Certainty is fleeting and often an illusion. Find power in uncertainty.

 

Certainty is addictive. Tricking ourselves into believing we know something 100% is the ultimate chill pill. It helps us make concrete plans, as if we can predict our uncertain futures. Most people wait for the confidence that comes from being reassured before they actually act. Yet, confidence isn’t a requisite of action. Finding power in uncertainty is a gift for any storyteller.

By definition, storytelling is active creativity. It’s not a smooth process of sitting in lotus position beneath a Boddhisatva tree as the musings wash over you in a gentle zephyr. Creativity is disruptive. It’s very existence is disruptive to the path of what has existed before. The process asks you to try something new, be brave and abandon the tried and true. This goes against our natural instincts; we don’t want to try something new and fail. We want to do what we know works and win. To gamble on your gut and take a risk on yourself will, undoubtedly, result in anxiety, frustration and confusion. These feelings can be the fuel you need.

First, are you even failing?

Anxiety can be an opportunity to pay closer attention. First, you want to get a handle on whether you’re actually failing or if you’re just nervous that you are/could be/might be failing. If it’s nerves, work through it.

If you’re actually failing, you want to fail fast so that you can quickly regroup or completely redirect. The first mistake most people make when they’re in crisis is not realizing they’re in crisis. The second mistake is panicking when they finally do realize it.

Change is the only constant and nothing was guaranteed to begin with. Don’t panic. There are more people in this world guessing their way through life than you realize. Calm down and get over yourself. Failure’s going to happen. It’s a part of success. You don’t learn how to innovate anything by getting everything right all the time.

The opportunity to learn from failure and try again is a privilege of the living and the gifted. Center yourself and start figuring out what you need to learn, unlearn and relearn. Then take action.

Is more creativity required?

Frustration is a call to create and challenge. Nothing happens from sitting on the sofa steeping in your vexation. It’s always easier to be a critic than a creator. Dig deeper. Try a new viewpoint and look at the situation from the angle of opposition. Start at the end and think backwards. Mix it up.  Don’t rest in critique. Criticize by creating. Creativity is a cure for frustration.

Are you focused on the right thing?

Confusion is a chance to seek more/better info and clarity. Asking yourself the right questions and focusing on the right areas is crucial. When our focus is off and we’re looking at the wrong strategy, getting busy with the wrong activities and listening to the wrong guidance, we get confused. We can also get confounded when we’re not acknowledging our unique skills, acumen and networks that can naturally help us with access and opportunities. Sometimes,  the solution requires reaching inward and tapping our natural abilities or reaching out to the network we’ve already amassed.

If we get too confused, we stand still. Focusing on the things that make sense is one way to move forward. This requires deep digging into what you want, what’s working versus what isn’t, which connections and contacts you’ve forgotten or not seeing, and where the narrative is lacking. The rest of the clarity and confidence will come as momentum builds and attracts more momentum.