Afraid of the unknown? I really get it

By Sam Eaton of MindAbility Consultancy How many people reading this are fearing for the future? Worrying about the unknown? Is your job safe, or worse still, is your company able to survive the global pandemic? If this is you, I completely get it.

faceless 'angel' character holding a heart

We cannot know our destiny or what the future holds for us. Will we get through financially, will we cope emotionally, will our relationships withstand the stresses? I understand all these things because I’ve been there. In my crisis I had to find strength and I knew I needed a vision for the future but first I had to let go – then I found RESILIENCE – let me explain.

A few years ago, I had a loving partner who I adored and a home we bought, hoping to start a family and make it our forever home.  We talked about our future plans and had our dreams. In February, he began to experience chest pains; the doctors told us not to worry. He was fit and healthy, so we simply carried on. Until one fateful day in August when he left home and never came back. He died of a sudden heart attack.

All of a sudden, I was thrown into a maelstrom of post-mortems, identifying him, planning his funeral – and then the even harsher realisation that I had no rights – absolutely none, because we weren’t married.

I desperately tried to cling onto normality. All sorts of awful things were happening around me and my body did not like it much either!

After a month, I decided to go back to work, I was determined that life had to go on. It had to get better. I had to dig deep. Most people did not know what to say to me, it was almost as if his death and my predicament was contagious.

I had to dig deep. I began to realise that I was the only one who could plan my future. To do that, I had to look forward – and then work it back. There were obviously going to be many unforeseen things along the way that I wouldn’t be able to plan for, but I needed a vision, a blueprint for the future; my future and then to share that vision with family and friends and take them on that journey with me.

The reason I want to share my story with you is because I see so many similarities in the situation we are now all facing. I can look back at my situation and the milestones that I have reached because I sat down and planned what I wanted my future to look like – and worked back (future back thinking). I did not know what the future held for me; everything was in turmoil due to an illness that struck my world suddenly, brutally, from out of nowhere. Sound familiar?

What I learnt was I had lost everything and therefore I had to emotionally let go of everything too, our home, his possessions – everything. There was no structure, no familiar routines in life anymore. Now came the realisation that I alone would have to make the decisions, I found a resilience in my inner self that empowered me. It now drives me forward every day and I happily share this with those around me and now I want to share it with you too.

This is what leaders need in 2020 and we are all leaders in one-way shape or form. There are no right or wrong answers now, so we can create a world that we want to live in. We can build networks, new sectors, and new entrepreneurs with fresh ideas around sustainability will emerge.

I take nothing away from the pain and suffering that a lot of people are facing right now, I’m simply suggesting we look at our futures and what we want them to be – and we do some future back thinking. Is it hard right now? Yes.

Can we do this and build on our collective resilience? Absolutely!