The acronym VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), long in use in the business world, seems to have taken on a whole new meaning in 2022.
Our resilience had been stretched and tested during the pandemic, but the world and national events have now led to a new dimension of uncertainty that many of us find unfamiliar.
VUCA is an expression that has been around for a while. Businesses have long had to deal with a rapidly changing environment, making decisions faster and faster, requiring their staff to cope with ever-increasing change.
In addition to this ever-shifting business landscape, what we are seeing now is a number of world events affecting our personal lives as well, and that is new for many of my us.
Things that used to form the backbone to our lives and that were reasonably reliable (in the UK: a stable government, peace in Europe, swift ambulance services, heating in winter…) are now slowly unravelling, leading to a real sense of being hit by out-of-control chaos.
This new backdrop of quicksand will affect everyone differently depending on their personal circumstances and also their level of comfort in uncertainty and instability. But one thing is for sure: in one way or another, it will touch all of us and require us to adapt to new habits and ways of thinking.
So how to deal with all of this?
- Take a step back and acknowledge both the situation and how you are feeling about it.
- Identify all the areas that are worrying you and assign them to one of two buckets:
- items in your control
- items out of your control
- De-clutter the “out-of-your-control” bucket by setting it in the corner of the room/your brain and put your focus on the items that in your control.
- Consider what you could do about those items that are in your control.
- You don’t have to do this alone. Enlist a family member/whole family/a friend/a coach to work through your feelings and do what is in your power to reduce the uncertainty, stress and anxiety.
As more and more people talk about how their mental health is affected by the world at the moment, it is definitely the time to step back and consider how to look after ourselves, before we are able to look after others.
And like for any period of crisis, it is also an opportunity for creativity, for coming together as a community, for adopting new ways of thinking and de-cluttering old behaviors. So whenever we are ready to see the silver linings, they will be there for us.