The Power of Harnessing Uncertainty
- by Alissa Finerman
Uncertainty can be challenging, but ultimately it’s what keeps life interesting, engaging and fulfilling. If you knew what to expect at all times, my guess is that you’d get bored, very bored. Yes, of course, we don’t welcome uncertainty in plenty of areas in our lives. From simple things such as having your morning coffee taste just right to knowing your car will start to more major things such as getting a clean bill of health from your doctor each year.
I felt lots of uncertainty when I left my finance job in New York City and started a new career as a business coach, and again when I moved from NYC to Los Angeles. I also built a lot of confidence by making it through each of these transitions. You have to step through uncertainty to create something bigger in your life.
Many people condition their minds to view a change as bad when in reality it’s neutral. Change only takes on a positive or negative spin when we classify it. Typically, we are excited for “positive” events and uncomfortable with “negative” events because they fall outside our comfort zone.
But the people who turn ideas into action agree that the magic happens outside their comfort zone. Why? Because uncertainty leads to:
Major breakthroughs. One of my clients had a catering business in New York that was highly respected, but she always struggled to get her next gig. She wanted something better for herself. She researched other careers, and together we decided that her strengths matched a career in residential real estate. Everyone told her it was a difficult time to enter the market—and it was—but she was determined. She became a broker at a well-known company and became “Rookie Broker of the Year” in 2011. She’s on track to be the top broker in the office this year and, most important, loves her career.
Confidence boosts. When you successfully move through challenging periods, you gain one more data point , one more win. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what we’ve achieved and leverage these wins to build confidence.
Growth. After 25 years, Oprah said goodbye to her number-one-rated talk show. Few people would part with this level of success to start a television network (she started OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network). All achievers and entrepreneurs have to move through uncertainty to continue to grow.
Condition your mind to realize that uncertainly leads to extraordinary opportunity and potential; becoming comfortable with uncertainty is one of the key ingredients to success.