Category: Uncertainty

Unknown Possibility – Exploring the Positive Side of Uncertainty…

By , June 6, 2012 6:21 pm

“Uncertainty is okay, as long as it exists in someone else’s life or we don’t have to do anything about it.”

Jonathan Fields, Lawyer, Author and Business Consultant.

 

Let’s face it… uncertainty can be scary. It makes us want to run away, the last thing we want to do is face it and own it.

After all, why would you want to own something that is terrifying, makes you feel scared and fills your head with doubt and voices of doom? You’d rather hide and just hope that is goes away or run away from it as fast as you can! RUN!

Not knowing is like a monster that is lurking in the shadows. You see it out of the corner of your eye, you can’t quite focus on it, but you know it’s there. The intensity of leaning in and moving towards something when you don’t know the outcome fills you with anxiety, doubt and fear. This monster could strip you of everything and you’d be left to pick up the pieces of your life afterwards. It feeds your lizard brain with negative thoughts…

I remember being engulfed with the shroud of uncertainty while taking exams at school: Would I be able to answer the questions? What if I didn’t get the grades I wanted? What if I forgot everything once I took my seat in the exam room? I hated the persistent pain of my anxiety of having to lean into the unknown and get through it all.

Life is a bit like reading a good book that you don’t want to put down. You want to know how it ends before you’ve finished reading it! However, the reality is that if you knew the ending first, then you’d probably not enjoy reading the rest of the book or you might lose interest and not even finish reading it!

Humans always want to know the answer – we look for the facts and want to mitigate all the risks beforehand. For some of us the discomfort of not knowing is too much, instead we stay safe, stagnate and watch other people take the risks and get the results.

I’ve come to realize that uncertainty, risk of loss and discomfort are necessary if you want to fully experience and embrace life. In many ways, uncertainty makes you come alive – there’s electricity to it (and a clenchy-ness at the same time!!) It’s like riding a rollercoaster!

The more you lean into uncertainty the more resilient you become. You become certain about uncertainty! It has a pattern and you can develop an internal process to work through it.

Allowing this experience opens space for new things to form and take shape. The feeling of uncertainty ebbs and flows, like a tide, as you keep moving forward. As you take each step towards your goal, the more certain things become.

After all, certainty has a level of boredom to it. If everything were certain, life would be pretty dull. Certainty is not a real concept; it deludes us into believing that it’s the safer route and stifles innovation, creativity and the chance to create something quite brilliant and unique.

Scared IS the new black!

Look for pockets of uncertainty in your life and begin to walk towards them, rather than running away in fear. These little pockets are where you actually get to live your life and be the person you really came here to be. Embrace fear and doubt by leaning into uncertainty and working through it.

Start to look at uncertainty as a place of unknown possibilities.

Re-frame your doubt and hesitancy and chase those opportunities. Take a leap of faith and follow your dream!

 

 

5 Things To Do the Next Time You Feel Like Quitting!

By , March 7, 2012 8:02 pm

“The difference between success and failure isn’t the absence of fear but the determination to pursue your heart’s desires no matter how scared you are.”

~Martha Beck, Author and Coach – Finding your Own North Star

Sometimes I feel like quitting!

The last time was a few weeks ago after my cat died suddenly. I’ve had three deaths in the last six months and was getting sick to death of death! I’d reached the “WTF!” stage. I felt like giving it all up throwing my laptop away and getting a job in a tea shop. I could happily spend my days serving cups of tea and chatting to customers. Blissfully avoiding any responsibility!

How many times have you felt like giving up, throwing the towel in and running away to start a new life or career?

Monthly?

Weekly?

Daily?!

Life isn’t always easy. There are times when things get difficult and we struggle with loss, uncertainty and doubt.

Quitting is always an option especially you’re faced with what seem like impossible challenges.

Here’s the thing…

There is a difference between TALKING about quitting and ACTUALLY quitting…

One involves THOUGHT the other ACTION.

The truth is that EVERYONE FEELS like giving up at some point. We all hit a roadblock that’s hard to get around:

  • You’re scared to begin because you might fail
  • You’re riddled with uncertainty and doubt – Especially when things become murky or unclear.
  • You’re questioning whether you were really cut out for this after all?
  • You’re feeling like a dumb-ass for giving up your well paid job to go it alone and now no one’s knocking at your door for your services!
  • You’re repeatedly asking yourself WTF am I doing?!
  • You have more excuses for not carrying on than reasons for carrying on
  • You’re questioning the answers the Universe appears to be showing you just now!

Fear and doubt are dream killers and in moments of uncertainty it’s easy to allow them to erode our confidence and win-out. We want assurances on how things are going to turn out and when these aren’t available we become uncomfortable with taking action. We hesitate our energy drains away and up pop the excuses. Avoidance strategies kick in and we skulk back to hide in our comfort zone, waiting for either divine intervention or for someone else to save us!

We stop being successful…

This lack of energy towards your goal reinforces the limiting beliefs that “I’m not cut out for this…” and you become locked into a lack-mindset.

These are the defining moments that make us question and challenge ourselves. You have a choice between Getting Out and Going Deeper in.

Here’s what to do when you feel like quitting:

1. Take responsibility. Let go of any excuses and accept where you are right now. You might not be able to influence what has happened in the past, but you can influence the present and shape future outcomes. Stop blaming others, the recession or the moon being in retrograde! Dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.

2. Get in touch with your passion. Re-align to your dream. WHY do you want to do this? Re-ignite the flame burning deep within you. You CAN do this but ONLY if you REALLY WANT to. Take time to re-connect and renew your energy. Get giddy about your intention!

3. Get out of your own way. Recognise the voices in your head as naysayers who are not real! Change your thinking because it will change your results. Check the quality of your inner dialogue and only allow space for positive language. Create goal cards or affirmation statements to re-focus your attention. Use the problem as raw materials for the solution. Instead of asking: Can I really do this? Ask “How can I do this?”

4. Be disciplined. An idea will ALWAYS remain just an idea unless you create systems and habits that enable you to take deliberate action. Plan your next step and take conscious step by step action to make it happen. Create systems to help you show up and be 100% present and committed.

5. Get some help. Having a coach as a sounding board and mirror to reflect back your behaviour really helps you to blast through any roadblocks and challenges. Having someone on your side makes ALL the difference and stops you feeling isolated and alone.

The grief that I was going through wasn’t a mistake I was on the verge of huge transformation. Grief, silence, emptiness is a gift AND it’s the hardest thing to go through, especially when you just want to run away. I was working through my deepest fear – Loss.

What I realised was that there is NO GETTING OUT, I had to walk DEEPER IN. Loss wasn’t the enemy I was being broken open for transformation. I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable but getting out wasn’t an option. Grief has a way of peeling back the bullshit and getting you closer to the core of who you are. As you let go and things fall away a new deeper level emerges.

Grow into your challenges by Going Deeper into the uncertainly and the unknown. The solutions for success are waiting to be found as you to connect deeper to your authentic self.

It’s okay to do things badly at first…

By , February 29, 2012 5:53 pm

“Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly in the beginning.”

Marshall Thurber, Business Consultant.

Sometimes when we’re learning something new we feel awkward, very conscious and uncomfortable. We want to be perfect straight away. We might give up (or not even begin!) because we’re not willing to pay the price of putting extra time in to break through the awkwardness.

Success is all about persistence, practice, discipline and sacrifice.

My Dad taught me how to drive. I got my provisional driving license on my 17th Birthday. The day after, I had my first driving lesson.

The first time I sat behind the wheel of a car was an amazing experience. It was a dark January evening and I was so excited. Although I’d never driven before, I’d eagerly watched my Dad drive and learned the theory of driving from the passenger seat.

That night I drove almost perfectly, changing gears with confidence as if I’d been driving for a while. It was amazing! When we arrived home my Dad proudly told my Mum that he thought I was a ‘natural’ and I’d easily pass my test!

After this lesson I thought that driving would be easy.

The next time I got in the car I was crap! For the next month my driving sucked! I was nervous, grinded the gears, mounted the curb and my confidence was soon reduced to zero. Learning to drive was overwhelming it seemed that there was so much to think about and do all at the same time.

I’d NEVER pass my test… I dreaded my lessons.

I was so frustrated. I’d driven well before, WHY couldn’t I just do it again?

I was frightened of making mistakes and compare myself to THAT first lesson when I drove really well – I didn’t want to learn how to drive anymore! The memory of that experience started to destroy my confidence.

Here’s what this experience taught me about learning:

1. Give yourself permission to feel awkward – In order to learn something you have to give yourself permission to do things badly, screw up and be imperfect. Understand in advance that this is an essential part of learning and accept that this will happen sometimes as part of your learning journey. Let go of trying to be perfect and let yourself feel awkward. It’s okay! There’s a kind of innocence about it.

2. Competence = Confidence = Control – You have to pass through the feeling awkward stage before you start to develop some competence. Practice, patience and persistence help you to develop your competence. Competence allows you to feel more confident and feeling confident ultimately allows you to feel in control of the situation. You have to work through all three stages of this cycle and as you continue to learn, these elements become stronger. 

3. Create Momentum – You have to be willing to show up on a bad day as well as a good day. You have to keep going despite looking silly or feeling very conscious of how stupid you feel. After a while competence kicks in and the awkwardness falls away. Persistence is the key!

Allow yourself permission to feel awkward…

It can be quite liberating!

How to Let Go of Resistance and Keep Moving Towards Your Goals and Dreams

By , January 26, 2012 12:35 pm

Just trust that everything is unfolding the way it is supposed to. Don’t resist. Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

Sonia Ricotti – Author.

Do you ever feel like things are not turning out the way they’re supposed to?

Sometimes we try to achieve something aligned to our goal but it doesn’t work out the way we intended. You may not get the result you thought you wanted.

Whatever the situation, it’s easy to become reactive and resistant. You can get locked into negative thoughts: ‘I’m just not cut out for this…’ or ‘I knew I wouldn’t win anyway!’ or ‘It shouldn’t be this way…’

…And it’s easy to become the victim.

Complaining, getting upset or judging just prolongs the pain and it doesn’t help you to change anything. Instead you continue to resist the reality of the situation.

The key drivers of resistance are fear and uncertainty. This is enough to stop us growing and we become stuck in a fixed mindset.

People with a fixed mindset want to play it safe. They need to know the end before beginning. Their fallback position for staying safe is that if you’ve not really tried hard, then you can always say I didn’t really try.

It’s easier to avoid failure by waiting for perfection. You put things off to read yet another how to book or attend another workshop because you’re STILL not quite perfect (or safe enough).

Resistance stops us from growing and learning and pulls us back to that safe place, where we settle and survive. Our own fear to try something different holds us back.

Resisting takes a lot of energy and effort to maintain (Trust me…I know this personally!).

Here’s the thing…

Trying something new and stretching out of your comfort zones is ALL about growing and learning new things. It’s a BIG puzzle that you don’t know the answer to. It’s challenging but fun because you get to work it through! My mentor recently described this like being in your own novel: You get to see how you’re going to get out of it!

…It’s just that you haven’t learnt it yet! That’s all.

The best way out is through…

See the situation as a puzzle to be solved. See the challenges and obstacles as your raw materials for the solution. You have everything you need!

The important thing here is to keep moving in the direction of your goal, no matter what the Universe presents to you.

Your intended result may not always happen and this is perfectly okay. Rather than cling onto the pain or discomfort, let it go so that you can move onto something better.

You can’t fail to learn…

When one door closes, I always find that another door opens and it’s usually to a bigger and better place.

Here are some ways to move forward:

1. Stop resisting what is – Stop resisting what’s going on in your life just now, and choose to accept the current situation and the facts. E.g. I didn’t win 1st Prize. I currently have a heavy workload. Just accepting the situation can release the pressure and make you feel better. Don’t associate any meaning or emotions to it. This is all about accepting what is.

2. Get Clear on what you want – Re-align to your goal. Get clear and re-decide on what you really want. Remember WHY it is important to you and re-commit your attention and energy.

3. The Source of your power is YOU – Take responsibility for the current situation. It’s okay and you will work it through. Learn to listen and pay attention to your instincts – don’t ignore them (You know…That little intuitive voice deep inside you – The one you often ignore!). You already have the solution inside of you it is drowned out by all that resistance and noise. Choose to step into your power and listen to your inner wisdom.

4. Take Action – Consciously start with the first logical step, then take another one, then another. Lean in and create some momentum a little every day.

5. Get support – You can’t do everything alone. Sometimes it helps to have a sounding board, someone who isn’t close to the situation who can offer support. A coach can be present for you in many ways. Asking for help is perfectly okay and sometimes very important for your success.

Let go of resistance and follow your heart – And your world will change!

Keep moving forward. There is no failure.

Stop Resisting!

By , June 11, 2011 3:08 pm

“Just trust that everything is unfolding the way it is supposed to. Don’t resist. Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

Sonia Ricotti – Author.

“I’ve got so much work to do I can’t see the end of it. I’m always going to be working late. I’ll never have any time for me or my relationships. I’m in a big black hole. My life really sucks!”

George, a coaching client.

Do you ever feel like things are not turning out the way they’re supposed to?

Sometimes we set off in the direction of our goal, we try something and it doesn’t work out the way we intended it.

You may not get the result you thought you wanted: 1st prize in the competition.  Your VISA card is up to it’s limit. You didn’t find the man of your dreams on match.com or only two people signed up for your workshop.

Whatever the situation, it’s easy to become reactive and resistant. You get locked into negative thoughts such as: ‘I’m just not cut out for this…’ or ‘I knew I wouldn’t win anyway!’ or ‘It shouldn’t be this way…’

It’s easy to become the victim. Complaining, resisting, getting upset or judging just prolongs the pain of the situation and it doesn’t help you to change anything. Instead you’ll continue to resist the reality of it.

Resisting takes a lot of energy and effort to maintain (I know this personally!).

The important thing here is to keep moving in the direction of your goal, no matter what the Universe presents to you! Your intended result may not always happen and this is perfectly okay. Rather than cling onto the pain or discomfort, let it go so that you can move onto something better.

You can’t fail to learn…

When one door closes, I always find that another door opens and it’s usually to a bigger and better place.

Here are some ways to move forward:

1. Stop resisting what is – Stop resisting what’s going on in your life just now, and choose to accept the current situation and the facts. E.g. I didn’t win 1st Prize. I currently have a heavy workload. Just accepting the situation can release the pressure and make you feel better. Don’t associate any meaning or emotions to it (This is not about giving up by the way!). This is all about accepting what is.

2. Get Clear on what you want – Re-align to your goal. Get clear and re-decide on what you really want. Remember WHY it is important to you and re-commit your attention and energy.

3. The Source of your power is YOU – Take responsibility for the current situation – It’s okay. Learn to listen and pay attention to your instincts – don’t ignore them. (You know – That little intuitive voice deep inside but you often ignore?!) You already have the solution inside of you. It is drowned out by all the resistance and noise. Choose to step into your power and listen to your inner wisdom. Create a plan to follow.

4. Take Action – Choose one small thing and do it. Start with the first logical step, then take another one, then another. Lean in and create some momentum every day.

5. Get support – You can’t do everything alone. Sometimes it helps to have a sounding board, someone who isn’t close to the situation who can offer support. A coach can support you in many ways. Asking for help is perfectly okay and sometimes can be very important.

Dealing with Uncertainty

By , May 24, 2011 12:01 pm

“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”

Brené Brown, Author and leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging.

Two of the large corporate organisations I’m working for are currently going through big transitions. One of them has merged with another company. Another is working through a merger of internal business units. Both are working through due diligence exercises and looking for ways to remove duplication in roles and working processes.

It’s interesting to observe the different view points of people working in this uncertain environment as the organisation revises it’s business strategy and re-structures. Some people see the ‘opportunities’ others bury their heads and just hope that they ‘survive’.

Senior executives may not fully know how things will be changed yet or who, if anyone, will be laid off. All they can communicate with certainty is the end goal. The fog of uncertainty shrouds the work environment while key people run the numbers and look at working practices to gather data to make the final decisions.

Human beings like certainty. Most of us aren’t very good at not knowing.

We crave for the facts, guarantees, assurances and can become anxious if we don’t have enough information. We often look externally for this source and ignore our own intuition. Instead of listening to a strong message from our inner voice we’ll go and get a second or third opinion from others because we don’t trust our own knowing.We ignore our gut feeling and instead become wrapped up in the uncertainty and not knowing.This fills us with fear and worry.

If you’re stuck in the dis-comfort of not knowing it can be easier just to make a quick decision to get it over with. This might be a decision you regret later.

Using your inner wisdom as a guide can be really helpful in uncertain situations. The key is to take time out to really listen to it…

Intuition isn’t just about getting THE ANSWER from a voice within! Yes, sometimes you’ll have a clear gut instinct about something, other times you listen you can tap into your inner wisdom and it will guide you to take logical steps, check things out and to fact-find. It might even advise you that now is not the time to make a decision.

Here are a few ways to deal with uncertainty:

1. Listen to your intuition – What is it telling you? Are you being steered to fact-finding or is it telling you what you need to know? Tap into your inner wisdom. Listen to your deeper voice. Use this as a tool to help guide you.

2.What do YOU want? Sometimes when things are uncertain we forget that we always have a choice. What do you want to happen? What is important to you here?

3. What can you influence? Consider what is in your circle of influence that you can do. It might be becoming more involved in the process fact finding and even become involved in shaping the outcome. Look for any opportunities that might present themselves. Take one logical step at a time.

4. It’s okay NOT to know – Sometimes it’s okay to recognise that for now, you’re not going to know the answer. Set yourself short term goals and focus your attention and energy there. Review the situation in a month (Re-check in with the bullets on this post!)

5. Do a GREAT job – Focus on business as usual and look for oportunities to continue to do a great job. Consider your own marketability and leverage – What do you have to offer here? How can you play to your strengths to really make a difference in the short term. Look for solutions – don’t dwell on the problem or get sucked into whining, moaning or colluding about how bad everything is!





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