It is more than a year since the world woke to the shock of Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States. For many in the US, UK, and Europe this was scary news and followed the earlier shock of Britain voting to leave the EU. A sense of fear and uncertainty prevailed for many as these elections threatened to shake up the world as we know it. Things will change, there is no doubt about it, but how they will be, no-one can be sure.
Fretting and unsettling speculation about the future has a cost that goes far beyond the nation’s financial health though. Continuous stress is harmful to our minds and bodies. Negative or provocative posts on social media only exacerbate anxiety amongst those who are worried about the future, especially as Trump takes an increasingly warrior-like stance against North Korea. Long-term, continuous stress takes a toll on us and its impact on the body and mind is not inconsequential.
Uncertainty causes low-level stress; the sense of insecurity and perceived lack of control negatively affecting those for whom a feeling of control is important. Control is a perception though; in truth, we have little control over anything except the simplest of things in our life. We can control when we go to bed, what we eat and how we dress, but most things from the weather to the value of the pound, are outside of our influence. For some, having a job offers a sense of security, while for others, self-employment provides a better sense of protection from the impact of others' decisions. Starting a business could be considered scary, but it also exciting and offers the prospect of working flexibly without the threat of age discrimination.
If you are one of an increasing number of individuals who considers the challenge of Brexit as an opportunity to grow, re-training may be an attractive option. Self-employment and the ‘gig’ economy is becoming more and more popular, either because of a lack of attractive vacancies or the appeal of flexible working. Traditionally home-working has been poorly paid, but setting up a therapy practice from your house or flat can be rewarding both financially and in job satisfaction terms.
Just as for happiness in life, as a self-employed therapist, you will need to be resilient, resourceful and have a positive mindset, but if the idea of running your own business is more appealing than the alternative, why not re-train? Few of us have any influence on the world economy or politics, but we can make choices about what we do and where we focus on our energy.