Day 285: Ambiguity….

Human beings are hardwired for consistency! We don’t like change. We like our routines, habits and the certainty of knowing I can depend on those old habits. And God forbid anyone asking me to change my early am routine, now that would be ambiguity of the highest order!

My son Ryan has a very simple wardrobe or style, Black, everything is BLACK! This drives me nuts! I try buying him different colors of clothing as gifts and he takes them back and looks for black. This black wardrobe creates structure, order, and a consistent way of doing things each day, no decisions, it’s black! 

This is no surprise to me at all, I see this in my work, my reading and study of psychology and simply observing my clients for the past 25 years, change causes stress and anxiety for many and simply having a low tolerance for AMBIGUITY. You see it in your own life, you make decisions every day and most of the time you lack all the information and clarity you need, and this causes uncertainty, risks you were not planning on, and this can be exhausting for many of us. 

I read this a long time ago and it’s stuck with me….

“Life’s most precious gift is uncertainty.” Buddhist Monk 1300’s

Embracing uncertainty is at the heart of building a High Tolerance for Ambiguity, a critical skill that leaders can build. Your job as a leader is to be able to see through the fog of uncertainty, paradox, ambiguity and provide clarity, certainty, stability, and opportunity. So how do you begin building a higher level of tolerance for ambiguity? With some curious questions for yourself and using Carol Dweck’s Book, Mindset and excellent research, as your guide in this exploration of your mindset towards change, uncertainty, and ambiguity. This is Productive Action of the highest order, do the hard work of understanding your beliefs and the mindset you have, as a result of those beliefs.

Carol Dweck explores the power of our most basic beliefs in terms of two differing Mindset’s, a Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset:

                        Fixed Mindset            Growth Mindset

Challenge        avoids them                embrace challenges

Obstacles        give up                        persevere

Effort               fruitless                       gaining mastery

Criticism          reject feedback           learn from it

How are you navigating the obstacles, adversity, and uncertainty in your life?

What kind of mindset are you modeling to your team?

Are you doing the deep Core work of exploring your deeply held beliefs?                                                               

3 thoughts on “Day 285: Ambiguity….

  1. Reminds me of you in France when the van broke down and the whole days plan changed
    And the challenge of instantly having our plans change doing some very hard riding
    And you, loosing all your money
    No way to pay for your coke at the top of Alpe d’Huez
    Good memories!

  2. I can remember you dragging me up most of those mountains! That morning was a classic example of dealing with Ambiguity and choosing a Growth Mindset and embracing the new challenges we faced! Turned out to be one of the best days and most memorable for sure!
    Thanks Mike

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