The value of Uncertainty

Change is the one constant in life. Uncertainty is uncomfortable; we want predictability and want to know the outcome. In our fast-changing, unpredictable workplace, we must embrace uncertainty and take decisive action and risk despite the unknowns. When we stay with what is comfortable, we limit our future, stifle our potential and shrink our opportunities.

As humans, we are our worst enemies; we limit ourselves due to fear of the unknown. We make decisions and hope for the best outcomes. We can never hope to succeed unless we’re willing to embrace the unknown and get comfortable with the innate discomfort of risk-taking.

Being willing to take a risk and step into unknown territory doesn’t mean everything you try will work out. But as every successful person will tell you, it’s only by being willing to risk ‘miss-steps’ (from which the word mistakes derive) and try something new that you can ever accomplish more than what’s been done before. To quote John F. Kennedy: “Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished with a guarantee of success.”

Things we can do to cope with uncertainty;

  1. Do not resist
    1. Practice accepting change. This doesn’t mean that we will not be annoyed or frustrated. Acknowledging how we feel about the shift helps us to be able to move forward.
  2. Find meaning in the chaos.
    1. What can we do to help solve the problem when we see something that needs improvement? What skills or talents, or learning opportunities can we capitalize on? 

The best way to kill an organization is to say, “We have always done it this way.” Companies that do not accept uncertainty and change will die. Look at Sears, Borders bookstore, Pan American Airways, Blockbuster video, and more. When companies fail to adapt, they risk losing business. 

Accepting uncertainty provides opportunities to grow our capabilities build confidence, and expand our influence. Focus on being of value and service. When we take risks, we will reap the rewards. As individuals and leaders, we make decisions to influence outcomes. 

Uncertainty can ultimately enrich your life or diminish it. Embrace it