- Take purposeful pauses
With mindfulness, we are aware of what is going on within and around us. We tune in and pay attention to our experience. We learn to utilize our breath to take us out of the fears, worries, stories, and preoccupations our minds are so good at generating about what might come next, and bring us back to the present moment. Here in the present, we leave that overly activated limbic state and can experience a sense of calm.
A pause also serves to allow our prefrontal cortex to come online. It creates a critically important space between our emotional response and conscious, intentional action.
Once we have paused, we can then see more clearly that fear had taken hold.
With a pause, we become the witness of our experience as opposed to the one trapped by it.
- View VUCA as opportunity
I don’t know about you, but I can find myself reacting to the VUCA environment with something of a fixed mindset. With a fixed mindset, I am telling myself things like ‘it shouldn’t be this way’ and ‘why is this happening?’
When I can utilize mindful awareness, I can see that I’ve boxed myself in with a fixed mindset. I can challenge myself to grow. By grow, I mean challenging myself to see whatever difficulty I’m experiencing as an opportunity to learn.
Here again, mindfulness again throws us a lifeline. Mindful awareness involves leaning into curiosity.
I can flip the script and ask myself:
What can I learn from this experience?
How can I use this to be a better version of myself?
How can I help others cope in this VUCA environment?
What do I want to look back and see about how I acted?
In summary, while VUCA is definitely the order of the day in healthcare and beyond, you don’t have to succumb. You don’t have to live in fear. There are constructive actions you can take to help you cope with uncertainty, build calm in chaos, and even thrive in chaos and VUCA. While we can’t control much that is contributing to the VUCA time, with mindfulness we can control how we respond to it.
I hope you’ll try out these 4 mindfulness strategies as I have seen them help countless people. I’d love to hear how it goes.
To learn more about how mindfulness coaching can help you cope with this VUCA time, please reach out for a complimentary consult.