What Helps You Sit With Uncertainty?

It is an act of courage to acknowledge our own uncertainty and sit with it for a while. Harriet Lerner, psychologist and author

For a person, like me, who finds peace and security in making and executing a well-thought-out plan, sitting with uncertainty is challenging and I don’t like it. 

Harriet Lerner calls this sitting “an act of courage” but, to me, courage means choice (I choose to go into the lion’s den). When we have no choice but to sit with uncertainty, I think we have to call on other traits; like perseverance and resilience. 

As I scarf down corned beef hash with vinegar and Ketchup (a childhood favorite) and meticulously clean my kitchen (something within my control), I’m reminded of tools I’ve used in the past to persevere in the midst of uncertainty. A more recent tool (I’m thinking Covid lock-down year), is journaling (much healthier than corned beef hash). 

Affirmation: I will acknowledge and sit with uncertainty for a while. 

Coaching questions: How do you deal with uncertainty? What are your coping mechanisms? 

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

Find the Courage to Say I’m Sorry

I’m sorry are the two most healing words one person can say to another. Harriet Lerner, PhD, psychologist and relationship expert.

A sincere, heart-felt apology is not only a gift to the person we offended, it is a gift to ourselves. I’m wondering, however, If it’s such a great thing for all concerned, why is it so difficult to convey? It’s not easy. An apology is an acknowledgement of harm and an admission of responsibility. In order to apologize, we have to come to terms with our errors and misjudgments. 

“It’s challenging to see ourselves capable of hurting other people’s feelings,” says Tamar Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You Want. “And yet, we all make mistakes.” Dr. Chansky goes on to explain that even when we’ve wronged a person, our stubborn refusal rewards us by boosting our sense of control and self-worth. Those feel-good benefits often prevent us from making a gesture of remorse.” 

In my experience, deciding whether or not to apologize depends on how much I value the relationship. Do the benefits of an apology outweigh the humility required? My answer is usually, “Yes.”

Affirmation: I can say, “I’m sorry.”

Coaching questions: Is there anyone to whom you need to apologize? Is it worth it? If not, why not? Who needs to apologize to you? How is this lack of acknowledgement of wrong-doing making you feel?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash