How To Find Your Footing When the Ground Keeps Moving | Blog

Is the Ground Moving or Is It Just Me?

I was watching a clip of the comedian John Mulaney and when he said, “Growing up, I always thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be.” I laughed out loud, and I could totally relate. 

Let me start by saying that I was a latchkey kid. My mom raised seven kids on her own, and when we got home from school, she was still at work. TV was often our go-to when we couldn't get outside to play. And in many of those shows, quicksand was the nemesis, and it did sort of freak me out. Whether it was the Skipper from Gillian's Island or the time the Flying Nun landed in quicksand or when Tarzan had to rescue Jane, quicksand was something I hoped I never encountered. 

Well, quicksand may not be as much of a problem in my adulthood, but shifting sands is another thing. Shifting sands refers to something that is constantly changing, is unpredictable, and as a result, can be difficult to deal with or manage.

Can we all agree that life & business has been a case of shifting sands over the last couple of years? Can we also agree that it's hard to find our footing when the ground keeps moving?

No individual, leader, business owner, or organization has escaped change & uncertainty these last two years. It's also safe to say that more is on the way.

I spoke with a client a few weeks ago, and she mentioned that 2021 was the best year her company has ever had since she and her partner started it 15 years ago. As we took a few minutes to celebrate this news, we reflected on how it wasn't too long ago that they wondered if they would have to sell the company or close the doors. 

Before Covid, they had had a number of issues that they were working hard to resolve, including a significant investment in new technology. They were turning things around when Covid hit. The shutting down of travel, hospitality, and restaurants directly hit their business, and their ability to earn income was immediately impacted.

I witnessed her navigate the uncertainty with strength and grace during that time. Like many business owners and leaders, she had to decide what to do about employees, whether to furlough or not and how she could still service her clients with business pretty much nonexistent. 

There was one conversation in particular that stood out for me. Like all of her competitors, she had started to move in the direction of furloughing her employees. At first, it seemed the only option, but when she stopped and listened deeply, she kept getting the nudge not to do it. When she allowed her mind to settle and realized she didn't have to do what everyone else was doing, her internal guidance system was telling her to stay the course. 

That decision and her ability to stop responding to external circumstances from a place of reactivity and instead slow down, find her center, and listen to the wisdom within, was the beginning of a whole new way forward for her, the employees, and the company. 

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all smooth sailing, and there were plenty of moments when it looked like things were conspiring against them. More shutdowns, technology challenges, and more investment needed. In those moments, she knew where to go to get her bearings – she would go within. From that space, she would find her center and new ideas, creativity, and solutions emerged. 

How do we move forward when uncertainty is everywhere? Where do we find our stability when the ground is moving?

We find it within. We anchor ourselves to the stillness that sits in the center of our core. We connect solidly to this space, and from there, we have what we need to navigate the shifting sands.

From this place of inner stillness emerges clarity and insight. 

Each of us has within us a place of peace and power — an inner reservoir of strength, wellbeing, and wisdom. When we know where to go to find it, we discover we have what it takes.

We discover we can walk on shifting sands.

“We connect solidly to this space, and from there, we have what we need to navigate the shifting sands.”

“The only truly reliable source of stability is a strong inner core and the willingness to change and adapt everything except that core.” – James C. Collins

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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