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How the Superpower of Uncertainty Can Benefit Your Career

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The uncertainty you are feeling is an evolutionary leftover. Early in our history as humans, uncertainty protected us. Uncertainty made us cautious, made us carefully evaluate situations and avoid situations that were too tenuous. Fundamentally, the experience of uncertainty encouraged us to avoid situations that might be dangerous or risky in order to maintain our survival.

In our modern times, however, there is less mortal risk when we are feeling uncertain. Uncertainty is less about survival of the fittest at this point on the evolutionary timeline. Instead, it can actually create the opposite experience, wherein those of us who learn to control our uncertainty come out ahead.

While there aren't saber-toothed tigers outside our front doors, not knowing the details of a situation, what a solution is to a problem or the timeline of an event (take, for example, the pandemic quarantine), still produces that emotional experience of a threat. It is this evolutionary residual that gives us a bad perception of uncertainty.

With uncertainty playing less of a role in our physical survival, there are still ways it can undermine our progress and success.

Functioning on autopilot. Uncertainty creates doubts in regards to how to accomplish tasks and be successful, so we fall back on past habits, behaviors and thinking. Functioning on autopilot may be safe, but it hinders our development. On autopilot, we don’t try different approaches. We don’t learn new things. We stop thinking creatively and resort to routine practices. Overall, we stagnate.

Reducing risk taking. We feel vulnerable when we experience uncertainty. The unknown increases our insecurities. To reduce these feelings, we fall back on safe ways of acting. We hesitate to the point of inaction.........

© Entrepreneur

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