Charting a Course Through Uncertainty

Charting a Course Through Uncertainty

Chances are we’re all going through the emotional rollercoaster ride that is this pandemic. Whether you recently lost your job, or are fearful that layoffs are coming, we’d like to share some of the tools and resources that have helped us navigate these uncharted waters.

Surviving any crisis requires reflection and introspection. You need to know where you are mentally and emotionally before you can figure out how to get where you want to go.

We found the following diagram to be really helpful in recognizing where we are in our journey of dealing with the crisis. We’ll use this as the roadmap for understanding where we are mentally.

The Fear Zone

This is the natural starting point for any time of crisis. Most importantly, as long as they don’t prevent you from being productive, fear and anxiety are appropriate responses. When embraced, they prompt us to take action and to be diligent. When avoided, fear and anxiety can create a spiral effect and trap us. 

To escape the fear zone, engage socially and professionally. Participate in groups outside of your typical social and professional interactions. Tap into your personal interests and connections to help you be active and deliberate. One of the best ways to break free from fear is to help someone, whether they’re a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger in need. Making someone else’s day can make yours.

The good news is the best way out of this stage is by engaging in activities that are required for the next phase: learn about the facts.

The Learning Zone

Learning is a powerful platform for pulling ourselves out of fear and identifying new opportunities for growth. Start with learning how to recognize your feelings and emotions. Learn what triggers them, and what calms them down. Self-reflection and awareness are powerful tools. 

Many of us get caught up in the 24-hour news cycle, but if you force yourself to explore the facts from a diverse set of sources, and vet those facts with people you trust, you will be informed and in a far better place to evaluate your next steps.

The Growth Zone

The idea of entering a growth phase may feel foreign given your day-to-day reality, but those with a growth mindset are far more likely to find a positive path through uncertainty. Most importantly, growth doesn’t just come through introspection: helping others, and contributing your numerous talents to efforts that benefit others can present new challenges and opportunities. 

Whether it’s volunteering at your local food bank, mentoring a recent college graduate trying to navigate wholly new and turbulent waters, the simple act of helping others can teach you about new ways to apply your experience and skills, ways that can apply to your professional work equally as to volunteering and helping others.