Confidence In The Undefined

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

It’s hard to plan for the future right now, as so many crises and potential crises bedevil us. We must make plans to have some order and confidence, but its hard, and plans have limts in the best of times. It is difficult to have surety in our goals and our plans to reach them when they’re so often interrupted.

With that lack of confidence in our plans, we lack confidence in ourselves. We feel we cannot predict, and we feel we cannot effectively plan, and that leads us to doubt who we are.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. I have as well. Let me share something that helped.

When I was looking over some of the things I needed to do in the future – or may need to do – I realized that they couldn’t be planned for easily. I faced many variables, many possible challenges, and nothing was certain. All I could do was monitor and adjust.

Suddenly, I felt filled with a surge of confidence at that realization. All I could do was adjust facing the unknown – but I knew I could. I had adapted and adjusted over the decades – and certainly had done the same during this Pandemic. I could do so in the future as well.

I invite you to reassess your needs to plan and have order when the plans are fluid or situations challenging. Maybe you can’t plan – maybe no one can – but you can adapt and adjust as things change. Look to your past trumphs of fluidly changing, of shifting towards victory in the face of surprise. You’re almost certainly good at adapting, likely better than you think.

So in the face of chaos, internal, external, or both, look at your past. Did you adapt? Did you develop adjustable techniques in planning? Did you overcome?

You probably did. This means you can do so again – with even more experience than those past times.

In this age of troubles, give yourself credit and confidence that you can adapt. You may not have a plan, but when the time comes you can do the right thing, and create one as required.

Steven Savage