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  • Writer's pictureJames Eves

Uncertainty is opportunity

We all experience uncertainty in our lives. Everyone. Without exception.

The clients I meet all feel it.

And I myself have experienced it so many times over the years.

As a young man, uncertainty was something that would create fear and anxiety. There was a real sense of being in either the dark, or walking slowly through thick fog.

Being unsure as to what is ahead, it would be a real hinderance.

My thoughts would slow me down, or even keep me standing still. That fear of what was ahead and of not knowing could last for hours, days, even weeks.

With no clear answer, the solution or solutions would fall into some kind of numbing.

Choose your poison. Food, movies, booze, hitting the town etc.

They help short term, but then those voices of doubt and worry return when the highs of our numbing have gone.

The more I’ve experienced uncertainty, the better I seem to have got at being more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

We always hear that we cannot change the past so we shouldn’t spend time dwelling there. I don’t disagree. But in this instance the past has some valuable lessons.

Think about something you are currently uncertain about.

This could be returning to the office and being surrounded by people again after furlough or working from home for the last 14+ months.

Perhaps the pandemic has created a scenario where cashflow is tight, and you don’t know where the next client is coming from.

Perhaps you realise that your job is no longer where you want to be and questioning what the next steps should be.

Maybe you are looking to get back into the dating scene. But after so many catfish scenarios, being ghosted, and disappointed, it fills you with dread.

There can be so much uncertainty around in our personal and private lives!

Now look in the rear-view mirror for a moment. And look back at some other examples where you can see yourself in the past.

It’s those same feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. The same as you likely felt while doing the last part of the exercise.

To give some suggestions to help you out.

Imagine the worry just before starting your current job; not knowing anyone, wondering what your boss would be like, how the commute would be and so on.

Imagine just before you decided to launch your business after all those years of thinking about it. The fear of no regular salary and no stability.

And what about the worry of how we could all work together if at home, whilst home schooling, or worse - being looked down on by those continuing to work, whilst those on furlough were getting paid to sit in the garden as some saw it.

What do you notice about those scenarios now, particularly the one specific to you that you thought of?

My hope is that it is more of a lightbulb moment along the lines of:

“Yeah, that was tough at the time, I was worried, had concerns...but actually in the end it turned out alright.”

For me, that’s growth.

That’s stretching your comfort zone. Experiencing and, more importantly, overcoming uncertainty.

Overcoming adversity and overcoming challenges.

And from what I’ve experienced in life in moving jobs, living and working in other countries and languages, we can use such experiences to our advantage.

Uncertainty can be really uncomfortable. And we might try to avoid it.

But really, that is where the opportunities lie.

That is where your next career move is.

Where that next client is.

Where your next partner is.

So, get that CV out into the world and hit up the local recruiters.

Give that person a ring you were referred to to talk business.

Get out to the next social event.

And you can look back to where you are now in 3, 5, 20 years’ time and say, “yeah it was tough, but I took action, and that is when life changed for the better again.”

So, over to you.

What are you putting off?

What can you take action on today?

It will be worth it. And even if it doesn’t pay off or go as planned.

Guess what. You took the risk. You confronted that uncertainty.

And you should be proud of that.

Go get it.

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