Where in your life do you like certainty? To know what you're doing, where you are going?
In which areas are you ok with uncertainty?
It strikes me that we all have our own idea to where the line between certainty and uncertainty falls. And our own responses to uncertainty. I've been reflecting on this topic and have these observations:
Tight on time - If I've got lots on and I've planned each day down to the last minute I don't have time for uncertainty. I want to deal with it, box it up and put it away. Job done. I notice I am barely present in the moment, always thinking ahead.
Energy levels - I'm pretty good at tenacity and will dig deep to overcome and find a way to sort something when it doesn't go as expected. It's tiring overcoming uncertainty!
Anxiety - First, I notice that I'm structuring and organising everything, then I see the anxiety, then I recognise that I'm trying to control uncertainty. Organisation that is loved by many, strongly disliked by most.
Expectations - If I know something is going to be uncertain, I'm happy to run with it. I'm certain that it is uncertain! The questions and anxiety of others wanting to know the answer when I know I don't know is the most tricky.
Why is knowing your response to uncertainty important? It's simply because in our work and lives, there is a lot that can't be predicted. In developing leadership, shifting from a place of 'coping' in uncertainty to 'being' in uncertainty is what makes a difference to the effectiveness of us, our work, and importantly our well being. Spending time and energy in trying to contain uncertainty is like fighting a losing battle. Learning to see it, know it, even say 'hello' to it, is the first step to changing the relationship with uncertainty.
Over the next month, notice your pattern of interaction with certainty and uncertainty. Where is your line? How do you respond? When is your coping strategy limiting and/or supporting you? How do others respond to your coping strategy?
To explore these patterns and your relationship with uncertainty more deeply, email: firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.