Uncertainty is something we have had to live with and continue to navigate this year. And it can put us seriously out of kilter. Not knowing what’s going to happen next, when or if the next phase of regulations will go up or down, and for how long. Not knowing if the kids will stay back to school.
Uncertainty about jobs, finances, health, family, travel, Christmas… it can all sometimes be too much.
I recognise that, and as the recent saying goes, we may all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. But what if we changed our minds about uncertainty. Is uncertainty always a negative thing, or can we manage to embrace it somehow, or at least not resist it?
Can we celebrate the uncertainty?
My teenage daughter and I have a recent tradition of watching a series or two together. We’ve now seen all the Friends’ episodes and decided to follow that with Gilmore Girls, which I had never seen before (and highly recommend by the way).
The main character, Lorelai, a feisty 30-something year old with a teenage daughter and a very independent streak, is the manager of an Inn. One night it goes on fire and the damage is worse than initially thought. The owner decides to shut it down and sell it. When she hears this, Lorelai turns up at her friend’s house with 2 bottles of champagne.
Her friend is the chef at the Inn and is thinking, ‘Wow this is great, there must be some good news about the future of the Inn.’ Not so. Lorelai wants to drink to the uncertainty, to the new adventure that awaits, to the change, to not knowing what is going to happen.
Can we learn to see uncertainty as an adventure, something to celebrate, a challenge to overcome? It’s all in our attitudes and ways of thinking.
Uncertainty doesn’t always have to mean negativity. And I’m not talking here about the type of toxic positivity that would have us singing and skipping around all the time believing that everything is great, because that’s unrealistic (and probably denial). But just a tweak in our outlooks.
The edge of chaos
In coaching we talk about the “edge of chaos” as being where the good stuff happens. Innovation doesn’t often happen in our comfort zone. We need a little bit of upset to progress. Not full on chaos, that can be too stressful, but just a little. Just sitting far enough out of our comfort zones to begin to feel a little chaos, a little uncertainty, a little excitement, a little adrenaline…
If everything stays the same and we remain in our comfort zones, we don’t push outside of them, we get bored, complacent, we might even contract.
I know that I did and still tend to stay in my little comfort box at home. I’ve had to try to make the effort to come out of my box again, and whilst I would not welcome chaos, I do welcome a shaking up of things, perhaps a new adventure, perhaps a new direction.
I’m not running away, but I’m beginning to take steps towards the uncertainty.
Will you join me?
So, live a little closer to the edge of chaos and enjoy the adventure that uncertainty can bring.