Life can be a such roller coaster ride at times, I am sure you will agree. And, no one warns us what a roller coaster ride life can be, we really do find out purely by chance.
I remember my first roller coaster ride as a kid and howling to my dad to let me off. My dad actually asked the guy to stop the ride so I could get off, and I think that was my only roller coaster ride ever!
I have to say, I wasn’t someone who liked surprises much either and would find it quite inconvenient if friends just rocked up to my place unannounced. I liked to know what was happening next and plan out my day according to how I wanted it to be. I was a bit of a control freak to be honest.
So, you can imagine how I felt when I started my own business and really started riding that roller coaster!
As many more people are becoming aware, goal setting and planning are a really important part of change and growth in any aspect of life. The thing is that no matter how much you plan there are so many unforeseen things that can come up and so many things that you have no control and influence over.
I spent a lot of time early in my business, trying to control what I couldn’t control and feeling anxious when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to. I didn’t like it when things became uncertain.
There is a very delicate balance between the needs of certainty and uncertainty.They are both fundamental needs of a human being and really do work like a set of scales.
The thing is that most of us humans prefer certainty; to the extent that we will do anything in our power to control what is happening around us and that includes what happens in any aspect of our life.
When we feel that we are losing this grip, things don’t go our way or we don’t get the results that we want, we tend to feel stressed or anxious.
Because of this we develop a habit of sticking with what we know and what we have been doing for some time, because it feels comfortable.
For example, lets take a look at Kate; Kate has been in business for a few years now and her business is doing really well. She prides herself on being the driver of the business and having full control of everything that happens within it too. She has always been so versatile and a great multi tasker, she seems to be able to handle far more than anyone else.
Kate has decided that she wants to grow her business, but doesn’t feel like she has the energy to take anything else on. She is tired and needs a break, but is resistant to building and training her team more so they can really support her.
In an example like this, Kate will continue to work as she is because she has full control of everything. She feels certain that things will be done well and she has had fabulous results by doing it this way.
If Kate continues on this track, she will be unable to create the growth in her business that she wants. She will also eventually get so tired that her health will force her to stop and this will affect her business results.
She clings onto the need for certainty and comfort and resists change and uncertainty because it feels uncomfortable; until it gets so painful that she is forced to change.
And it’s the same in an intimate relationship; a couple who have been together for years, often stick to the same routines and activities because it feels certain and comfortable. The relationship can become stale because it lacks growth, the couple can become bored and it may even cause the relationship to end.
When they change it up a bit by going away for the weekend, doing something different for date night, maybe a different activity like taking dance classes or exercising together, it might feel strange to begin with, but they will notice that their relationship starts to feel more alive and begins to grow again, because they get to know each other on another level.
Embracing uncertainty, and what I mean by that is challenging yourself to learn something new or try new things, is one of the keys to growth in all aspects of life.
Because, your business, your relationship, your health or career will only grow and improve when you grow, and you only grow when you do something different or learn something new.
When I learned this and started to act on it, it changed everything for me.
So here’s the key – fulfill the needs of certainty AND uncertainty.
When you do this you can create momentum in your life and business.
• Set goals and create your plan of action
• Look for different ways to improve what you are doing
• Challenge yourself to learn new things
• Use new strategies, try a new method of doing something or do new activities
Learn to be comfortable with initially feeling uncomfortable and accept that it is part of growth.
And at the end of the day remember this
The more uncomfortable or strange it feels to be doing something new, the more growth it is likely to bring.