• Molly Ronan

5 Steps to Tackle Fear of Uncertainty

I was introduced to The Third Door Sessions by my sister, Maeve. I've been tuning in since about the second week. I love the community and the great insights Alex shares. (Don't let Alex know I haven't read The Third Door yet!) Here's the recap for Day 12.

Today, Alex shared a story about feeling paralyzed by the fear of uncertainty when faced with the decision if he should stay in school, or drop out to focus on his book. This is a feeling I face often, and I am definitely not a fan of it. I enjoy having plans and knowing what is going to happen. Even so, uncertainty is unavoidable.

Not long ago, I was faced with a lot of uncertainty when I was considering leaving my job to travel indefinitely with a puppy. After I made that decision, I was faced with even more uncertainty along the way. If you are interested in that story, you can check out my blog The Nomad Pup or my social media.

Alex shared 5 steps to make the process of dealing with uncertainty easier. While it is not a magic bullet, or pain free, these helped Alex, and can help you too.

5 Steps to Tackle Fear of Uncertainty

1. Accept that fear of uncertainty is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey

Fear of uncertainty is the biggest reason why people don't achieve their dream. As Maya Angelou said in the The Third Door, "commend yourself for having the courage to try."

2. The fear of uncertainty is never the core fear

Spend time figuring out what the actual fear is; it will be different for everyone.

3. Immerse yourself in possibility

Surround yourself with stories of people who made it through this time of uncertainty. They can be people you know in real life, or people you read about in books or on the internet.

4. Do as much research as possible

While this won't help you on the emotional side, it will help you on the mental decision making side. By researching, you are arming yourself to make the best decision possible, and helping yourself have a better understanding of your worst possible scenario.

5. You will never be 100% certain

CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, best sum up the fifth point.

Jeff Bezos: "Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you're probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions." Reed Hastings: “The thing that most people don’t understand about strategy is that strategy is pain. And if your strategy is not profoundly painful to you and uncomfortable, you’re not very strategic. … Really, strategy is a list of all the things you’re not doing.”

These quotes help us understand that you will never be 100% ready or certain. Uncertainty will always be there and it will be painful. If there is uncertainty and it is painful, that means you are making a substantial decision.

Remember, it's natural to feel fear of uncertainty: embrace the ambiguity.

This guest post written by Molly Ronan is in relation to Alex Banayan's Third Door Mentor Sessions.

Tomorrow's Topic: Motivation and Resiliency

You can find posts on past mentor sessions, as well as sign up to get weekly recaps here.

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