What Do You Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball?

This post is really one about how you deal with uncertainty in your life and business. Life is exceedingly uncertain but for our own sanity, I think we fool ourselves into thinking that we have control over what happens in our lives. When we plan we are optimistic that the plan will unfold without a hitch and then we are disappointed when things don’t go as we envisioned.

This is what makes goal setting so darn frustrating! We dream a big dream, set a goal that makes us stretch; create a plan to achieve the goal. Yet when it comes to implementation in real life, it’s as if life wants to do its own thing!

In the midst of a situation myself, fraught with uncertainty, a friend sent this quote for me via text from Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean:

I know when my life is uncertain; it certainly has a high degree of uncertainty. So with uncertainty we can certainly be certain that it causes a certain degree of uncertainty. Of that we can be quite sure!

Pitcher Preparing to Pitch Ball --- Image by © Nice One Productions/Corbis
Pitcher Preparing to Pitch Ball — Image by © Nice One Productions/Corbis

I hope you are laughing because I certainly did. And while it might just seem like a tongue twister, there is a lot of wisdom in there.

Most of us think about life like this: we go to school, graduate, get a good job that’s paying well, meet a lover, get married, buy a house, have children, raise children, retire, travel around the globe, go on cruises, entertain, try to avoid disease and then die.

Even if this is not at the forefront of your mind and you may have never written this down, you must admit, that’s the general plan most of us follow.

Except life does its own thing. We go to school but sometimes don’t graduate. We choose courses of study that are logical but not natural for us and so we struggle. We never get the ideal job we dreamed about and instead settle for a job where the pay is “OK” and the hours at work seem like forever torture. Many of us attempt to prove something to the outside world that life is fine for us. We buy the things that represent success but inside we don’t really feel successful. And with regard to our relationships – we talk casually over drinks about abuse, dysfunction and codependency like we do the weather.

I am no expert for sure but experience is definitely a teacher, if you are willing to learn the lessons.

This is what I can share with you with regard to dealing with uncertainty whether it’s the loss of a job, a positive diagnosis following a mammogram, the destruction of a business by fire (this recently happened to one of my family members in San Fernando), or the dissolving of a marriage:

You need to shift from an external to an internal locus of control. Life is an inside out job. Always has been, always will. Life Coach Celestine Chua says

…if you feel that the economy, the government, and other people have a higher influence than you over your happiness in life, you have an external locus of control

Nowadays when we are searching for solutions – we “Google” it. There is a feeling that the answer is out there somewhere, experienced by someone else and the answer is there in black and white, for us to follow and succeed.

We never stop to think that WE might have the best answer as to our next steps.

I get a Monday Morning Memo from Alan Weiss – consultant, speaker and author. This was his memo this week:

“When I managed huge, international sales forces, some members would come to me whining that quotas were unfair or their territories required exceptions to expectations. Others found ways to make the unusual happen and gain unprecedented results. Some wanted me to give them some excuse for not performing (or help in performing), while others focused on finding and implementing approaches to excel.

I refuse to simply tell coaching clients what to do, but require they give me their ideas for me to critique first. In an organization, or in entrepreneurialism, I can find people with excuses quite easily. It’s the rarer ones who see challenges and devise approaches to overcome them whom I want to be with.”

I think that we underestimate just how powerful we are. Dr. Joseph Murphy in his book the Power of the Subconscious Mind says that the reason there is so much chaos and misery in the world is because people do not understand the interaction of their conscious and subconscious minds.

Next week I will share how you can tap into your subconscious mind to get the answers YOU need to take that next step amidst the uncertainty that you now face.

One thought on “What Do You Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball?

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