Explore the Possibilities by Embracing Ambiguity

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Learning and growing are paramount to success and a fundamental ingredient for change.

“Without constant growth and progress, such words as improvement and success have no meaning” ~ Benjamin Franklin

When so many things seem outside of our control we often crave more certainty and control in our lives whether that be work, in relationships, our health etc. And, as with most things, we need to find the balance between Certainty and Uncertainty, Control and Ambiguity. All the while taking Personal Responsibility for our decisions and Personally Owning the outcomes of those decisions.

It seems like a lot, is it any wonder we can become confused and take the well-trodden path in an effort to move forward, reduce the risk and minimise the effort we put in. The question is – are you happy with that? What are you giving up by sticking to this approach? Is it sustainable in a world of fast paced change?

Considering the graphic above (The Heart of Growth), some of us spend a great deal more of our time in the two quadrants on the left.

In the top left we try desperately to impose structure and limitations on what we (and others) can and can’t do in the hope of keeping control and assuring certainty of outcomes. This is a necessity when it comes to quality control but not if you a looking to do things to remain relevant.

In the bottom left our fears and doubts can have us trying to control the smallest of details attempting to minimise the uncertainty of outcomes. Which only serves to make us less agile in our responses of flexible in our approach.

In both of these instances we create false hope and confidence that this is the way to succeed.

Operating in the right two quadrants demands that we become more curious about different ways to do things, to open our minds to a whole range of possibilities, to believe that we can succeed, to trust that we will find a way, to believe that change is possible and be confident in the choices we make. If we hit a roadblock or falter at a step a long the way then we chalk it up to learning. As Thomas Edison says: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that wont work.”