Embracing Uncertainty

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, everything is possible.” – Mandy Hale

As many of you know, I write these leadership blogs as a way of sharing wisdom on the lessons I’ve learned over the years. But I do so with a twist – each message is carefully scripted and targeted to a person, group, team, or population I feel needs to hear the message. And there are times these messages are written for one specific person. I never tell anyone who that is – rather I hope the message resonates on its own for that individual. In doing so, inevitably the message speaks to others dealing with the same issue.

But today I am going to break confidence and tell you who this message is for. Today’s message is for someone special. Someone I don’t often given enough time and attention to. Someone who is working feverishly to control their own situation in the midst of uncontrollable change. Someone who is impatient and wants things solved today. Someone who needs things in the right place all the time. Someone who is so focused on fixing things right here and now that they fail to stop and see the beauty that uncertainty can often bring.

That someone is me. And I’ll bet I’m not alone.

Trust the wait. For those of us who are impatient, this statement makes no logical sense. Time kills all things, isn’t that how it goes? Actions speak louder than words? There is no time like the present? And yet, there are times when patience is not only necessary, but often brings a better solution. That doesn’t need to imply inaction, but rather more patient and calculated action.

Put that’s not easy for someone like me to do. I solve things. I fix problems. I take action – now. There’s an old saying my team members would use with me when they would come to me with an issue. They would say “I want to bring an issue to your attention, but you have to promise not to do anything right now…”. Why, because otherwise, I would have the phone in my hand dialing while they were still explaining the situation. In my efforts to be a “fixer”, I never let them get to their solution. I never stopped long enough to determine if it was even an issue. I never thought to see if time might be the solution.

Kip – trust the wait, time might just be the answer.

Embrace the uncertainty. At no time in my life have I seen so much uncertainty in things that surround me. Between COVID, lock downs, economic disruption, social unrest, and a charged political environment, we live in the most uncertain of times. But what has come from those uncertainties? New ways of working. New business opportunities. A recognition of what’s important in our lives. An awakening of the importance of racial and gender inequities. The uncertainty pushed us all out of our comfort zones, and in doing so, revealed new ideas, practices, and beliefs we never knew possible.

This is a lesson my family, friends, and even my own leadership team is teaching me. It’s OK not to always have an answer. It’s OK not to know how it will turn out. Not everything has to fall in place the way you think it does. It may just be the uncertainty that gives those around you the chance to see what others can bring to the table.

Kip – embrace the uncertainty and let the results surprise you!

Enjoy the beauty of becoming. It’s the journey, not the destination. It’s the experiences – both good and bad – that shape who we are. Those experiences make us unique, make us different. They make us who we are.

I have a bad habit of trying to solve problems for others rather than letting them solve for themselves. For example, with my own daughter I’ve spent her lifetime telling her what to do. Mapping out her hobbies, her studies, her friendships, her career, and her beliefs. Even to this day we argue over this. Why? With the best of intentions, my efforts were preventing HER from becoming her (or who she was meant to be). At times, I realized in hindsight that the ability to develop her own thoughts and beliefs without too much input from me, was going to be key to her personal and professional development.

Kip – enjoy the beauty of becoming, and watching others become!

None of these are lessons I’m good at taking. I’ve spent my life planning specifically what and who I would be. Where I would go to college. What I would study. What I would do in my career. I’ve always taken the more certain path. The one I could control. I’ve minimized risk at almost every turn, opting for what’s safe and clear. And to be fair, it’s worked very well for me.

However, there were key moments in my life when I didn’t take the safe and certain path and it often worked out even better for me. Raising my hand to work on projects or run businesses where I lacked the experience I believe the job required forced me out of my comfort zone to both learn from others AND take risks I wouldn’t have otherwise taken. Trusting others to step forward on a different path than my own approach often results in better outcomes. Embracing the process of becoming – both for myself and those around me – results in richer, more fulfilling experiences.

Sometimes it’s best to trust the wait, embrace the uncertainty, and enjoy the beauty of becoming. Because when nothing is certain, everything is possible.

3 thoughts on “Embracing Uncertainty

  1. Kip – after our mutual friend, Pat Sameth, shared one of your monthly Leadership Thoughts with me a few months ago, I immediately subscribed.
    I have to confess that until you identified yourself in this latest edition as the intended target, I thought you were going to identify the intended recipient as me, not my current self, but how I was several years ago.
    I would love to further discuss this particular topic with you whenever you have some time to do so, as it is a tough subject, but I must say that it is a subject that as I have adjusted to dealing better with the unknown, I have received much needed peace, fulfillment, and joy in my life – more than I could have imagined.
    I admire your path towards continuous improvement. Continue to take care of yourself.
    I hope to hear from you soon.
    Orlando Montesino

  2. This post definitely resonates with me especially at this juncture in my career! I’m “all in” embracing uncertainty but at the same time, I’ve never felt more postive about what lies ahead. Susan


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