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Prompts to deal with uncertainty


When times are uncertain, many can find solace in an action plan. TCA Trainer and renowned confidence coach Pam Lidford shares useful prompts and techniques to help others find a path forward.

We're entering our third week of a strange new existence and the time has gone reasonably fast, but then it has just been over a couple of weeks.
It may not feel like it right now, but the time will pass and my hope is we will look back on it having learnt a lot about ourselves, our planet and how we want to live our future lives.

I’ve been receiving some wonderful positive online offerings, which have lifted my spirits and some have made me laugh out loud. I’ve enjoyed hearing about the acts of kindness and community spirit locally as well as nationally.
I’ve joined my local community to help out in any way I can, have you managed to find some uplifting material or support to help you at this difficult time? I really hope so.

But on the other side, when working with clients this week I've noticed topics brought to sessions are different from previous ones.
There is understandable fear and worry, some of my clients have COVID 19, others have family members or friends with it, and there have been losses. Many people are struggling with their thoughts, they feel out of control and there’s nowhere we can escape to, nowhere to fly off to, apart from in our heads and at this time coaching is proving useful and helpful.  

I came across a quote this week “control allows us the illusion that we’re not going to get hurt”.
It resonated with me. I, like many, like to think I’m in control of certain situations, however, I learnt a long time ago that we’re never truly in control, it just seems like we are, that is until someone or something challenges the thing we thought we had control over.
Control protects us from the reality of what is going on around us, the reality that there is no control and now more than ever we are experiencing that and it is a shock.

Again and again this week I’ve heard people saying these are uncertain times, indeed they are and I remember learning in NLP that people need to feel certain (it makes them think they’re in control), it gives them a sense of security, but because too much certainty becomes boring they need a bit of uncertainly, because that feels exciting, however, too much uncertainty causes fear so they go back to certainty.
At this point in time, the world is uncertain with no certainty to go home to which creates much panic and fear. Deepak Chopra shared an article last week saying:

“The real pandemic is fear, not the virus. It has been largely futile to spread facts in the face of the mass fear that social media and 24/7 news incite so easily.” 

So what can you do to help with your thoughts at such a time? Here are some things that help me. 

I found Victor Frankl's story inspiring and his quotes motivating:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Question prompt: 

 How can you challenge and change your unhelpful thoughts, even if it’s just one each day, to help you feel less ‘owned’ by fear and more ‘in control’?

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Question prompt: 

 If you are watching the TV (more than usual) because of the virus or living with someone who wants to, how can you choose an attitude that is helpful to you at this time of uncertainty?

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

At the moment, we have no control over the current situation, it’s scary and causes negative ‘what if?’ questions that are future-based and unhelpful. Please remember the only moment that is real is this moment, you can choose to have control over your response to your thoughts at this moment 

Question prompt: 

How can you become aware of the thoughts you are having moment by moment and in doing so choose a positive response to each one?

In addition...

Here’s a simple and easy technique to help you that I learned during a Heartmath workshop last year:

1. To reduce stress, change your vibrational state or just feel calm - think of someone or something you know or love.  

2. Next, close your eyes and whilst you think of or imagine them, breathe in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 5.  

3. Do this five times. It lowers blood pressure and alters your emotional state

You can repeat this exercise many times over the day and the more often you do it the better you will feel. 

Make sure you stay connected with the TCA community throughout this challenging time and share your stories! Home study is not alone study and the TCA students are leading the way in supporting each other and their communities. 
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