Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Face the Unknown

This beautiful 2013 planner from Design Darling is heading my way. (Yes, I'm still a paper planner girl!) We're making holiday plans with family and friends. And this morning, I read Brittney Castro's piece for The Everygirl, "What Do You Want for Yourself in 2013?"

All signs are pointing to next year. Of course, I don't want to wish away the next few weeks. In fact, I want to hold onto them and savor every moment of celebration, family, and gratitude that comes with the holiday season.

But I can't help thinking about the new year. It's a fresh start, but for me, I'm not sure what will be written in the pages of my new planner. Sure, I have weddings, my sister's college graduation, birthdays, and a dentist appointment to add. 

It's the other things thoughthose unknownsthat drive a Type-A planner like me crazy. Growing my business, starting a family, and who knows what else... I have hopes and dreams and plans, but I don't know how or when they'll happen.

When dealing with uncertainty about the unknown, I realized there are three ways to go:

1. Determine what you can and cannot control. Do what you can and let go of the rest. It's impossible to know how one action or one step will affect the bigger picture, so try lots of new things and just keep moving forward. Don't allow uncertainty to hold you back, and at some point, you'll reach your goals, you'll get what you're working for, and you'll find a sense of certainty and peace.

2. Think of "the unknown" as "possibilities." Transform a negative into a positive. With a pessimistic mindset, the unknown can feel scary:
Anything can happen... I don't know what to do. What if I fail?
What if what I want doesn't happen? What if bad things happen?

By re-framing the unknown into opportunities and possibilities, it becomes:
Anything can happen! So many good things that I can't even imagine can happen!

3. Worry. Freak out. Lose sleep. Stress. Ugh... not fun. And not productive.

Moving forward, I'm doing all I can to choose the first two options. When I think about it, if I knew everything, where would the fun be in that? Planning it all out doesn't leave room for spontaneity. It doesn't allow for keeping an open mind and going off the planned path when opportunities come along. 

The unknown shouldn't be something to fear. It's a blank slate, filled with amazing possibilities.

How do you deal with the unknown?


  1. These are great ideas! Thinking of the unknown as possibilities is a great exercise. I've been worrying/freaking out more lately, but if I just focus on one thing that I can accomplish at a time, everything usually works out just fine.

  2. Great ideas! I also am loyal to writing in a planner and save them every year to remember years past!


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