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An Uncertain Gift

I was just reading an article by Ben Johnson entitled, “Helping Students Deal with Uncertainty in the Classroom” and couldn’t help but think about how most adults handle uncertainty.

My first thought is that uncertainty is one of those incredible aspects of life that helps us really understand ourselves.

Consider: What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “uncertainty”?

Do you get excited about the possibility to create?  Do you get worried about not knowing what’s about to happen?  Do you get frustrated because it means you don’t know the answer?  Do you enjoy the experience with curiosity and discovery, or do you want it to be done with as soon as possible?

What do any of these reactions tell you about yourself?  With this realization, now ask yourself, “Is my typical reaction to uncertainty helping me excel or holding me back, and how much is it doing so?”

For some, the excitement of creation is exhilarating and liberating, but it may or may not result in taking concrete steps to move a situation forward.  In that case, don’t stay in the uncertainty and creation; know when it’s time to act.

For others, the frustration or worry of not knowing is almost paralyzing, or they miss the message or learning from the experience, in the hopes of just “moving past it.”  Slow down; get curious about what’s going on; figure out your goal; and, then, start to arrange things back into some order that helps jump you forward.

Uncertainty – like constant change – is a given in life.  Rarely do life’s challenges and opportunities include solving 2 + 2.  Know what your formula currently is and, then, if it’s not what you want, determine and define what you’d like it to be.  Plan for uncertainty and then use it to thrive!

And, like Johnson proposed in his article, let’s start using uncertainty in the classrooms and stop building so much concern about the unknown.  Let’s get our children (and maybe even ourselves) comfortable with uncertainty.

One thing I'm absolutely certain of is this: we already hold the answers we seek – we just have to ask the right questions to discover them!

Live on Fire!

D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

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