk to ourselves sometimes lol), or it can look like contemplating by going through a check list in your head.
When I was working on the rough draft for this post I wasn’t quite sure what my approach would be. Uncertainty is clearly the topic I wanted to cover but what about it? You know what I mean? And then I said; how can we address this? Because we all deal with it. I believe I’ve said this to you guys a few times in the past but I’m not an expert so sometimes writing these blog post can be challenging. But I digress lol. Here are the two (what I consider) uncommon signs we can use to address uncertainty.
The Steps You’re Taking Now Impacts Your Future let me spell this out for us by using examples. The most common example which I’m pretty sure some of us are already planning a head for….retirement. Besides your pension or 401k what methods are you using to secure your future self? Your kids? What about your diet and your activity level, what do they look like? because that will potentially have a significant impact on your overall health which of course you know includes medical bills and the cost of medication. This advice is not exclusive to our health and our retirement, it also relates to the person you’ll be 5, 10, 15 years from now, and we have to ask ourselves what are we doing now to take care of your emotional wellbeing in the future. What lifestyle are we consistently exposed to? How often (if ever) do we read or list to an ebook or an informative podcast? I’m sure you get my point. I’m not saying that we must always be strict with ourselves and that we can’t enjoy life, but for most of us, the balance is not 50/50. For some of us it’s 90/10 (and you know what falls under 10 lol). If you’re currently behind, start making the necessary adjustments if you’re not on the right path. Most of us already know what we need to do to move in the right direction. If you don’t have a 401k or pension, talk to your HR department, if you don’t have a savings; start, and save what you can. Start walking daily if you’re new to exercising, watch your diet, and engage in your self-care. I’m barely scratching the surface with this information but I want us to start taking these things more seriously. And you’re never too young to start doing any of these things. Secure your future by securing yourself.
Not Having a Plan is a Plan…For Failure. I’m sure most of us have heard this before but I don’t think it’s taken seriously, and I don’t think it’s said often enough. This goes hand in hand with the strategy I outlined above. It would be overzealous to try and figure things out in one day if you don’t already have a plan set in place. But what do I always say? Start small. I was having a conversation with an old coworker who told me that she broke her goals down in the following steps:
I think it’s brilliant because we often create a goal and don’t often work on the steps we need to take to accomplish it, and this is probably why most of our new year resolutions never make it past the month of February. We have to have a plan, especially for the really important things in life because we can’t expect major occurrences e.g. retirement, potential job loss, a surprise pregnancy, or a major emergency to just work itself out if we didn’t make plans to secure the future. Think about the goals you want to accomplish and break them down into smaller more achievable goals and work on them a little each day. Change your unintentional plan to fail, into something real and tangible.
These tips extend beyond the examples I outlined above. It can also work when you feel uncertain in other areas in your life. Like your relationship with others, if you ignore red flags you will reap the unwelcome benefits of them in the future, this falls under the first advice…the steps you’re taking now impacts your future. Let me be transparent, I don’t have everything figured out but I’m working on my plan, I’m writing a blog about it, I’m talking to people, I’m doing research, and I’m reading. I’m doing all this to secure my future self. My whole self, not just retirement or physical health. If the content I’ve provided doesn’t resonate with anything that you’re currently experiencing, expand your mindset and see how you can apply it to something in your life that you’re not completely sure about. It’s impossible for me to cover every single issue that we deal with in life, but I do hope that you’re able to take something from each of my blog post and tweak it to fit your current lifestyle or situation. That is my ultimate goal.
Let’s Chat! What advice would you give or what would you add to my two uncommon advice?
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