Imagine you’re hired to lead a project or business and a plan written on paper is handed to you as you start, with every step to take and all the expected outcomes for the next five years. No uncertainty, nothing to create, to adjust, to redefine. Simply roll-out the routine. How would you feel about such a job, such a life? Isn’t the simple idea of it overwhelming with boredom?
Thank god there is no such thing and it’s great news that we live in a world of uncertainties: it gives us freedom to shape our actions; it puts creativity and self-reinvention at the core of our lives.
“Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating”. Karl von Clausewitz
How to navigate in uncertainty? Here are 6 tips to explore:
1. Beware of making plans: You do need a strategy and analysis of potential scenarios. But while this is a basis, it won’t get you anywhere. In the face of uncertainty, a good plan doesn’t mean success as chances are you will change it anyway, as nothing is predictable. Be flexible, keep it simple.
2. Sharpen your vision and communicate it: A clear vision is your best ally. Be crystal clear on your purpose, aim and values. Communicate it to yourself and your team often; especially when uncertainty becomes overwhelming, use your vision statement to reinforce direction.
3. Master your tranquility skills: We naturally have a tendency to attract stress in uncertain times, which is counterproductive. Realize that stress is not something which plugs into your chest and stomach from the outside. It is absolutely self-generated. You can’t navigate in uncertainty without learning to let go and consciously rejecting those stress-inflicting stories your mind plays against you.
4. Breathing is better than rushing: Take time to step back and look at your environment with a wider lens; look at it often, analyze it with renewed eyes. With our accelerated world (see post on stress management), acting and reacting fast is necessary, but let’s not become headless chickens.
5. Redefine your environment: Looking at the world through our primary environment – the one we usually define as our world – is limiting the ability to achieve our vision. Interconnected and globalized, there is much more to our world than the shape and colors we give it. Learn to look beyond. Bring into your thinking knowledge from other worlds.
6. Have faith in your ability to win: In uncertain times, your attitude to success matters. “Faith means living with uncertainty, feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark”. Dan Millman
So tell me how you feel now? Ready to embrace uncertainty?