3 Things to Do When You Don’t Know What Will Happen Next

3 Things to Do When You Do Not Know What Will Happen Next

Marcia threw up her hands in frustration. All the planning and work now meant nothing and her Type C personality was not handling this well. COVID-19 had thrown her off balance and just when she thought she had a handle on things again, this! “This is bizarre,” she said to herself. “I don’t know what will happen next. This not cool.” Marcia felt as helpless as if she was adrift in the middle of the ocean on a rudderless sailing boat.

Feeling adrift

Life, oh life. It carries an element of uncertainty. However, there are times when it seems that uncertainty is the only card in your deck. This is a dangerous phase. On the one hand, you may feel helpless and ready to give up. In this state, you feel as if you are no longer in control and can spiral down into a depressed way of being. This is draining.

On the other hand, you may experience other negative emotions such as frustration and anger that also drain you. These can cause you to be hard on yourself and/or lash out at others. You may even feel that you must do something, anything. Thus, you are precipitate and engage in plans and actions that are ultimately meaningless and even detrimental.

What are the alternatives? If it is harmful to feel helpless and give up or succumb to anger and its consequences, what is left?

What do you when you don’t know what will happen next? Here are three things to do:

Click here to download your very own copy of this cheat sheet with the 3 Things to Do When You Don’t Know What Will Happen Next

#1 Accept That You Do Not Know What Will Happen Next

The first thing you should do when you do not know what will happen next is to accept this reality. In doing so, accept that not knowing what will happen next is a part of life, albeit an uncomfortable one. However, when it happens on a wide scale it seems harder. Nevertheless, it is a part of life. Accepting will keep you from butting your head against a brick wall.

When I have faced times when I do know what will happen next, I have noticed a distinct difference between the times when I accepted it and the times when I did not. When I pretended that I did know what would happen next, I fought and pushed. I ended up worn out, frustrated, and on the path to nowhere. On the other hand, when I accepted this reality, I was able to pause.

This brings us to the next thing you should do when you do not know what will happen next.

#2 Pause

Pausing works in two ways. It allows you to:
1. Step back and breathe. Here, I use the word “breathe” to mean that you suspend your instinctive reactions to what is happening around you and just be in the moment.
2. Next, be at peace with yourself and what is unfolding before you.

Thus, when you do pause, you draw on your inner resources that allow you to be strong and resilient in the face of the unknown. In addition, you can make a sound assessment of what has unfolded before you as well as what is still available to you. When I have taken the time to pause, I have been much calmer and in control of myself. Thus, I am able to pray and get God’s guidance as I assess and take a less emotionally driven look at what is really happening.

Having accepted that you do not know what will happen next and having paused, it is time to look.

Accept, pause, and look

#3 Look

The third thing to do when you do not know what will happen next is to take a hard look at what is unfolding around you. And more importantly, look for the opportunities.

It is quite possible that because you do not know what will happen next, you are better able to focus on what is immediately available to you. This could be that you attend to items you had put on the back burner because of all that you had been anticipating. You may also be able to carve out a new reality and a new way of being and doing things for yourself. In other words, look for what remains viable in the midst of uncertainty.

One thing I do know is that prayer remains available to me even when I do not know what will happen next. My inspirational reading. People are still available and I can contact them. I can share with them, be inspired, and even make plans based on what is still known. Sometimes plans have to be tentative, that is okay.

Life is what it is. As a result, there will always be times when you do not know what will happen next. Do not give in to despair or frustration — accept the reality before you, pause and gain strength, look for the opportunities and possibilities.

Top photo by Moose Photos from Pexels
2nd photo by Mike from Pexels
3rd photo by Liza Summer from Pexels
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 Claire Annelise Smith

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