5 Tools to Convert Uncertainty Into Rocket Fuel
Use uncertainty to create the life of which you've always dreamt.
Posted February 2, 2016
by Laura Berger PCC
As kids in Hawaii, we encountered new adventures every weekend—new underwater caves, trails, and cliffs from which to dive. Every new challenge inspired excitement and uncertainty—much like the rewarding steps we take in our lives and professions.
Cliffs were an especially prickly animal, for example. We would first swim the pool below for jutting rocks, examine the flow of the waterfall or surf, and test for undertows. During our climb, we then would examine the possibly perils on the trip down. At the top, we would find the surest foothold from which to dive. When it came time to jump, we used the reassurance from our extensive reconnaissance as fuel. Then, there was the increasing rage of wind in our ears, and sploosh!–the exhilaration of having pushed through the uncertainty coursed through our veins like a life-giving drug.
Those of us always conquering the next goal use uncertainty—wittingly or not—to take the right steps toward our best lives safely and smartly. What’s more, those of us who embrace it know it as part of a magical process. Working through uncertainty is much like sales professionals who know that every “no” is a small victory—one more step toward “yes.”
Conversely, uncertainty paralyzes so many who don’t brave it properly. Here are some ways to turn the nuisance of uncertainty into virtue in your life.
- Ask yourself what makes the future more dangerous? Would you ever find love? Would you get a job after you graduated high school or college? Would you survive learning to ride a bike? Most of these things likely worked out well for you, but weren't you just as worried about them as you are now about the future? So what’s different? Evidence. We’ve survived the past. But the past was a series of little moments to be lived just like the future. There is no reason to be any more scared of each future tiny moment you will experience than the present moment or the one that immediately preceded it.
- Write your desired results every day, and carry them with you. Your results must be very specific, contain gratitude, be written to stir emotion in you, and have an expiration date. If you write them every day, your inner editor makes continuous improvements. For example, when Glen started writing the screenplay, the daily result he wrote was, “I showed Radical Sabbatical to friends and family in a large theater.” After three months of rewrites, this result now reads, “I am so happy and thankful that I saw ‘Glen Tibaldeo’ as ‘Written By’ in the credits of Radical Sabbatical at Coral Ridge 10 theaters by December 31, 2017.” Carrying the results with you is also a surprising motivator since they burn a hole in your pocket.
- Determine the common themes of the best and worse decisions in your life.
- Take action. Most of my blogs come down to this. Committing to small steps toward your goal has immeasurable benefits, the most important being “on the job” learning about what works and what doesn’t and motivating you to take your goals more seriously—because you are in the thick of it. Only by swimming the water below and climbing the cliff did I get momentum and confidence to take the plunge and live to tell about it.
Uncertainty drives us toward intuitive right action just like our bodies make us hungry so that we will nourish ourselves to survive. Using the techniques above, uncertainty ensures sound life victories to create the personal and professional life of which you’ve always dreamt.
Laura Berger, PCC and Glen Tibaldeo, PMP, CPA are authors and popular speakers at national conferences and for Fortune companies. Glen is a Project Strategist/Change Management Consultant and screenwriter for Radical Sabbatical, and Laura is an Executive Coach, both for the Berdeo Group LLC. Their Bestseller Radical Sabbatical is described by Dave Barry as "the funniest book I have ever held in my hands" and is available on Amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble, and at other major bookstores.