Given an option, human beings are comfortable going to places they have been or heard about before. Given chance, human beings want to use the tested path, the beaten route; they want to stay where they are familiar or where they can manage expectations. People do not like uncertainty; they dread the unknown. Uncertainty disturbs their peace, it makes them anxious; they never know what to expect and what not to expect. Most people are comfortable investing in options that have been tested and proven either by others or themselves. Very few people have the guts to invest in the blue ocean, the unchartered waters. Very few people want to use the road less traveled. Sounds familiar?
It’s always about control. Using the known path gives one the feeling of being in control of the journey. One knows where to expect a bump, a bend, a police roadblock and so on. This feeling of control is so important to human beings that many of them have tirelessly sought to unearth the unknown prior to venturing into it. New ventures come packaged with uncertainty which denies people full control of situations. Due to this control factor, the risk associated with new ventures is greater than that of familiar ones. Who wants risk? Only the bold few. Lack of control in every endeavor fills people with one of the most paralyzing forms of fear, the fear of the unknown.
This fear has made people to stagnate in their careers in companies where growth is limited, just because they feel not in control of what might happen should they opt to jump ship. Many are those who mark time in wrong careers when they know they are gifted in other arears; they feel not in control of the situation in case they choose to pursue their passions. This fear has taught many how the known devil is better than the unknown angel. Many academicians do not want to carry out new research because they are not in control of the findings; they fear that new information might erupt challenging what has been held for ages.
The fear of the unknown has discouraged people from investing. Investing is aimed at safeguarding the unknown future; however, the unknown nature of the future deters many from investing. They could lose their money or in the worst case, they could die before maturity of the investment! Some years back, I saw a client at my stock broker’s office insisting to be told the exact amount he was to get if he bought shares of a certain company for one year. No explanations on the determinants of the stock market were making sense to him, he needed a figure; he needed to have control over uncertainty. His case is synonymous to that of many. Most people fall for pyramid schemes because they (pyramid schemes) promise quick wins but above all, they tend to tell people the exact expected returns in a particular timeframe. This makes the investors have an illusion of beating uncertainty. This fear has made many a prominent politician to visit fortune tellers dens to be told whether they will win the forthcoming elections or not!
Uncertainty cannot be eliminated from life; that is the beauty of life. If people knew what tomorrow had in store for them, I guess they would be doing interesting things today. I guess you would behave differently today if tomorrow was known to be your last day on planet earth. But uncertainty is here to stay and the sooner we come to terms with that reality, the sooner we stop wasting time and resources in search of the unknown, the sooner we begin taking action without being held hostage by the fear of the unknown. No one has the capacity to tell you about tomorrow; even the fortune tellers have no clue whether they will see tomorrow or not.
We only live on hope and work for a better tomorrow. Those who have made it large in life knew the truth about uncertainty. Today we concentrate on what has become of such wealthy people oblivious of the bold step they took back in the day, of not allowing uncertainty to deter them from investing for their future. You too can safeguard your tomorrow by taking deliberate action today aware that uncertainty is part of the process. Do not allow the fear of the unknown to take over your dreams; always feed your mind with possibility stories about your desires and be ready and bold enough to take deliberate action to frustrate your fears as you rise to the top of your game. Enhance our thirst for success because it will determine how triumphant you emerge against your fears. Confront your fears for the unknown today because YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Personal Development Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author.