It seems that every time I listen to economic news, I hear the word “uncertain.” It got me to thinking, if “uncertainty” stands out as how we describe our outlook, would experts and business owners alike in years past have called our future “certain”?
My Webster’s dictionary defines “certain” as “positive, without doubt.” Have we all gotten so complacent that we believe our future is without doubt? Yikes. No wonder we’re in a mess economically!
Let’s get back to basics: In your business and/or life, what is certain? Facts are certain – I am sitting at my desk, my dog is under my desk; I am certain about those facts. I have no doubt that I am a good coach for my particular audience; bright, decisive, and energetic business owners. I seem to have products and services that people want right now.
What can I say, without doubt, about the future of my business? Not a heck of a lot, to tell you the truth. I am certain that I will continue to try to evolve and grow and that I will do my best to help my clients grow and to reach their goals. Hopefully I will realize my own personal and business goals as will my clients. But can I say that my clients or I will reach our vision without doubt? Not a chance.
This lack of certainty does not mean that I throw my hands up in the air declaring “Oh well! I’m not in control so no sense trying to make plans.” It means that I pay careful attention to what I am in control of: my actions, my words, and how I choose to spend my time. I can say that, based upon my current knowledge, my actions will help me to reach my goals. It is imperative, though, that I evaluate my actions continuously and adjust my course as I think necessary at the time. While I like to amuse myself in thinking that my course adjustments will take me to my desired end result, again, I would only be fooling myself. It is nothing more than my best estimate at the time.
As you progress through your day, catch yourself when you find yourself thinking, “Well, I know that will happen.” Stop, dig a little deeper, and find what you can truly be certain about.
Is your behavior in line with your true goals? Ask yourself what assumption you’ve made and then turn it around; what if that assumption was not true? What course corrections would you make? Is there value in making those adjustments now?
I love taking a “truism” and turning it upside down. Sure, questioning our actions or making adjustments can be uncomfortable but you will learn something. And that I can say without doubt.
– Helen Dutton, Business Coach