In times of uncertainty
I’m writing this in the week that many of us are reeling from Supreme Court decisions. I am feeling grief and outrage. And most of all uncertainty. Uncertainty about the future. This uncertainty has reminded me of the power of action.
I don’t think I’ve experienced this level of uncertainty since the 2008 financial crisis. I unwittingly started my first accountability group at the beginning of the real estate market collapse that perpetuated that crisis. It was 2006 and I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area and had just gotten my real estate license.
Close to a precipice
Since I didn’t have the benefit of wisdom or hindsight, I had no idea how close we were to a precipice. As a realtor, I was in a unique position because the changes hit our industry first. Bankruptcies, foreclosures and short sales started to pop up everywhere. The mad rush to build new houses switched gears overnight. Then Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and very shortly thereafter the whole world was feeling our pain. I watched people who were a lot more successful and experienced struggle to understand what was happening.
It was a scary time. I was a brand new mom. The house we bought a year earlier lost a third of its value. And I really think all that fear and pressure could have easily paralyzed me.
An Accountability Group
But as I opened with, I had started an accountability group. That group kept me grounded and in action. We started in what seemed like good times. But we really bonded in the bad ones. We met every week and decided what we were going to do that week to save our businesses, to take care of ourselves, and navigate our way forward. I don’t know how I would have managed such intense uncertainty without it.
And that is how I feel again now – uncertainty about the future. I am reminded of how chaos thrives where there is inaction. And that is one of the many reasons I do this work. I know how terrible it feels to be stuck, paralyzed, and overwhelmed.
An hour of action
Deliberate, intentional, thoughtful action is grounding. It does not remove uncertainty but it reminds us what we do have control over and that we are not helpless or insignificant.
So as we move forward, I want to remind you to stay in action around what is most important to you. I’ve decided that I’m going to spend 1 hour a week in action around the big issues that matter to me. Last week I spent it volunteering for Moms Demand Action. This week I held a small gathering of like-minded women in my home. Next week I’m joining the National Community Mobilization Team Training for Planned Parenthood. I already feel better.
Where are you feeling stuck, paralyzed or overwhelmed? What intentional action can you take to move forward? I have been donating and volunteering for a long time so I’ve worked these things into my budget and schedule. Your action can be whatever works for you. Remember, deliberate, intentional, thoughtful action feels good and makes a difference.