How to Turn Uncertainty into an Opportunity
Uncertainty is uncomfortable.
Not knowing what comes next or where the road ahead leads can be anxiety-inducing, or downright painful. As humans we often crave the certainty that comes from knowing the path, knowing the process, and understanding exactly where we are headed.
That is why when you are creating something new, something that has never been done before, it can feel so daunting. With each new challenge you face, there are no answers for how to solve it. With every step forward comes a wide open well of more things you don’t know or understand.
I fought against this uncertainty for years! As a person who is often restless and dreaming – uncertainty has been a mainstay in my life. I continuously put myself into situations where the outcome is unknown. I am often in a situation where no one around me has done it before and doesn’t know what advice to give, or where to direct me.
It still feels as though I can open doors where all I get are more questions than answers. And so rather than fighting the uncertainty, and feeling overwhelmed or fatigued by it, it’s become necessary to accept this as a steady and regular part of my life.
If you’re a person who wishes to create something new in the world, then certainly you know what I am talking about.
As my coach said to me recently, “The solution to uncertainty isn’t certainty, it’s creativity.” And it stuck with me. Where in my life am I seeking out a pathway or an easy answer when all I really need is to reframe the question.
The more creative we get about the challenges we face, the easier it is to find solutions that couldn’t have possibly been dreamed up any other way.
Take a colleague of mine, for instance. He is a coach who was working on building his business. As a person who loves to write, he began a newsletter, and despite writing well and targeting specific pain points of his audience, his newsletter never grew beyond 100 people. And so, my colleague asked himself, “How can I turn something which seems like a negative into an opportunity?”
A lightbulb went off in his mind. That simple question changed his perspective, and he decided that rather than looking down on himself or his intimate list of readers, he would intentionally curate his exclusive mailing list, of which only 100 people had the privilege to be a part.
Fast forward to today, that same coach has a waitlist to get on his mailing list (of 100) and makes sure that everyone on the list stays engaged with the content or community, by reading or commenting, or sharing insights with the rest. He not only created a brilliant strategy for connecting to the people who most want to connect with him, but also created an engaged audience of humans who share his interest and recognize the value that he provides.
So while I sit here with my latest unanswerable question, and remind myself that this is just one of many challenges I face where there is no clear cut answer, I ask myself, “How can I be more creative in the face of uncertainty?”
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