How to reboot and recalibrate in times of uncertainty & chaos

Uncertainty is the new status quo, and although we may feel there is more chaos and overwhelm in the world than ever before, we have in fact never been in control of others or external factors.

We all have different perspectives and situations that we are navigating, and there is no one solution to these feelings of uncertainty. PA’s are often in high-pressure roles and subjected to multiple tasks and deadlines as well as trying to support the needs of everyone.

Although we cannot control what happens to us, we can shift focus to what we can do to help the situation. The way you THINK shapes the way you RESPOND and interpret situations.

Mentor, Author and Speaker, Belinda Brosnan, joined the ThinkTank team recently to help us understand our own operating system to find a way of navigating these times of chaos and uncertainty.

Belinda suggests we start with some questions to help build awareness of our own patterns:

  • What are the situations you find hard to handle?
  • What is overwhelming right now?
  • What would make a big difference, to your work and life in general?
  • What is in your control?

The next step is to check in with your values, preferences and priorities. Are you spending time in alignment with your values and things that are important to you?

Belinda has devised the following 5 P’s to help us Realign, Reboot and Recalibrate:


Time is the one thing we don’t get back, so by tapping into our values we can focus on the things that matter to us most. What is the blend of priorities that work for you to ensure boundaries are set? Belinda recommends a book called True North by Michael Henderson to help explore values, define priorities, and therefore where and how to manage our time.


Ask yourself  – what is the outcome I am seeking? This is not necessarily about your main purpose in life, but more about your intentions and goal around a situation. When navigating lots of stuff we get caught up in the detail and drama, so to pull ourselves out of the weeds we need to gain clarity around the outcome desired.


What stories or beliefs may be holding you back? Many of us can misinterpret communication and instantly feel uncomfortable. We may get thoughts and feeling that whirl in our head and when we don’t have certainty, we have a tendency to make assumptions. Belinda advises us to seek the truth at these times to untangle the story. Label your feelings and ask questions to discover what is really happening, what is factual, and what may be fiction made up in your own head to create certainty? Reframe how you see something to check you can see it from all angles.


Often sitting on the edge and making judgments keeps us suffering alone. Try connecting with others to discuss the issue or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Use this situation as an opportunity to connect, see it from a different perspective, and ask if you are united in a purpose.


Are you exploring all possibilities rather than being stuck in black and white thinking? What options do you have to make a difference and how do you shift towards your purpose? Ask others for ideas, give yourself permission to experiment, take small steps towards action.

A huge part of a PA and EA role is to support others, so you may feel like you are surrounded by conflicting priorities and that your voice is not heard. When feeling overwhelmed try to stop, build awareness and explore these 5 P’s to reboot and recalibrate.

If you would like to hear more about the wonderful work Belinda does or to purchase her book, please check out her website.

ThinkTank Media specialise in delivering inspiration and ideas to help you reach the top of your career and stay there. We hold the world’s leading summits for PAs across Australia, New Zealand and LA. See the locations, programs and details.

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