Know that you’re not alone.
It’s really easy to feel like you’re the only one experiencing the feelings you are. Whilst we are all unique (“Same storm, different boat”), we do have so much in common, especially at the moment. Don’t be afraid to share with someone else how you’re feeling because they’re likely feeling that way too. You’ll probably help them by saying out loud how they are feeling too.
Begin with acceptance.
Stop fighting the situation you’re in. It’s wasted emotion. You can be so much more productive putting that energy into the positive things you CAN do to address the situation or your response to it. It’s a simple as taking a few deep breaths, stopping being angry at the past and then telling yourself that you’re here right now so you need to decide the next thing you’re going to do.
Start from where you are.
Build confidence and certainty in yourself by assessing all the positive qualities, traits and values that you have. Write them down as this makes them tangible. Ask friends and family members that you trust what they would put on your list. Understand that you have lots going for you and already possess the right behaviours to enable you to move forwards.
Do what you can.
What’s the least scary/risky thing you can do to change your situation? How can you start to create some certainty? What’s something or someone that you CAN rely on right now? How can you build more of that into your life? Don’t be hard on yourself. Just because you might watch online as people share body transformations, become overnight TikTok sensations or masters in baking banana bread and sourdough…remember that they’re sharing their successes and not all the failed attempts and bad days that got them there.
Find a direction.
The one thing worse than making a wrong decision is making no decision. So decide something, just one thing that is the first step that you’re going to take to create some certainty for yourself. It doesn’t need to be a big action or a life-changing decision. A small step is an amazing start. Then you can follow it by another small step and another and so on. Soon you’ll look back and realise just how far you’ve come. By taking just small steps you can alter your path without too much trouble if you think you’re heading in the wrong direction.
Use what you have.
You’ll already have a whole heap of skills, experience and knowledge from the life you’ve lived so far. This isn’t about academic qualifications, it’s about the situations you’ve handled, the tough times you’ve got through and all the things you’ve achieved. So write them all down. You’ll be amazed how many transferable skills you already have that give you the ability to tackle difficult situations.
Understand the difference between Control & Influence.
In uncertain times you may feel like “there’s nothing I can do”. This is where you need to understand the difference between control and influence. Control is the ability to directly impact an outcome, whereas influence is to indirectly impact. Therefore, when you might not be able to control a situation (e.g. lockdown, end of a relationship, loss of a job) you will still have a lot that you can influence (e.g. your emotions, decisions you take, removing yourself from negative people).