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3 Lessons Navy SEALs Teach Us About Handling Uncertainty

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Uncertainty is not something you may be comfortable with, especially at a time when most of what you knew as normal, is no longer so. There are things we can do to feel more at ease with the unknown.

First – a quick story: Early in her life, my wife, Dawn, was in a serious relationship with a Navy SEAL. We often talk about how difficult that job is, and how dedicated one has to be to do it. It is incredibly demanding from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective.

For this video, I’m turning to the U.S. Navy SEALs for lessons on how to cope with stress and uncertainty and still accomplish your goals.

Friends, we’re dealing with more uncertainty than most of us in California and across America have ever faced before. And as the months drag on, the stress and uncertainty are taking a toll. Fortunately, we’ve got somewhere to turn for help.

The Navy SEALs undergo some of the most stressful training in the world and they can teach us a thing or two about thriving in challenging situations. Here are three of the things that help them manage, which may also assist you.

Lesson Number One: “Embrace the suck.” OR “Embrace the circumstances.”

Life throws us curveballs. Sometimes, more than one at a time. We can’t control or avoid them, but we can switch our attitude to one of acceptance and mental readiness for the challenges ahead.

The strange thing is that the more we embrace the circumstances and what is happening, the less stress we will feel. Acceptance of what is, no matter what the current situation might throw at you, allows you to be in a better frame of mind when it comes to decision making.

And of course none of us know what the future will hold, but if we are stress free and make decisions accordingly, rather than react, we are more likely to have a better outcome.

Lesson Number Two: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, move the goalposts closer.

Overwhelm is a sign that you’re trying to do too much. Breaking decisions and challenges into small, manageable victories can give you a feeling of accomplishment and shift your brain out of analysis paralysis.

It is one thing to have a goal that is big and a stretch and another to find a way to break the steps to achieve your goal down so it is manageable to achieve.

Lesson Number Three. When you’re stuck in the mud, start singing.

It’s another way of saying, when you feel powerless or negative, take a small action to shift into a positive mindset, and exert some control. For example, we can’t control markets, but we can make a financial plan. We can’t cure the coronavirus, but we can mitigate our risk of infection. We can’t predict the economy, but we can triple-check our backup plans.

As a financial professional, I’m a student of psychology and human behavior as much as I am of economics and finance.

After years of working with clients, I’ve discovered that mindset and behavior have a greater impact on financial success than markets. I love learning new ways to make better decisions under stress and uncertainty. Do you have any that you’ve learned and would like to share?



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