Thriving Through Uncertainty

Ashley J. Smith, PhD Smith
Licensed Psychologist, Co-founder
April Seifert
President; Co-founder (Psychologist, Data Scientist)
Automatic Summary

How to Thrive in the Face of Uncertainty: Harnessing Your Psychological Strength

In the tumultuous landscape we've all navigated in recent years, it's essential to equip ourselves with the tools to not just endure but to truly thrive through uncertainty. Today's blog post is an active exploration – bring a pen and paper, and let's delve into the practices that can transform struggles into strength.

Why You're Not Alone in Your Struggle

"Thriving through uncertainty can seem daunting," you might think, especially when faced with events that shake up our lives, from political upheaval to economic shifts, and of course, the shared global challenge of the COVID epidemic. Such events impact our personal lives more significantly than we might initially acknowledge.

The widespread increase in depression and anxiety in the last few years is a testament to the collective hardships we've undergone. But remember, struggling during tough times does not imply weakness or inadequacy. On the contrary, it's a normal human response to the abnormal conditions we face.

Victor Frankl's Insights on Human Behavior

An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.

This poignant quote by psychologist Victor Frankl reminds us that our complex human minds react predictably to adverse situations. It's natural, then, for us to express emotions and behaviors that might not typically reflect our usual states.

The Importance of Conditions for Thriving

Just like a plant that needs the right light and care to flourish, people need optimal conditions to manifest their best selves. However, we often lack control over our circumstances, which leads us to the next critical concept:

  • Identifying What We Can Control: The first step is differentiating between what is within our capacity to influence and what is not – the circle of control.
  • Applying Effort Appropriately: It's imperative to direct our efforts towards areas we can actually affect, rather than wasting energy on factors beyond our grasp.

Three Psychological Principles to Navigate Uncertainty

Understanding how our minds operate can greatly assist in coping with uncertainty. Here's a brief overview of three critical psychological principles:

  1. Our Minds Want to Keep Us Alive: The primary objective of our mind is survival, often manifesting through a 'negativity bias' – the tendency to identify and believe threatening information.
  2. Our Minds Run on Shortcuts: To conserve energy, our brains rely on heuristics, habits, and default patterns, which can lead to discomfort when new or unpredictable information disrupts these familiar shortcuts.
  3. Our Minds Prefer 'Clean Emotions': Our minds are more comfortable with distinct, easily identifiable emotions rather than complex, mixed feelings.

Practical Strategies to Thrive

With an understanding of these principles, here are some strategies to not only cope with uncertainty but to thrive through it:

Delineating Your Circle of Control

Begin by asking yourself whether you’re trying to control things that are within your real influence or if you're misapplying your efforts towards uncontrollable factors. This will help reduce unnecessary stress and allow for a more focused approach to handling life's challenges.

Emotion Sifting Exercise

Take time to reflect on complex situations and the emotions they stir. Using the wheel of emotions (which can easily be found with a quick web search), sift through each feeling, naming and understanding the cause behind them to gain clarity on what you're experiencing.

As you practice these exercises, remember that resilience is not about being unaffected by challenges. Rather, it's about building the skills to emerge from difficulties wiser and stronger. By harnessing your psychological strength, you can navigate through the unpredictable with a renewed sense of control and well-being.

For those interested in delving deeper into the realm of psychological strength and emotional intelligence, don't hesitate to explore additional resources such as the Building Psychological Strength podcast or engaging with a professional in the field.

As we part ways from today's session, take these insights and tools, and empower yourself to greet uncertainty with a bold, thriving spirit.

Now go ahead and embrace the unpredictable, using these strategies to help refine the extraordinary resilience that lies within you.

Video Transcription

Thrilled to be talking today about thriving through uncertainty. And before we jump in, I want to give you a heads up. This is gonna be a little bit of an active work session. So we're gonna have you thinking about and, and doing a little bit of work.So if you want to grab a pen and some paper that might be really helpful, it's not completely necessary, but it might be helpful. And I wanna thank you so much for taking the time to join us today to invest in yourself, to spend this time reflecting and learning and growing. That's amazing.

All right, let's jump right in. Um There's some images on the screen. I want you to think about the last handful of years of your life. And depending upon where you are in the world could be different from other people who are joining. But how many people can relate to something on this screen? Maybe there's been political unrest or changes in your country, maybe uh obviously all of us globally. Have we ever had anything that's united us in uncertainty more than the COVID epidemic? Um Maybe there's something in your economic system um or other places in your country that is significantly changing. And I want you to think about when these I'm seeing yeses in the chat. That's awesome. Please use the chat. We want this to be interactive. This is meant to be a conversation, not meant for us to be just showing you things. Um But think about when those things happen, how many people saw a direct impact to your own personal life for from whatever it is that's been going on in your country, whatever it is on the screen that you relate to, I mean, I know personally if um if you would have told me even like three years ago that some of the experiences that I had over the past three years, um that those would have happened, I think I probably would have looked at you like you were crazy.

But in reality, we've all been through a ton. And if I'm being honest and probably if a lot of us are being honest, there's been some challenging times and a lot of us have probably struggled. And the thing about that is that sometimes when we struggle, we tend to think that we're the only ones that are going through a difficult time like everybody else is handling this so well. But the thing is we're not alone when we look at actual published, published research that has looked at the rates of things like depression and anxiety over years of uh over time, we see a rapid increase in depression and anxiety over the last few years and that's due to a lot of different things.

But the key that I want you to understand is if you find yourself in these situations where life is getting really uncertain, life is getting really difficult, um you're experiencing adversity and you find yourself tempted to point the finger at yourself as though somehow you're not handling it.

well, it's not you. And so if you're the type of person that does that, I want you to just think a little bit about this quote by a man named Victor Frankl, very famous psychologist, incredible mind in the field of psychology. And he says an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior, right? As human beings, we act like humans and that is normal. So when we're going through something that has been ever changing like the pandemic or um you know, other changes that we've all experienced in our lives, it is very normal for us to act in a way that might not be typical of us. When we're not going through that uncertainty and human beings have evolved to have an incredibly powerful mind that captures nuance. And because of that, when we experience uncertainty, like so many of us feel we noticed it and it's impossible not to have a reaction to that.

And so each of us might have a slightly different reaction. But what I would compare that to is how do you react in situations that are much more predictable, much more stable, much less adverse versus how you react in a situation that is more a more adverse, more unpredictable. It's ok that there's a difference there because what it means, actually, maybe I'll start with what it doesn't mean it doesn't mean that you lack resilience. It doesn't mean that somehow you're not a strong person, what it means is, it means you're a human being with a mind.

It means that you happen to be a human being who has a mind that reacts in very predictable ways to uncertainty and adversity. And so let's chat about what it means to thrive Ashley. You wanna take this one.

Yep. So when we think about thriving, it means really being our best, most vibrant self, thriving means flourishing. It means being healthy, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually, all of the least. And when we're in difficult uncertain, adverse situations, it can be difficult to thrive.

So I love to tell a story and I'll keep it brief about my Aloe plant. Now, I got this Aloe plant years ago when I lived in a downtown high rise apartment in Kansas City, Missouri in the US. And there weren't a lot of windows and I don't really have a green thumb. So my poor little Aloe was in this dark apartment where it barely got watered and it didn't die because it's hardy, strong, but it was kind of a shriveled version of itself. It didn't really grow. It was kind of a really light, pale green, fast forward. So I moved to a new home. I put my Aloe in this window where it gets the right kind of light. I've become a much better plant owner and remember to water it regularly and it is thriving. It has grown, it's huge and it's this vibrant green. And I'm telling you about my aloe plant to illustrate a really important point that we need the right conditions to thrive. Humans are the same. We need the right conditions to thrive. Unfortunately, we don't always have control over our conditions, right the last few years and all of the things April was talking about illustrates, but the the thing is there are factors that we can control. There are things that we can do or not do when we're in adverse uncertain situations that can make a difference on how we come out the other side. Do we come out the other side?

A shriveled less vibrant version of ourselves or do we come out the other side stronger, having grown? You've probably heard a lot about, you know, thriving as well as a related concept called resiliency over the last few years being resilient, just means being able to bounce back after setbacks or hardship. And when we put these two things together, thriving and resiliency, our goal at peak find is to promote that. We wanna help people develop the skills to come through the to the other side. Having grown, being stronger. It does not mean being unaware of or unaffected by difficult circumstances. It can be so easy to try to numb or distract or deny reality, to try not to have these quote unquote negative reactions. And what we know from psychology is that trying to do that trying to suppress normal human reactions is actually pretty harmful for our well being. So instead, we wanna look at what tools, what strategies, what information do you need to be able to thrive through these kinds of circumstances.

So today we're gonna detour into a little bit of brain science and we are gonna talk about three principles, three psychological principles that explain how our minds are designed and why these kind of situations are so difficult for us. So I'll let you to take principle

number one. All right, this is great. Um A lot of you have probably seen this principle in place and social media and places like that. Our mind's biggest goal, it's to keep us alive. Our mind wants to keep us alive and notice what we didn't say. Our mind wants to help us thrive. It doesn't, its biggest goal is to get us through the day alive and it does that in a few different ways. And one of the things that it does is it's developed this ability to seek out and find and believe threatening information. It's got this always on threat detecting, uh, system called the negativity bias. You've probably heard about that a little bit. We're gonna actually press into this topic a little bit deeper today and the thing is our mind is looking for things that look threatening or things that it assumes are not safe. Now, that assumes word is really important if this isn't objective reality that we're talking about here, this is just things that our mind believes might be unsafe. So if you think about it, how worried were you this morning that you wouldn't wake up in the morning? Most people don't worry about things like that or how worried are you that a meteor is hurtling towards you on earth right now. We're, we're not worried about that either. We assume in a lot of cases, unless there's some evidence to the contrary, we assume that we're certain.

I am certain, I'm gonna wake up tomorrow. I am certain that there is not a meteor that is barreling toward me right now. But the thing about it, if you look at the grand scheme of things, the simple fact is that certainty, it's kind of an illusion. We don't know for sure that we're gonna wake up the next morning. We don't know for certain that there is no meteor that's hurtling toward us right now. So in the grand scheme of things, certainty is an illusion. But when we get confronted with the evidence of that when life starts to feel uncertain, when it starts to move in the absence of things that are familiar or predictable or certain in the absence of that implied safety, we get anxious because we're humans with minds. We get stressed out. Our minds naturally. Look for things that are gonna go wrong. They start preparing for the worst. The negativity bias kicks in and it's a shortcut that our mind has developed to help do Principle one, keep us alive. And here's the problem. It does this naturally. But remember what this map looked like. Uh during the COVID epidemic, you probably watch the news every once in a while and you would see big scary maps of dark colors of, you know how COVID was spreading around the world. And the thing about that is that if our mind is gonna seek out and find negative information all on its own, what do you think it does to us when we consume media and we get these messages that are deliberately meant to be very negative and be very attention grabbing?

So that's something to note. The second thing that I wanna go through. Principle two is that our minds run on shortcuts. We've already talked about one of those shortcuts and this is where I said, we're gonna push a little bit deeper into that sentence that you've all heard.

Our mind's job is to keep us alive. There's a second part of that, keeping us alive. It's keeping us alive while expending the least amount of energy possible. It does not want to work hard in order to do that. And the way our mind avoids working hard because think about the job it has to do. Right. It's got to process all of this information and get us through the day clothed and feeding ourselves and thinking smart thoughts and doing our job and engaging with other people and not tripping over everything that we're walking across. Right? It has a big job. So it wants to keep some of that energy for those tasks and also keep some of that energy for any like scary life threatening things that might pop up. So the stuff that happens to us day to day, it wants to keep that as cognitively cheap as possible. It wants to avoid the expense of putting too much energy into it. So it creates shortcuts and one of those shortcuts is this negativity bias, but there are others as well. And I wanna give you a couple of examples how many of you have got a new job, move to a new apartment, change some major location in your life and for a while it was going fine.

And then about two weeks in, you realize you're driving along and you take the on ramp or the off ramp that goes to your old job or it goes to your old apartment your old house, your mind developed this automatic heuristic, this automatic set of behaviors that tells you how to drive.

And it is strong enough that it can get you to drive a motor vehicle without even realizing it. You are making decisions based on heuristics and based on rules of thumb that your mind is trying to make an activity as important as driving a car. It wants to make it cognitively cheap and it does that by creating habits, heuristics, rules of thumb, you can call them whatever you want in this the context of this talk. They're all interchangeable. One more example uh in the shower and I want you to put this in the chat in the shower. Most people both shampoo and condition their hair. What comes first? What do you do first on most days? Which do you use first shampoo or conditioner shampoo? Jacqueline says shampoo. Josie says shampoo, Mary shampoo. Great. Yep, Sarah shampoo. Ashley shampoo. Me too shampoo. What if you didn't? Now? I don't want to talk about like the quality of hair. How would your hair feel like? How does it like emotionally feel to think about using conditioner first and then shampoo. How does that feel? Feel calm? No big deal. It feels wrong, right. Mary said it it hurts my brain, right? The idea of using shampoo before conditioner makes you feel about as good as this wet cat, right? Yeah. Amer said no, like you totally it makes you feel about as good as this cat. And I want you to think about that.

This is a decision that is so inconsequential. How big of a deal is it, it's not yet, it registers. Our mind is powerful enough, it is tuned into nuance enough. It is so ingrained in habit and predictability enough that something as simple as this registers. And it's like, uh I don't like that. And if that something that similar can register, think about what some of the big stuff we have either collectively or individually gone through, think of how much that registers when we sort of break the rules or we go against a shortcut, our mind doesn't like it. And the way that it tells us it doesn't like it, it is very predictable. This happens almost every time to almost every person because we're human beings with minds. The way our mind tells us it doesn't like something is by sending us anxiety, it sends us anxiety.

So one of the shortcuts is pattern recognition, right? Our minds are pattern recognition machines. And you know, this, this is why we really easily see human faces and things like the moon or clouds or the marbling and tile. It's because that's one of the patterns our minds recognizes.

But one of the most basic fundamental pattern recognition shortcuts is familiar or unfamiliar. So when we're inside our familiarity zone, some people call it comfort zone, but familiarity zone we have this assumption of predictability. Oh, I recognize this pattern. I have woken up every single morning, so every single morning it's probably fine in my familiarity zone. My mind is gonna assume predictability. Been there, done that it's safe. Right. And that's principle one. Stay safe. So, when it's in our familiarity zone, our minds can kind of chill out, we can feel sort of calm, we can go on autopilot. Right. It's what April was talking about. It wants to conserve energy autopilot, but as soon as something hits that it trips that pattern recognition. Familiar, not familiar. All of a sudden our hackles go up, we're on high alert because we no longer have this assumption of predictability, meaning we don't know what to expect, which means our brains cannot assume safety. So when things are uncertain, that means unfamiliar, that means our minds go to high alert. We want to introduce this term to you VCA. It was coined by the US military and it's an acronym that stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous circumstances. How perfect is that? Right?

When we think about the last several years, how many times have you heard unprecedented events once

in a lifetime every couple of months?

Uh all the time, right? So we have been living in VCA more so than any other time that I can think of in my lifetime. So what's important for you to know is that because of the way our minds are designed VCA situations are hard. We don't have the assumption of predictability because they are unfamiliar. We don't recognize the patterns anymore. We don't know what to expect. Therefore, we don't know that we're safe. We step out of that familiarity zone. We get all wet cat. That's what happens. So, think about your own life, think about all of the experiences that have come up, right? Maybe it's a global scale, maybe it's in your community or your organization or business, maybe it's your personal life. How much book has been there? And is it any wonder that we've been struggling lately? Is it any wonder that those statistics that April mentioned in the very beginning are showing dramatic increases in anxiety, depression, stress. We can absolutely understand our emotional and behavioral reactions here. They're normal, we're just in abnormal situations.

So I love this quote because of that, right? It really just highlights you are a human being with a human brain, you are not weak, you are not deficient, you are not coping badly, you are responding in normal ways to abnormal situations.

All right. Third principle that we want to go over today. Uh This is a principle that is about emotionally how we experience life. And this principle is that our mind likes clean emotions and this isn't something that I see talked about. Uh very often clean emotions are ones that come one at a time. We can label them. We know the name of what we're feeling and many times we know what's causing it or we feel like we know what caused us to feel that way. So one at a time we can name them and we know the cause we know what made us feel that way. So let's do a little analog. What color is this? Put it in the chat? What color is it? Any guesses? Great, great, great, cool. Um Is it blue? Would you call this blue? Would you call it yellow? Would anybody call this yellow? No one? What about red? What if I told you it was a mixture of colors? What if I told you it was? Yeah. Oh, now it's OK. Right. Yeah, maybe. Right. What if I told you it was a mixture of blue, red, green, yellow and orange. We mixed it up and that's how we got this sludge. I want you to imagine because the thing is like our mind likes clean emotions, but that's not typically, especially in VCA situations. That is not how emotions tend to come to us. Emotions are there because they give us a lot of information very, very quickly.

And when we're in a complex situation, there's a lot of information to convey and we tend to get a lot of different emotions at the same time. So going back to this paint color, imagine blue represents sadness. And I took a cup of blue paint and I poured it into that paint can and red, it represents anger. And so I poured some red, some anger into there and then green is envy. I'm gonna pour envy into there. Yellow guilt. Great. Let's pour some of that into there and just to make it super confusing, let's take a little orange paint representing happiness and excitement. We'll pour that in, we'll stir it up and this is what we get. This sludgy mixed up color and that's important because sludgy and mixed up is the opposite of clean. It is the opposite of one at a time of something we can label and of something that we know the origin of. So I want you to just bookmark that and what we've talked about so far in your mind because we're gonna come back to it in just a little bit. But before we do that, I want to do a quick recap. And if you're somebody who likes to take notes or you want to screenshot screenshot something, this is kind of a good time to do it. These are the three principles that we went over.

We're gonna be talking about them a little bit more, but this is a really good time to take a screenshot. Remember our minds wanna keep us alive to do that. They are lazy and run on shortcuts and they like clean emotions.

So let's do a little bit of work and we're gonna go a little quick on this just in the interest of time. So grab a pen if you've got it or just get ready to do a little bit of thinking. So the first thing that we wanna talk about is control and so human beings like control, right? We know that when we have a sense of control, we tend to be happier. Our well being tends to be better. But in all the years that I've been a practicing psychologist, one of the most fundamental issues is what I call the illusion of control. We like control. But we get really twisted up in what we actually can and can't control. And I see so much extra heartache, strife, distress coming so much of the gray icky sludge emotionally happening because of the misapplication of control. So we're gonna talk a little bit more about this. But I want you to think about your own personal VCA situation. Just pull in mind a situation that's been hard for you lately because it's uncertain. Maybe it's what in your personal life, maybe it's in your organization or company, maybe it's your community or maybe it's a more global event. And I want you to think about jot down all of the control strategies that you've been using. So think of it like this. What are the things you've been trying to control? What have you been doing to get a sense of control?

Throw out a couple of examples while you're dotting and feel free to throw some in the chat, if you want to, a lot of times people want to know what's gonna happen. So they're trying to control this sense of safety certainty. So they do things like plan ruminate research. Uh Sometimes people wanna control how other people feel. I want them to feel good about what we're doing. So I might censor my own self, not speak up when I need to. I might present myself in a way to try to influence or control someone else's opinion. So think about your VCA situation and the things that you're doing, the ways that you're trying to get a sense of control. And I'm gonna ask you, are these things actually under your control. That's what we mean by circle of control. So the circle of control is this concept that there's, there's this circle and inside the circle are the things that I actually have control over. Meaning these are the things that I have the power and the authority to dictate how they will be or how they will go outside of my circle of control are things that I can't actually choose. I might want to. But it's not actually up to me, I don't have the power, the ability, the authority or the responsibility to determine how they will go.

So think about all of the things, all of the control strategies that you're using and we're gonna look at, are you focusing your time, effort and energy on the things that matter what I see in my psychology practice is so much time, effort and energy being directed or applied toward the things outside our circle of control and people are giving up control over the things they actually could influence.

So outside of our circle are the things like obviously natural disasters, the future, our genes, at least pretty much for the most part right now. But also outside of our circle of control are anything to do with other people. I can't actually control other people's thoughts, feelings, reactions, beliefs, behaviors and choices. I can influence them. Yes, that's a, that, that's a nuanced discussion. I can influence them. But they are not 100% up to me to dictate and choose how much of those things have you been trying to control? In contrast, the things inside my circle. This is where I see people not directing effort and energy. It's my beliefs, my values, the choices I make, how I spend my time, my actions, my attention, my focus, my energy, my reaction to my thoughts and feelings. Now we can't always directly control our thoughts and feelings. For example, this is an extreme example. But if I held a gun to your head and said, ha be calm and happy, you can't do that, right? No, of course, you're gonna be anxious so we can't actually control our emotions, but we can control what we do when they show up. I can feel anxious and still do something anyways. Right. I don't have to let those feelings call the shots for me. So go back to the things that you're doing and not doing. Are you misguided in your application of control?

We've got just a few questions for you and you can screen, grab these and, or catch replays and come back to them. But it's worth thinking about why we get twisted up about what we can and can't control. Why are we trying to control things that we can't? Why does it feel like those are up to us? Where does that pressure come from? Think about those. I also want you to think about these things. We've talked about the control strategies. What are we doing and not doing to try to control? I want you to ask yourself, are they effective? I want you to ask yourself, do I actually have the power to determine how this will go? If not, it's outside? Do I actually have the ability? The authority? Is it my responsibility is this thing even controllable. We spend so much time trying to control things that aren't even controllable or knowable and why don't we control the things that we can? Why don't we work on our attitudes and mindsets on attention where I pay attention on how I react to my emotions? So I hope you chew on that for a little bit, but I wanna jump in to the next strategy because it's a really cool one.

Every time Ashley leads that exercise, I feel simultaneously both uh seen and triggered by it. I realize another thing in my life that I'm trying to control that is just not worth spending energy on. So if in the audience or in this uh in this uh community right now, you have realized that there is a couple of things. Me too. All right. So the next um tool that we wanna give you in our toolbox is this idea of emotion sifting. And I mentioned previously that our mind loves clean emotions. It does not like messy, complex emotions they want, it wants ones that are very easy to understand. And so if we think back to that grayish emotional sludge that we talked about before, um our mind really hates situations and it hates emotional experiences that feel complex, that feel unclean. So the exercise that I want us to do at some point in time, go to Google and Google the word wheel of emotions. You're gonna get something that looks something like this. First of all, I want you to pay attention to the center. I'll try not to trigger Ashley by saying this but good and bad aren't emotions.

So don't pick a wheel that starts with good and bad in the center of it, start with one that looks like this where we're starting with basic things like sad, mad, scared, joyful, powerful, et cetera. OK? So you've got that thing. And now I want you to think about a complicated situation you went through that had really muddy emotions associated with it. I'm gonna give a personal one when I was 11 years old. My dad died of colon cancer. He spent five years in treatment. Ultimately, he ended up passing away. I was 11 to 1976. My brother was six years old at the time and all of the stuff that you would expect a family to go through. We went through it all of that probably. And then some, but here's how this relates back. Talk about a mucky set of emotions. That's a VCA situation and it brings with it a lot of unclean complex emotions. So if you think about my sludgy set of emotions, what I encourage people to do is sift their emotions. So I want you to look at that situation. Let's say we're talking about my dad passing away. I want you to look at this wheel, pick out some emotions and ask yourself the basic question. What about this situation might make a person feel? What? So let's take some examples. What about my uh dad's situation? Might make me feel sad.

There's some blue paint my dad passed away, right? You're grieving. That's the obvious one, right? So let's pour some green paint into that can. How about uh anger red paint? My dad knew that he was having symptoms of colon cancer and he did not get checked out. I was angry about that because the implications of him not getting a colonoscopy, get your colonoscopy. Um The implications of him not were horrific for our family. There's a lot of anger red paint. How about jealousy? We live in the United States. My dad passed away in May and June is Father's day green paint. I was very jealous of other people who had their dad around. How about joy? Yellow paint? It seems crazy. Right? Why are you joyful at the end of somebody's life? Especially when they're going through something complex like cancer. You spend a lot of time in the hospital as an 11 year old kid. It's grueling. If I'm honest, there was some joy in the fact that I didn't have to go back there for a while. There was also joy in the fact that when his funeral came, the day of his funeral came all these people, some of them I didn't even know came together and they told stories about my dad. Some of them I had never heard of. We call this emotion sifting because what you'll notice by labeling those colors of paint by labeling the as the emotion associated with them. I'm not throwing any of that paint away. None of those emotions are wrong or bad or invalid or illogical.

They, of course you would feel that way. All of those things at once. But what we're doing is we are taking them one at a time. We are labeling them and we are thinking about what might have caused them. We are cleaning up that emotional landscape by sifting them apart and dealing with them one at a time. You can do this in any complex situation. Any VCA situation, you can sift your emotions and make them a little bit easier for yourself to psychologically handle.

I love that exercise because it really gets to the, of course, you're feeling this way, right? So here's the dirty little secret our brains hate hookah by design because because of the way they are designed, we have certain predictable natural reactions to VCA situations to uncertainty.

And we're not gonna change that. We can't change our default programming. The way our minds were designed to operate. What we can do though is hone our psychological strength skills, we can learn to approach these situations with the right kind of knowledge and skills so that we can thrive through and come out the other side stronger. And having grown today, we introduce two, we can get really clear about what's inside and outside our circle of control and apply our effort and energy accordingly and we can sift our emotions if you like our content and you want to learn more about psychological strength. This is my plug for the building Psychological Strength podcast that April hosts. It's fantastic. There are six seasons of past episodes for you to comb through some relevant for personal life, some for professional life. It's great. We also have a blog and you can subscribe to our blog at Peak Mind We're happy to talk about how your organization might benefit. And this QR code, if you are willing to give us some feedback about today's session, or if you want to subscribe to our uh digital newsletters which are free. This will get you there. Thank you so much for joining us. We have one minute left.

If we've got any questions, we're happy to hit that. But we wanted to be very, very respectful of your time and of the time limits today, we know there are a ton of great sessions that are happening as part of this women in tech conference going once, going twice.

Ah, I've never heard of the Wheel of Emotions before. Ah, that's such a good one. It's a really good resource.

I wanna throw out one little bit of research is that the average person can accurately identify 3 to 4 emotions to be psychologically well and strong, to have that emotional intelligence. We need to be able to accurately name like dozens. I've seen quotes from 24 to 50. So the wheel of emotion just being able to be precise with naming your emotions is a huge part of emotional intelligence.

You got it. And you can also reach out to us on our website. If you have questions about this as it's cooking as you're applying it. If you have clarifying questions, please feel free to message us. We absolutely love it and enjoy the rest of the conference. Thank you so much. You guys.

Thank you.