There’s not wrong with you for feeling fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
FUD stands for “fear,” “uncertainty,” and “doubt” and it’s not just you, it’s real, — especially these days.
I’m not going to discuss politics here, but I will address how it makes us feel, or rather, I want to acknowledge that these days you might feel pretty FUDDY. The reality is using FUD has been used as a tactic by politicians and the media have been using it for close to 100 years to influence, control, and manipulate people.
But the feeling of FUD is real because we humans are not very good at not having control over our environment nor not knowing the outcome of a situation. We don’t like to wait unless we know what we are waiting for so that we can be excited about it. We certainly don’t like not having control over something we want, or don’t want. Not having control over the outcome of something that we care about is like adding fuel to the fire of worry, and the FUD.
WHAT WE WORRY ABOUT IS ALSO WHAT WE CARE ABOUT.
There is nothing wrong with you for worrying. We worry about a lot of things every day because we care about a lot of things every day.
Worry fuels anger and so does care.
It’s a funny paradox, which makes it more difficult sometimes to manage our emotions, or rather know the difference between “an emotion” or “being emotional.” Having an emotion gives us information, being emotional, however, is a behavior that comes from not using that information to understand what we need to work with the FUD.
We all know how to work with joy and it’s even socially acceptable to cheer and even scream in public from joy, and it’s even contagious to see happy people express their joy, isn’t it? “Feeling joy” and “being joyful” is easier to navigate, and you probably can recognize the difference between feeling the joy in your heart and communicating joy by saying, “Wow, that makes me so happy!” and the next step of waving your arms in the air, screaming because it’s too much to contain, hugging people and jumping up and down.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FUD?
Since what we care about is also what we worry about, FUD makes it a bit more tricky to be human — I call it “the human trap” — because we tend to think care and worry are two different things, but the reality is they’re two sides of the same coin.
- You care about your job, you worry about doing a good job.
- You care about your friends, family, and pets, you worry something bad is going to happen to them.
- You care about the climate, you fear that it’s too late. (it’s not by the way aka read the Carbon Almanac).
- You care about human rights, you fear a party is going to win an election that puts human rights at risk.
- You care about democracy, you worry about who wins.
FACE THE FUD
How do we work with fear, uncertainty, and doubt? How do we work with worry in a way that doesn’t swallow us up, curl us up into a ball, or make us angry?
I want to share some examples from my book, while also acknowledging that this is not about fixing your FUD, nor trying to convince you to get my book. FUD is not just about today; it’s a key part of what drives us every single day to work harder. Or to disengage and stop caring.
When I was coaching, I saw how the FUD was constantly there in the background of our daily experience, and with that also creating habits to cope with the FUD — or rather avoid feelings that we didn’t know what to do with. It tends to become distractions and other ways to avoid feeling like overeating, shopping, drinking or trying to reclaim control like overworking, overexercising, or overthinking.
Learning to reclaim agency over our own emotional and mental health when circumstances are not within our control is a deeper training of trust that’s become essential for my own life.
It has helped me be mindful about how I navigate change in order to grow with curiosity and courage.
The more we can see our fears and accept the FUD as part of society and the cultural landscape, the better we are able to be aware, adaptable, and agile in navigating it.