Uncertainty is not easy. We like predictability, routine and our business-as-usual. However, that no longer exists, despite our desire for “normal.”
When life isn’t going how we want it to, what happens? Most of us react with “This is not ok” and we naturally try to MAKE it be how we believe it should be. We push and force it to be how we want it.
Yet now, we face an alternative story. Business is not returning to usual and we have no certainty of what is next and cannot force our way out of it.
I am hearing from my clients how agitating it when our ego just wants life and business to go smoothly uninterrupted and pleasing. We can feel insecure, frightened, and frustrated.
From a spiritual point of view, we call this suffering. We resist what is and we suffer from our emotional reactions, judgmental thinking and disconnection from the flow of life.
“Change is never painful. Only the resistance to change is painful.” Buddha
Facing Your Challenges
My client Maria, a Hispanic female business owner, had her shop closed for the past 60 days. She has struggled tremendously, feeling like she was “drowning in fear and despair.” All she could do was give up and watch her dream die. She reached out to me to see what else she could do and how to handle it. This is a brief outline of the work we did to get her out of resistance and into flow.
First of all, we needed to get her out of the survival mode pattern, that energetically kept her circling the drain. Helping her develop mindful focusing to calm her nervous system and bring her executive functioning brain back online was key. This immediately helped her stop the obsessing and begin accepting the current circumstances. We can’t change what we don’t face.
Then we helped her build on that by reconnecting with her business dream. In a custom visualization process, she was guided to practice holding it with curiosity and flexibility. This connected Maria her with deeper sense of purpose and creative mindset that is radically important in the midst of uncertainty and change. She needed to recognize who she is hasn’t changed, just the outside circumstances. She started relaxing and sleeping and eating better. With more nourishment and care, Maria began thinking out of the box about what was possible.
Lastly, we focused on Maria accessing an experience of resourcefulness that comes with somatic awareness and feminine embodiment practices. This practice supported her sense of trusting herself and the flow of her life, which reduced her guilt and anxiety.
Maria experienced a tremendous letting go of the mental tension of clinging to “what should be” and felt more grounded and aligned then she had been in months. She was believing she would be ok no matter what, which was a big shift from where she was before. She was building her confidence and willingness to stay in the flow, creating momentum, energy and intention to rise through this uncertainty.
Within a few more weeks, Maria was coming up with ideas for some business pivots she could try and she felt invigorated, engaged and excited with creative potential. She ended up investing in a collaborative project that created income and opened up new opportunities
“ Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.” Lao Tzu.
River water is a great metaphor. The water doesn’t fight the current and the rocks it comes across. It doesn’t demand to go the direction it wants, thinking it’s the better way. It follows the current around the rocks, moving forward with acceptance of where it is meant to go, trusting. And with that flow, it builds energy, connection, and power, as it allows itself to be led through the river’s bends to its final destination.
In contrast, most of us humans haven’t learned this. We fight what is, especially when it is uncomfortable. We waste a lot of time, energy and our opportunity for growth. This resistance causes us to suffer from stress, emotional distress, relationship conflict, and physical illness.
Learning how to tap into our flow skills and strategies will not only help us stop suffering, it will support us to stay connected with who we are, and listen to what the present moment is showing us, and what is possible.
Leading a business amidst uncertainty is all about flexibility and evolving with what is. We can either be victims of our ego habits or become champions of change. The world needs us to be the latter.
She is a TedX speaker, and author of “Fear-Less: The Art of Using Anxiety to Your Advantage”. Dr. Kate helps women entrepreneurs and CEO’s elevate their LeadHERship(TM) capacity so they can navigate challenges, create sustainable success, and make positive impact with confidence, ease and fulfillment.