Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Comfortable with Uncertainty

This is a follow-up piece to "Moving Through the Void".   This article is all about "uncertainty" and the part where we take a leap of faith.

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.—Andre Gide
Whenever we’re in the midst of transformation, we can expect to be uncertain. We are leaving behind the old and preparing for the new.  This blog post, an excerpt from my book, Professional Destiny, is the next installment of last week’s discussion about Moving Through the Void.

Get comfortable with uncertainty—it’s the time of our greatest opportunity. A time when all possibilities are open to us. If we hold our vision and resolve to take a step toward it each day, we can be assured that great uncertainty only lasts for a while. This too shall pass.

Oftentimes even when we start our journey, our fear of failing returns and our hope of finding our purpose fades. We have no proof that things will turn out the way we want so we are hesitant, or even unwilling, to take the risk. Sometimes it takes a great deal of pain to get us motivated. Our fearful beliefs immobilize us and slowly but surely kill our spirit. We can feel ourselves being drawn back to the comfort of familiar territory—even though we haven’t been happy there for a long time. We become more anxious and wonder if we are crazy for wanting to do this.

Sometimes fear can be good. It can motivate us into action, especially if we fear our situation will get worse if we don’t act now. But it is not good when it paralyzes us from moving forward. This is the point when we look into the unknown, feel our fear, take a deep breath and step forward anyway. Do it even if you’re scared.

If you are willing to do the thing you are afraid to do, you often do not have to. Face the situation fearlessly and watch it dissipate.
Most things we worry about never actually happen. So worrying is an unproductive emotion that drains our energy and creative forces. Sometimes we just need to find humor in our fears.

The longer we stay in an unfulfilling and unchallenging situation, the more resigned we become—and the more we risk losing our individuality, unique gifts and edge.

It’s essential to catch ourselves when we feel the urge to stay complacent. While change can involve letting go of things that are familiar, the cost of settling in an unfulfilling situation may greater than we originally think. So, while uncertainty might not feel good at the moment—get comfortable—it can open our eyes to things we wouldn’t normally see and may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.