March 26, 2021
How important is Certainty?

As we navigate our Circle of Concern though, we’re finding that there’s so much in life that we don’t have certainty about and it’s important that we acknowledge that reality, to ourselves.

How much are we influenced by the need for some measure of Certainty, in our livers?  Life is full of uncertainty and yet, we all crave certainty. Truth is, we never really have certainty. There’s so much in life which we simply cannot predict. I often reference a Leadership Concept I read about years ago. As individuals, we tend to focus on our Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Control. Our Circle of Concernen compasses everything we care about, in a given situation – including issues,decisions or circumstances that we have no control over. Often we seek certainty and we’re very uncomfortable with ambiguity. Our Circle of Control revolves around the variables which we can manage directly, on a daily basis. I don’t have control over all the issues, challenges, circumstances which I care about. So, I’m learning to focus on what I can control. My attitude, mindset, response to adversity – even my outlook on life, all are within my control. When we focus on what we know we can control, we’re better positioned to influence those issues which live in our Circle of Concern, but are not within ourcontrol.

We can all relate to the desire for certainty, the need for some level of predictability and control over our daily lives. If you’re a planner like me – you’re writing down your deliverables every day, planning out your key action items and managing multiple check-lists. You’re striving to stay productive as you constantly pivot between dealing with what’s urgent vs. merely important. There’s no room for negativity, ambiguity or doubt.

As we navigate our Circle of Concern though, we’re finding that there’s so much in life that we don’t have certainty about and it’s important that we acknowledge that reality, to ourselves. Otherwise we may start to loose self-belief when things don’t quite go as planned, or worse – start blaming others or falling prey to feeling victimized. The quest for certainty may also cause us to avoid taking any sort of risks – often choosing the safe or familiar path. In doing so, you may be restricting yourself and missing out on key growth opportunities. Remember the “Man in the Arena” . As Brenee Brown has taught us, sometimes we need to Dare to be Great.

We definitely have control over ourplans, dreams  – I’m a huge advocate of setting very lofty aspirations and audacious goals. In doing so, let’s maintain our focus on what we can control –your mindset, attitude, and how you show up, regardless of the circumstances. That’s how we influence the outcome in our favor.

As we've worked with clients, mentees and mentors over the years – I’ve come to believe that our true source of certainty revolves around our Principles & Purpose. My principles provide me with some measure of clarity, which is my key source of certainty. It allows me to deal with the fact that I don’t have control over some key circumstances which concern me, every day. My Purpose helps me deal with the ambiguity of everyday life and reminds me to focus on my Circle of Control.

So, are you Controlled by the need for Certainty? How comfortable are you, dealing with ambiguity? What role does your Life Purpose – (Your Why), play in how you respond to life’s inevitable uncertainties?

Rotimi Olumide

Thought leader, speaker, multifaceted business leader with a successful track record that combines consumer & product marketing, strategic business planning, creative design and product management experience.

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