There is a shift going on in the world. Every time I mention this, people adamantly agree. The economic balance and corresponding power is changing, the ways work gets done is changing, what we call "good leader" is changing, how each of us makes money -- or not -- is changing. The minds that aren't shifting along with the tide are stuck in denial, anger and fear. Yet accepting the change doesn't feel settling either.
That's why it's a perfect time for smart, strong women to teach, lead and write about dealing with uncertainty. Whether you know it or not, you are a master at living with the soulful agitation that consumes you when the fog of change sets in. Although you might not feel as if you could guide anyone to clarity, you can share your experience to help others understand that life is always about the mystery more than the certainty. Curiosity then is the best means to cope.
Why you? I have been writing about the restless nature of strong, smart, goal-driven women for the past two years. Because of a number of interesting shifts in how girls are being raised today, you have an incessant desire to accomplish something important. You love being busy and hate feeling bored. You are irritated by not being challenged enough, not recognized enough and not included in making important decisions. You don't understand why there should be so many roadblocks to doing great work.
As a result, your life is full of change. Some are highly visible, including both your work and relationships. Other times you seek less dramatic changes, such as renewing your work and parts of your life in your current situation. If you can't do this, your irritation and resentment can be harmful to yourself and those around you.
As a result, you are both an optimist and a pessimist. You live with the disappointment of dreams not met while holding the anticipation of what could happen tomorrow. You have experience with both helplessness and rage at people blocking your dreams while enjoying the challenge of proving that you will prevail against all odds. You know that grief must be expressed when there is loss while sensing the birth of something new will come out of the ashes. You know what it feels like to be treated as a nobody or less than someone else which has given you the gift of compassion.
Your life is a complexity that can't be resolved. Many women have come to me for coaching to help sort out their future. Whether they like it or not, they discover there are no answers, only awareness. Yet there is peace of mind in accepting what is real about living with uncertainty. And there is always a path to follow when you give up on expectations, obligations and judgment so you can confront the fear that keeps you from hearing your truth. What is the voice that wants to speak? Can you allow this voice to be heard?
So many people in the world are experiencing the restlessness and angst you live with. They are speaking the questions you have been asking for years. With their backs up to the wall, they are more open to the guidance and information they didn't want to hear from you before.
You like to speak up. You like to talk about issues you care about. You want to make a difference. Now is the perfect time.
People all around you need you to step forward and share your experiences with uncertainty. They are waiting for someone to fix things or take life back to the way it was. You can tell them that there is no fix and no past to go back to. In the same breath, you can help them learn how to look forward to challenge and change. Just by speaking up, you spread the courage that is needed to move forward.
Right now, humanity needs people to gather our collective energy and move it forward. Just by speaking up, you are doing your share. We are not in crisis; we are just experiencing the natural flow of life. You stay engaged so you experience change often. Those who resist change have been thrown into it and their need to make things right promotes confusion and hostility. You can share what it feels like to live in the chaos of uncertainty. You can share that it's normal to never know how life will turn out. You can share that whatever you are doing right now is only one step to the next. You can share this because you live it.
Smart, strong women ... will you take up the challenge? What message would you like to have people hear and remember?
Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D. is the author of Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. She is a professional coach, speaker and leadership trainer who works with a variety of people and organizations around the world.
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