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How to Deal with Uncertainty

Image by Santiago Lacarta from Pixabay

One of the biggest reasons most people fail to follow through with their goals? Uncertainty. Regardless of whether or not your potential future could be much better than the one you have right now, the uncertainty involved in what it takes to get there scares most people away from following through.

You ask yourself:

  • What if I try really hard and still fail?
  • What if I’m embarrassed or rejected?
  • What if I waste time?

And sometimes the actual components of an uncertain future aren’t truly threatening or scary at all, e.g., if you want to start a side hustle you don’t need to take major financial risks to do so.

Why do we behave this way? We’re wired to. I won’t dive into a long explanation of evolutionary psychology here, but we put much more weight on fear and loss aversion than the upside of “risky” activities.

How do you change? You re-wire your brain by combining action with a gradually updated sense of how the world works.

I want to talk about the latter today.

Jim Rohn has a quote:

“I’ll tell you what changed my whole life: I finally discovered that it’s all risky. The minute you got born it got risky. If you think trying is risky, wait until they hand you the bill for not trying”

That was a pivotal change for me, too — realizing there’s no such thing as a safe position.

“Job security” is a myth. Just change a few economic variables and your job can disappear just like that. Why do you think I constantly preach having a side hustle on top of your 9 to 5 job? This isn’t just for fun. You want those many streams of income to mitigate risk.

When it comes to putting off your dreams, there’s always the risk that you could just die before you finally “get your ducks in a row.” It’s better to just start now.

I know these words aren’t going to give you all the motivation you need to do that, but having that continual conversation with yourself will.

Have that conversation with yourself, journal about it, take time to ponder it. How are you going to deal with uncertainty in the future and use it to make you better? How can you become more adaptable? How can you come to understand how important it is to always focus on self-improvement and have new projects in the works?

I find myself pushing more into uncertainty every day. Why? Because I realised the goal of self-improvement isn’t to be able to predict the future and know exactly how to hit perfectly crafted goals.

Self-improvement is meant to teach you how to be able to handle any situation. The goal is to have such a developed array of skillsets and mental models — little pieces of knowledge — so that you can not only weather the storms of life but thrive.

Take my case for example. Right now, thanks to having practised both writing and self-improvement, I’m currently spending my time thinking of new ways to be productive during these times. I already have contingencies.

If we’re totally shut down, I’ll probably write another book, go into a video creating spree, and have 5x the content I would have under normal circumstances. I’m always prepared to pivot.

The riskiest position is actually “being stable.” The more comfortable and predictable your life is, the more of a sitting duck you are.

That being said, things will blow over eventually and at that point, you’ll have two choices. You can move on and settle back into your same groove. Or you can realize how unpredictable life truly is and use that as fuel to stay on your path and avoid complacency.

Use this time wisely. A ton of creativity and momentum can come from a period like this if you focus. Whatever you’ve been putting off, I hope you have all the ammunition you need to start now.


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