There is nothing worse than uncertainty. Unmitigated, certain disaster beats ongoing uncertainty hands down.

Disaster is dramatic. It inspires deep feelings and provides an outlet for people to justify their fears. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is like living your life forever sitting in some cosmic twilight zone, waiting to go out on a date with someone that you’re sure you don’t want anything to do with.

In response to the many requests for insight into how to remain focused during uncertain and scary times, I assembled these seven strategies for transforming the fear and perceived negativity of any situation into opportunities for growth, progress and achievement.

I began by asking myself this question: “How do you plan for success in a world filled more with conflicts, surprises and uncertainty than with patterns?”

Focusing Strategies During Uncertain Times is meant to support and empower your creative thinking, communications, actions, and most importantly your results.

1. Focus on Others
Economic and political events throughout the past year have made people around the world anxious and fearful about their futures. Because of that fear, people tend to drive into themselves and begin feeling isolated, hopeless and helpless.

In this situation, the best defense is a good offensive strategy. Go in the opposite direction by purposefully expanding your connection with others. Focus on helping your family, friends, associates and community to make something wonderful happen.

Forget about yourself and focus in on others. The more you do this, the less you will need to worry about your own situation. You’ll become a source of strength, confidence and an inspiration for others to emulate.

2. Focus on Relationships
In uncertain times, people have a tendency to become frightened about the viability of the things they do and the positions they hold. Don’t go there emotionally!

A wise strategic response right now would be to focus on deepening the power and possibility of all your relationships—with family, friends, associates and community.

Every time you strengthen a relationship, you automatically increase your opportunities for growth, progress and achievement.


3. Focus on Value
When times are uncertain, you need to place a premium on the creation and delivery of greater value. What people want at all times is value creation—that is, solutions that help them eliminate their uncertainties, capture their opportunities and reinforce their strengths.

When you focus on providing these three solutions, growth, progress and achievement will naturally follow.


4. Focus on Opportunities
Because of uncertainty and the “roll of the dice” feel of the past year, some positive factors may have disappeared from your life. Some people never get over this. They keep replaying history and focusing on “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” forever second-guessing the past.

A better strategy is to start an entirely new game by using new ideas, new energies, new tools and new resources to focus on new opportunities. Let go of old history and create new history!

Read this next line a few times to make sure you fully grasp the point: Just because you did not see a good business opportunity when you see one does not mean that you didn’t see one!

Be open and alert by focusing and capitalizing on opportunity. A big opportunity is available right now for achieving far more than you ever did in the past. Stay awake—and when you hear a knock on the door, either open it or kick it in!


5. Focus on Progress
Uncertainty and fear knock the wind out of all of us at some point. Success and achievement may not come as easily as they once did. New competitive realities will either defeat you or reveal new strengths.

Your physical muscles get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for the muscles in your mind, spirit and character. Treat this time of challenge as an opportunity for your greatest progress.


6. Focus on Today
The future is uncertain by definition; your plans are always hypothetical at best. The only future with any reality is the one you continually create through each day’s contributions, achievements and results.

Take it one day at a time. Focus on what you can do over the course of each 24 hours. Plan the day well, maximize every opportunity, continuously generate value and flawlessly execute your plan.


7. Focus on Gratitude
Uncertainty creates one of those times that makes it abundantly clear that everyone is faced with the same fundamental decision: to complain or to be grateful. When things go south, the consequences of this decision are much greater.

Complaining only attracts negative thoughts, negative people and negative results. There is no inherent value to be found from complaining.

Gratitude creates and attracts positive thoughts, positive people and positive results. It allows for the best thinking, actions and results to emerge.

Focus on everything you are grateful for; communicate that gratitude; and open yourself each day to the best possible consequences.


A Final Thought
There can also be certainties in uncertain times. Even in uncertain times, you must go forward and actively pursue your goals.

Within this context, you will discover abundant opportunities for growth, progress and achievement. These opportunities will allow you to improve your life, your family, your community and our world.


(the “Goals Guy”) is an author,
speaker, coach and consultant.