Fight or Flight… in the Face of Uncertainty
Hello, I’m Bruno LoGreco and I have been accused of being highly confident and assured of myself. But it couldn’t be furthest from the truth. I’m no different than you or anyone else whose afraid to fail. Of course I’m afraid to make mistakes and to make a fool of myself or worse have to deal with negative consequences. But I can’t let my fear get in the way of achieving my potential. And nor should you!
So here’s what I know about uncertainty… Everyone experiences it. Fear and failure are inevitable. There just a fact of life. And, if we can accept we’re going to make mistakes – some big ones and some small ones – then we’re more likely to be able to embrace uncertainty.
In general, when it comes to fear and failure, there are two kinds of people:
1. Those who are too afraid to face their fear and run away from it (Flight). And,
2. Those who face fear head on regardless if they win or lose (Fight)
Now let me ask you something. But first I want you to imagine yourself being two or three years old. You’re on the ground playing with one of your toys when suddenly you find a stainless steel fork. You pick it up, look at it and put it in your mouth. Then, slowly, you make your way to the power socket on the wall. You stare at the socket then slowly try to put the fork prongs into it. You’re curiosity and need to explore the unknown is overwhelming. Just as you’re about to shove the fork in to the power socket you hear your mother yell at the top of her lungs for you to STOP!!!
In which of the following scenarios do you believe would help you to develop the skills needed to feel assured and self-confident?
1… You’re successful! You insert the fork into the power socket and get shocked.
2… Failed! You were scared by your mother’s yelling and stopped.
First, let me say this. If you’re generally an honest person guided by what is right and wrong (morals and values) then have no fear. You’re not going to make mistakes that are going to get you into trouble.
Secondly, nobody has a crystal ball. Not even me, even though I’ve been accused of being psychic… and If I were, don’t you think I would have won the lottery by now? So, trust yourself and know the only consequence to failing is a blow to your ego. If you don’t have an ego (LOL), than failing shouldn’t hurt. Then what you’re really afraid of is the potential realization that you’re not good enough. If that is what you’re afraid of, Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best seller Outliers: The Story of Success says, “it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.”
Lastly… nothing ventured nothing gained. No seriously! I often talk about tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is “Non-transferable intelligence. Information you only learn through the process of failing.” This kind of information is invaluable. Its what will set you apart from your peers and it will give you an edge. You’ll know something they don’t.
In a perfect world everything would be predictable and easy. But we live in the real world. Here, everything is dynamic, our environment is constantly changing. As we continue to grow and to create new experiences in our lives we’ll learn to make choices that benefit our potential and hopefully at some point come to the realization that uncertainty is part of life and if we resist the inevitable one day we’ll wake up to being afraid of what the future holds.