“Tell me all about it,” Judith said with wide-eyed enthusiasm, we met at a function a few months before and finally reconnected. I knew she was a good person right away; I felt it in my bones. Both Judith and I are planning events in the same season, and we’ve tried to be supportive of one another. But I hit a snag in the road, my ticket sales stalled and I felt stuck, so I reconnected with Judith for some advice.
“It’s going okay,” I mumbled trying to convince myself taking a quick sip of my coffee. I decided to come clean and leveled with her. “Look. Truth is, I don’t know if I’m doing this right.”
She listened intently and even finished some of my sentences.
“I called, met with them and then…”
“…You didn’t hear back, yeah I know,” she said nodding.
A wave of relief came over me.
“Yes, exactly! What am I doing wrong?”
“Nothing. You seem like you’re doing the right things.”
And then she described the challenges she was facing. As she continued, my body rocked with nervous excitement. She understood. She really understood. I had found a kindred spirit in Judith.
We both left our coffee meeting that day recharged and a little less deflated. And I left with another understanding. I realized I’m living with uncertainty. Oh, the agony of uncertainty. The not knowing. The elongated pauses. The appearance of nothingness.
Getting from where you are to where you want to be seems thrilling when you have a plan. I thought I packed appropriately for anything. I was even ready to deal with shame gremlins that told me I couldn’t do it, but uncertainty … it’s awful.
Did I mention that?
So there in the middle of the coffee shop, I pulled out my notebook and tried to shed some light on my situation. Without thinking I wrote:
- I am certain I am doing the best I can.
- I am committed to this cause.
- I am certain that I will see this through, even it’s just me and my husband sitting in a conference room.
I then realized that it all tied back to a seed I planted earlier this year. I said my one word would be resilience. I knew then I needed to learn how to bounce back, how to cope with stress and adversity, my stick-to-it-ness. I needed to work on my “grit” muscle. Well, here it is!
Me and my big mouth!
It sounds good when you say it, living it is just, ugh. I won’t say it.
Cheryl Strayed said it best in, Wild, she writes, “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
So here I am feasting on delicious uncertainty while flexing my resilience muscle. I see fear over in the corner but I won’t let that bastard win.
How do you cope with uncertainty?
Here’s a promo video completed for the conference, let me know what you think. And if you’re on Google, subscribe to the channel.