• Rachel Dubrow, LCSW

The Unscripted Life: Dealing with Uncertainty



For this post, colleague Sheila Jacobson brings in her words of wisdom and expertise. She is a Life Coach and Consultant who offers her unique perspective for dealing with uncertainty - something we've ALL been experiencing since March.


Realizing our lives are not turning out as planned is a common theme that clients in my

consulting and coaching practice grapple with. The pandemic of 2020 has caused each of us to experience a tremendous pause in our life as we knew it. As adults, we often believe that we are equipped with all the necessary life skills. While change is always a constant part of life, unexpected change, such as job loss, divorce, debilitating health diagnosis, care of elderly parents, etc., can be especially difficult to navigate. Out of the blue, we find ourselves in a situation that feels like such unfamiliar territory. We may experience many emotions in the beginning of this scenario, such as grief, anger, disappointment, fear and anxiety. How we process these normal emotions and perceive our circumstances will ultimately empower us beyond adapting, to actually thriving, in the presence of change.


Here are five empowerment strategies that I would like to share with you for 'reframing' a life

changing event:


1. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. Grace yourself with the patience to process the

situation and experience the range of emotions it invokes in you. It is entirely natural to feel

stuck when presented with a new scenario, and you are in the best position to know when you are ready to take action.


2. Find gratitude in each day. While you may not be comfortable with this step at first, even

the smallest recognition of something to be thankful for will ultimately lead to hope. Once you are aware of gratitude, it will become a powerful part of how you process events.


3. Positive self-talk. Treat yourself as your own best friend through offering yourself the

benefits of positivity. Creating a positive mantra is a great way to let go of negativity. One

example of a simple mantra is ‘I believe in a brighter future.’


4. Organize. Creating a strategic plan will help you move forward with a clear mind, despite the uncertainty of the scenario. Learning as much as you can about the situation, and maintaining this information in an organized manner, will create the confidence necessary for you to process and take action.


5. Ask for help. Although we are in the best position to know what we want out of life, we need not task ourselves with knowing how to handle each situation we are presented with. While speaking with friends and family is one way to ask for help, working with a skilled professional helps us explore our emotions around a situation and empowers us to manage how we address it.


Covid 19 has had an impact on all of us, and we have all had to adapt in one way or another.

Many of us have experienced great loss due to the pandemic, while some of us have been able to find some bright spots along the way. What we are each capable of doing, is experiencing the personal sense of peace that comes from the individual choice to move forward in our unscripted lives.


Want to work on honing your own stress management and deal with change more efficiently and effectively? Contact us for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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Serving anxious young adults, adults wanting work/life balance, and couples in Northfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Highland Park, Wilmette, Evanston, Deerfield, Chicago, and the surrounding suburbs.