How to Adapt Your Goals When Faced with Uncertainty
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that we are living in uncertain times. The modern world certainly feels more uncertain than ever before.
Setting and reaching beneficial goals during these times of great uncertainty can be even more of a challenge than normal, and succeeding often means adapting your goals in the face of uncertainty so that they remain as beneficial as possible.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at why we fear uncertainty, the rarely-discussed benefits that uncertainty brings, and how to adapt your goals as well as your process for reaching them when faced with uncertainty.
The Reasons Why You Fear Uncertainty
Fear of uncertainty is not new to our modern world and is an evolutionary response that mankind has developed over the millennia. The reason for this fear of uncertainty that we have developed is simple: uncertainty brings the potential for unseen danger. When you don’t know exactly what the future holds in store, it creates the possibility in your mind for the future to hold all sorts of undesirable results.
However, an uncertain future is not inherently one fraught with dangers; it’s simply one that you can’t always predict. Understanding that uncertainty does not always equate to negative outcomes no matter how risky it might feel is the first step to overcoming uncertainty and using it to your advantage.
The Benefits of Uncertainty
While the drawbacks of uncertainty are obvious, there are benefits to uncertainty as well. For one, uncertainty can lead you to question your strategy and the trajectory of your goals, which is rarely a bad thing.
Questioning yourself may have a negative connotation, but it’s often the best way to identify potential pitfalls that may have otherwise flown under the radar. Obvious uncertainty in the world is also a poignant reminder of the fact that uncertainty always exists. No matter how comfortable you get or how certain things might seem, uncertainty always lurks in the shadows.
When the uncertainty steps out into the light and makes itself known, it can serve as an eye-opening experience that reminds you to always plan for uncertainty no matter how certain things might seem.
Adapting Your Goals in the Face of Uncertainty
During times of especially severe uncertainty, it may be necessary to adapt the goals you’ve set, your process for reaching them, or both. With that in mind, here are three effective strategies for adapting your goals in the face of uncertain times.
1) Clarify Your Goals and Objectives
Making sure that your goals and objectives are as clear as possible is always important, but it is especially important when you are faced with uncertainty; when the path forward is shrouded by uncertainty, it’s essential that you understand its destination as clearly as possible. Clarify your goals and objectives, and use the clear understanding you have of them as your compass to guide you through whatever unseen obstacles show up along the way.
2) Focus on What You Can Control
Uncertainty often leaves us feeling as if we aren’t actually in control of our lives. While it’s true that you will never be able to control every factor that affects your life and the goals that you have set, there will always be plenty of things that you can control, and these are the only things worth focusing on.
Keep your nose to the grindstone, keep pressing forward, and keep focusing on the tasks that you can control – overcoming new challenges as they present themselves rather than worrying about what might or might not happen – and you can ensure that you are still doing everything possible to reach your goals no matter how uncertain the road to reaching them might be.
3) Create Certainty
In the face of uncertainty, it’s helpful to create as much certainty in your life as possible so as not to become overwhelmed by a feeling of lost control. This means creating certainty in every aspect of your life that you can, both aspects that are directly and indirectly related to the goals that you are striving to reach.
Once more, this goes back to focusing on the things that you can control and making sure you have a clear, well-defined strategy for how to address those things. The more certainty that you can create in uncertain times, the more in-control you will feel, making that uncertainty less likely to become so overwhelming that it upends your progress.
When uncertainty arises, setting and clarifying goals can be a challenge. With my SMART goals Cheat Sheet, I can help you learn how to implement SMART goals and get on the fast-track to success! Develop motivation, write an action plan, and get the support needed to reach your goals by clicking the link below.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.