The Gift of Uncertainty

by | Jul 25, 2016

How much uncertainty are you comfortable with?

Tony Robbins says: “Your level of passion and aliveness is directly proportional to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

UncertaintyAt the risk of lapsing into current cliché, we are living in exceptionally uncertain times. Whatever news outlet we follow, the daily reminders of how much uncertainty our governments and societies are fielding, come at us fast and furious. I’d  like to take the grappling-with-uncertainty challenge down to the individual level because guess what? [Tweet "Surrendering complete control and absolute knowledge of a situation can be liberating!"] This may seem obvious but it bears repeating that, in a state of uncertainty, or not knowing, we can enjoy “hits” of deeper wisdom and insights unsuspected.

Read: Discomfort creates breakthrough thinking in coaching.

Several years ago, I discovered that it can actually be energising and freeing to just… not know. Call it beginner’s mind or fresh perspective, this is a new way of coming at things through which life can feel more precious.

There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I absolutely had to know it all, cover all bases and secure all guarantees before making any plan, choice or decision. Happily, those dull days are long gone and I now function more effortlessly and sail through myriad life choices with only approximate certainty, yet far more confidence. I went from needing absolute predictability to embracing the unknown (ok, maybe not with such open arms, and maybe not every day), from risk-free-über-alles to what-the-hell, from let’s-confirm-it-all-before-we-take-another-breath to let’s-leave-some-bridges-to-when-we-get-there. Taking myself through this transformation has enabled me to support my coaching clients in adopting similar attitudes.

Read: Managing the human side of change management

If your life has become ponderously predictable or uninspired, there may be a link with your need to cover every contingency or flush out any uncertainty.

Are you ready to dip your toe in uncertain waters?

If you sense this could be the case, take time to intentionally dip a toe in uncertain waters, dare to go where you have not gone before. And fear not: you can achieve this more simply than you think. Read: Leaving a Stable Job to Create Your Dream Career.

[Tweet "Start by carving out some personal Dream Time"] Take yourself to your favorite cafe or corner of your garden or park, to reflect on:

  • What matters to you most today?
  • What is no longer true for you?
  • What are you doing that no longer feeds your soul?
  • What might be compromising your integrity or hampering your calling or interfering with your heart these days?
  • What change you could make, starting now, to live in greater integrity with both your heart and your soul?

Now grab a pen and paper and do it!

Be honest with yourself, be authentic, don’t filter these questions–or the answers that gently percolate–through your sophisticated brain, let your gut do some of the talking.

And don’t be afraid of the answers that pop up, no matter how they rattle your safely guarded beliefs.

The answers that emerge may usher in unexpected uncertainty, but in the long term, they might just make your life a whole lot simpler.

For more inspiration on welcoming uncertainty see also: Pemma Chodron “Comfortable with Uncertainty”

Originally posted in SoGilly 

Many people don’t start thinking about their careers until there is a problem. So take a few moments when you are relaxed, to understand what is important to you.  Have our Career Reflections Worksheets delivered right into your in-box.  Print them out in the old school way or keep them open on your phone. Use them as a guide to give your thoughts some structure.

Invest some time in yourself! Don't wait until it's too late!

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Gilly Weinstein Contributor
Gilly is an executive coach supporting international executives and multicultural teams on both sides of the Atlantic. Known for her fierce yet heart-filled coaching style, Gilly helps individuals tap into their strengths, become more emotionally intelligent leaders, and make decisions that empower them—and ultimately their organisations.
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