Do you ever doubt yourself at times?
Do you ever wonder whether everything is going to work out fine?
Do you ever battle with the fear of the unknown?
Do you ever feel uneasy thinking about the future?
Without any hesitation in my heart, I know your answer to those questions will be a resounding YES!
Unless, of course you are not an entrepreneur.
Uncertainity, fear and doubt are constant buddies of an entrepreneur. They are the ever present uninvited friends of every living entrepreneur. As I put down these words, I am currently going through a hard time dealing with these 3 musketeers myself.
As I have learnt from life, all things both good and bad are all useful. The question in most case is whether we’ll be patient enough to seek out the usefulness during unpleasant times.
So the big question is this, what good does uncertainty, fear and doubt bring?
Three Hidden Benefits Of Uncertainty, Fear And Doubt
1. Reality Check
Cruel as they might seem, these 3 scary friends of ours help we entrepreneurs put things in clearer perspective. They just do a good job of clearing the fog. They help us see better those things optimism and passion sometimes hide from us. When uncertainty, fear and doubt creeps in, we find ourselves right where we seldom want to be –sober.
The triple play of uncertainty, fear and doubt, leaves us in a reflective state. Suddenly, all the optimism will disappear; the adrenaline rush that often comes with the conception of a new idea vanishes. All that‘s left is the bitter reality that surrounds you. Let‘s face it, entrepreneurship does really have a dark side.
Don‘t feel sad, reality check is good. We entrepreneurs are often dreamers, it‘s part of what makes us thick. But then, it can get into our head sometimes that we tend to ignore facts or the reality of our current situation. Real men don‘t argue with facts neither do they deny its existence, rather, they study it and try to find a way to integrate their findings into whatever they are trying to accomplish. Only fools argue with facts.
Here’s the thing, you can’t change your reality by denying or arguing with it, you can only change your reality by accepting that it does exist.
That‘s the bitter pill uncertainty, fear and doubt hands down for us to swallow. Like it or not, there are countless challenges on the entrepreneurial path, accepting this hard facts are what uncertainty, fear and doubt helps us to achieve. You can only choose to deny them at your own peril.
The path of an entrepreneur indeed is uncertain, fearful and doubtful. Our task as entrepreneurs is to accept them, understand their source and creatively find answers to the questions they prompt. We are to look them right in the eye and proffer answers to all the uncertainties, our fears and our doubts. They exist for one reason; to help us count our cost, know better what we are up against so that we can be better prepared to overcome the never ending challenges of entrepreneurship.
So stop fighting uncertainty, fear and doubt, rather embrace them for they are your allies on this unusual journey.
Trust me when I say this, we entrepreneurs can be egocentric. This is often as a result of our accomplishments and so we sometimes get carried away by becoming so full of ourselves. Uncertainty, fear and doubt remind us that we are no better than others, just only privileged.
Uncertainty, fear and doubt remind us that past successes are no guarantee for future ones. They remind us that what got us here may not take us there. They remind us of our imperfection as mortals.
We are never above mistakes. We will never have it all figured out. We will always be subject to the laws of nature. We will always be at mercy of chance. Why? Because in life, there are no guarantees, period.
The only certain thing in life is change. Which is just a better way of saying that nothing is certain. Everything you thought you had all figured out will turn out wrong 99% of the time. So where does that leave us?
Uncertainty, fear and doubt teaches we entrepreneurs humility. It helps us to realize one timeless truth; we are not the doers of great things, we are the vessels through which great things are done.
In other words, we are only nature‘s instrument for the advancement of humanity.
All that we create was created through us. We are not the creators per se, we are instruments of creation. It is not up to us to decide the outcome of what is being done through us; it is up to nature and the whole of humanity. Ours is to submit ourselves to the greater creative force within and allow the creation within to come to life.
Meaning, our greatest task as entrepreneurs is the delivery of the creation within us. We are to the bring ideas to life no matter what. We are not to question the ideas; we are to birth them despite the uncertainties, fears and doubts. The acceptance of what we do create is not up to us; let go and let mother nature and the world decide.
I was only able to write this unusual article after I stopped forcing myself to write what I wanted to write and let what wanted to be written through me have its way.
In other words, I stopped writing and let the words just flow through me. I didn’t know where this was going, I just flowed article with the creative force within word after word till it all started taking this meaningful form in which you now read.
Humble yourself to the creative force within, somehow uncertainty, fear and doubt exist to teach us how to let go and let it flow. We always want to be in control, sometimes we just have to let go. Our task is to remain long enough in the creative process, just as an expectant mother awaits the breaking of the water that signals the arrival of her baby.
In the end, uncertainty, fear and doubt teach us to trust in something much greater than ourselves –God!
3. Creative Booster
Success breeds comfort and comfort leads to complacency. You know that point when you don‘t see the need to do more and you just want to sit on your butt and enjoy the ride. Well that‘s what uncertainty, fear and doubt are meant for, to help you get off your butt and work.
Knowing that nothing is for sure will always keep you on your feet thirsting for more. Uncertainty, fear and doubt get us thinking and thinking is healthy for we entrepreneurs as long as it doesn‘t degenerate into worrying.
When uncertainty, fear and doubt shows up at your door uninvited, know it‘s time to up your game. Know it‘s time to empty the cup and start all over again.
In life, death is the final stop, uncertainty, fear and doubt reminds us constantly of that as it keeps us going even when we think we are done. We are never done, everything is work in progress, there’s always room for improvement.
So when next uncertainty, fear and doubt pops up their ugly head, go have a re-look, re-think and re-shape your idea, pruning out the wheat from the shaft.
However, don‘t dwell on this for too long. That there‘s always room for improvement doesn‘t mean you keep improving and never launching. You must know when enough is enough, you must know when to launch. Nothing is ever perfect all at once, do all your best with all that you‘ve got and let the world be the judge.
Remember, yours is to deliver the idea in its best possible form. So, let uncertainty, fear and doubt push you to your creative peak, but never allow them prevent you from launching. As everything else in life, the key is balance. You must know when to draw the line and launch despite the uncertainty, fear and doubt.
Over to you
What lessons did you learn from reading this unusual article?
How do you personally cope with uncertainty, fear and doubt in your entrepreneurial journey?
From your personal experience, what other benefits would you say comes from uncertainty, fear and doubt?
Jonathan Fields has just written an excellent book on this subject titled, uncertainty: how to turn fear and doubt into fuel for brilliance. Although I haven’t read the whole book, but from the few pages I’ve read so far, here‘s what I think of it – Brilliant.