Swimming with Uncertainty

I really enjoy reading The Profile, written buy Polina Pompliano.

I woke up this morning and I recalled an article of hers that I read a few months ago. Below is an except from that article.

Throughout my life, I’ve had a beautiful yet toxic relationship with certainty. I keep thinking that once I hit a certain milestone, I will feel a sense of certainty and calm about the future.

But what happens?

Every time I reach a new threshold of achievement, I find a way to make myself uncomfortable again.

I can relate to Polina. Some days I feel so confident in what I’m doing. My plans make sense, my team is all aiming in the right direction, and the strategy is sound. Some days I KNOW with absolute certainty that I will achieve my goals.

Then, out of the blue, the uncertainty and doubt will creep back in.

Those are the days I start looking to see what other people are doing. Those are the days I start checking out other entrepreneurs on Twitter and I start comparing myself to them. I find ways to reveal to myself that I am better than them or that they are better than me.

But there’s also a blessing in the curse.

Usually, after an hour of panic and fear, I am able to use that uncertainty as fuel. It reminds me that my back is up against the wall and that I have no option other than to continue moving forward.

It’s that feeling that keeps me going. It’s the strange combination of terror and excitement that helps me jump out of bed every morning.

It’s the feeling you get when you’re about to jump out of a plane. You know it’s a bad idea, but you can’t wait to do it. It’s a terrifying state of zen. It’s a horrific moment of clarity.

That’s what I have been feeling recently.

So what can I do about it?

I have found that it’s best not to hide from it. It’s best to allow yourself to feel the uncertainty. It’s best to acknowledge it, address it, and build a relationship with it.

The reality is that I need it. We all need it. I need the doubt and the fear. I can’t think of a single accomplishment I have had in my life that didn’t come as a result of me needing to prove to myself that I could do it in spite of the fear I was feeling.

Your fear is your greatest gift and your greatest motivator. As John Mayor says “fear is a friend who is misunderstood.”

You can’t run from uncertainty. You have to face it. After a while, you will realize that the only thing you’re actually up against is yourself.

Uncertainty looks like you and acts like you and talks to you in your own voice. The sooner you’re able to realize that, the better.