I’ve been living with a whole lot of uncertainty lately.
A new relationship in my life has a raft of unanswered questions – and those questions aren’t for me to answer.
I’m not in control of when they are answered, or what the answers will be.
But they sure will affect me.
Not the most empowering position, which has left me feeling peed off, vulnerable and weighty.
Has that messed with my joy?
Just like everybody else, I can get knocked sideways by the stuff of life and fall out of my flow.
And just like you, I sometimes forget that it doesn’t have to be this way.
But then I remember…
I am not a fan of uncertainty, few people are.
But what I have learnt over the years is that I can hold so much more of it when I feel solid within myself.
What does “feeling solid” mean?
To me, it means: Clear in my mind, fully expressed in emotions, and grounded in body.
For those of you who feel like they are not sure where their relationship is going, are in the middle of difficult conversations, or uncertain of a course of action, here are five steps I use to bring myself that solid, grounded feeling.
1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT
Do you know what you want out of this situation, out of this relationship, from your partner? This is the foundation piece, know exactly what it is you want. If you don’t, take time out to think about it. Journal on your ideal outcome, or sit and envision what your ideal relationship or outcome would be – you know it is right for you if your body feels alive and uplifted.
2. MAKE DAMN SURE YOUR PARTNER KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT
I have always been a direct communicator (what can I say, I’m Australian :p). But I haven’t always been great at communicating what I want and need in a relationship. Thankfully, I am MUCH better at it now. Our partners cannot read our minds and they really do often think very differently to us, so you have to tell them what you want. And you have to be clear on what kind of behaviours you are looking for.
“I am really looking for you to make more effort in the relationship to show me that you care.” [WHAT YOU WANT + WHY]
“What that looks like is booking a restaurant for dinner, organising a weekend away, or buying me a little something that you know I will really like.” [THE BEHAVIOURS YOU WOULD SEE IF HE WAS DOING THE THING YOU WANT]
3. UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WANTS
Sometimes it’s hard to hear the answers, so we avoid getting into the detail of a situation because we might not like what they say. But if you want the opportunity for an authentic, open, honest relationship, you have to go there. Also, knowing exactly what he wants clears up a whole heap of uncertainty!
So ask him, what does he want in this situation? What would he like you to do differently? (This doesn’t mean you will, and vice versa, but you need to understand his position so you can make informed choices.)
4. MAKE SOME DECISIONS
Based on the information above you can decide what course of action you want to take, if any. Can you stay in this situation and see how it unfolds? Can you make a simple compromise between the two of you? Can you help clarify anything for your partner perhaps? How long are you willing to stay in this uncertainty? Is there any further action you can take to help alleviate the uncertainty whether on your side or your partner’s side? If you can’t take the uncertainty any longer, what do you want to do instead?
5. REALLY LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
When I am living with high levels of uncertainty I check in with myself every day. What do I need today? Exercise, good food, rest? All of the above? To see a supportive friend? To spend some quality time with my partner without talking about our situation (even in the midst of turmoil you still need to fill the love tank if you can!). Stay really connected with yourself and your body (it never lies about the best way forward for you), and give yourself permission to change your position if you need to.
Once I’ve done these five things, I feel like I have done everything I can. I have made a choice (to stay with the uncertainty), and that choice is always something I am in control of. Once I reconnect with the fact I do have control in this situation – over my own thoughts and actions and choices – and have done everything I feel I can, then I can relax a little, let go of the outcome, sit with the uncertainty for awhile longer, and see what happens.
Because the truth is, life doesn’t always come wrapped up in a little bow. Sometimes there is no easy or quick answer to things, and we need time to figure things out or for something to shift and change. Or we need to allow someone else time to do the same.
Over to you…
Did you find this useful? It’s my second blog talking in the arena of romantic relationships and it’s something I would like to share more on. If you’ve got any burning questions about relationships, please share them with me on my Facebook page or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know someone else who would benefit from what I talk about in this blog, please share it with them.
Here’s to expanding your capacity for uncertainty!
PS. There is still time to take me up on the free 30min coaching sessions I offered in my last email – just fill out this questionnaire and I will be in touch to organise some quality time together 🙂
PPS. Calling all Londoners – the next Joy Club is on next Tues June 30. The amazing Kate Gerry, business coach and mentor, is sharing about her self-employment journey and the secret to creating a business that serves you, rather than you feeling like it is the master of you! Only a few seats left – grab your spot over here.