Wisdom//

Hone the Art of Turning Uncertainty into Success

Finding opportunity in change requires preparation too.

We operate in a highly complex and fast-changing business environment. Whether you’re feeling uncertain about changes in the economy, your job, your business, your teams, your boss, your finances, the world, or just life in general, you are not alone.

However, even with all the uncertainty and change in our lives, inherently, we know there is an opportunity. You know that you are here not just to survive but to thrive and succeed. So how do you deal with all the uncertainties and succeed? How can you use the stress of uncertainty to produce positive change rather than it consuming you? Instead of letting the fear of uncertainty control you, begin to harness the law of impermanence.

To start with I urge you to think deeply about this question, ‘Where does fear of uncertainty come from?’ Especially in an age where everything is available at the tip of your fingers, there shouldn’t be any fear of uncertainty, right? This fear arises out of our thoughts that make us live either in the past or in the future but never in the present. It can stop us from doing great things, and it can keep us holding onto things that are hurting us. 

When I met Jessica 12 years back, she had recently relocated to America with her husband and two sons. She told me how it was a scary thing for them, especially for her. Because she was leaving a thriving career back in Singapore, leaving behind everything comfortable and going to a place where she didn’t know anything. And as she navigated through this uncertain period in her life, applying for jobs and what seemed like re-starting her life, she was continuously pulled in her past of all the comfort and success she had and then pushed into the future that appeared scary in a new country.

Jessica had all the talent, resources, and opportunity to succeed and yet when I reconnected with Jessica last year, she hadn’t achieved her level of success. She hadn’t reached her greatness, holding onto everything in fear of losing them. She clings more tightly to her job during times of uncertainty. All this clouds her thinking and her ability to be more innovative. She fails to apply the law of impermanence. Every day, people let hesitation and uncertainty stop them from acting on their dreams. 

The law of impermanence, when applied can give you tremendous success regardless of the economy. Law of Impermanence states that you must do everything in your power for what you want, but don’t forget to detach. This is because things change, people change, times change. When you feel like utter garbage, know that it won’t last. When you are sitting on top of the world, that too will end.

Everything changes and those who learn to detach are the leaders who can outlast in the game called business. It is the attachment to job, money, power, title, role, success, name, and fame that is the leading cause of your success slowing down. We get disturbed in our career life not because things are impermanent. It is because we believe things are permanent. This illusion of remaining in the state of permanence is what causes many leaders to slow down. It is the primary cause of stress at the workplace.

When you realise that everything in the business sphere is impermanent, you accept with your heart that everything in it will come to an end, is the time you can face the ever-changing and disruptive professional world fearlessly and afresh. In coaching leaders and executives globally, I have witnessed that the ones who are successful are the ones who have a pattern of doing their best and leaving the rest.

They aren’t attached to the results because of which they can move one project after another, one deal after another with speed and serenity. They analyse their mistakes, but they don’t let anything hold them back—neither failure nor their success. 

One thing that we all must remember is that uncertainty will prevail and only increase with the advent of new technology. It’s during the uncertainty moments that growth takes place. Anyone can feel good when things are going great at work, salary is flowing in, you are getting promotions, and business is soaring high. But real growth and success come during times of challenges and uncertainty. How you handle it, that’s all that matters.  Remembering the profound words of my father here: “There is certainty in uncertainty and uncertainty in certainty.” That’s all there is.

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