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If only I would have known there was going to be a COVID-19 outbreak.

If only I would have known I would be quarantined for 14 days.

If only I would have known I wouldn’t be able to hug my family and friends like I did before.

If only I would have known that everyone was in danger of getting sick.

If only I would have known the stores would be closed and a lot of people would be out of work.

If only I would have known I would feel isolated, alone, disconnected, and uncertain.

If you would have known all of this 2 weeks ago, how might it have changed your life? How might it have changed the way you do things? How might it have changed the way you behave towards others?

These are all great questions that only you know the answer to. These types of questions always seem to come to the forefront when there is uncertainty or something major that happens in our lives. And they can lead us toward finding our purpose.

In uncertain times, people tend to go one of two ways. The first is toward FEAR:

F – False
E – Expectations
A – Appearing
R – Real

If you act out of fear, you are acting on a fight or flight mentality. This causes all kinds of things to happen. Your brain fragments causing irrational thinking and decision making. You may get angry, sad or depressed and just can’t seem to find a way out of any situation. You base all decisions on thoughts from past beliefs or what story your mind is telling you at the time. It’s the “what if” scenario. This can be a very negative and a non-productive way to take on any task. This also creates a lot of stress and takes an enormous amount of our energy from you. As you can well imagine, this doesn’t work well when trying to make key decisions.

The second way is toward PASSION. If you act out of passion, you are acting from your heart. This will always triumph over fear. Your brain actually communicates as a whole and helps you to stay rational and calm during high stress situations. You think more clearly as you have the interest of others at heart and in the forefront. This has great benefits to one’s stress level and way of being. This is called contribution, to contribute to something greater than oneself. It is the best therapy you can give yourself.

P – Peace
A – Appreciation
S – Spirit
S – Significance
I – Internal Freedom
O – Open-Heartedness
N – Nourishing

So, when the next event happens, take a few minutes and think about how you will react to it, through fear or passion. It could literally save your life. Ask yourself how it will serve you as the two can serve in very different ways. The fear will hijack your mind and tell you all kinds of stories, the passion will fulfill you and your heart. This will determine whether you will create stress or fulfillment.

The next time you find yourself in an uncertain situation, follow these steps:

  1. Stop and think for a minute, count to 10 if you need to.
  2. Breathe in deeply and a nice long exhale.
  3. Ask yourself, am I reacting from fear or passion?
  4. Be assertive, not reactive.
  5. Slow things down so you can rationalize what is happening.
  6. Stay positive.

Until next time…

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker Institute, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, and Wellness.