Feeling Uncertain – How to Look Forward with Confidence

Focusing on an unknowable future creates anxiety in the present.

Confidence toward the future is found in making contribution today.


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" Marin Luther King Jr.

Looking forward with confidence:

#1. Pursue meaning not happiness.

The pursuit of happiness – as an end in itself – is a disappointing dead end.

Self-centered living is momentarily fulfilling.

The pursuit of happiness is like chasing the horizon.

“Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself — be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.” Victor Frankl

“Happiness must happen, … : you have to let it happen by not caring about it.” Victor Frankl

#2. Meaning is found in contribution.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What can you do for others now?

Confidence is found when you glance at the future but contribute in the present.

#3. Contribution requires self-worth.

You are a unique person in your organization. What joyful contribution might a person like you repeatedly make?

Look past insecurities to current opportunities to contribute.

Thinking – apart from contributing – creates anxiety.

#4. Repetition multiples contribution.

An occasional act of service doesn’t change your future. But persistent acts of service multiply contribution.

Repetition, like dripping water, makes a dent in the universe.

#5. Strengths are the foundation of contribution.

  1. List contributions you consistently and joyfully make.
  2. What strengths enable your contribution?
  3. Ask team members to explain the contributions you make to them.
  4. Ask team members to describe behaviors that indicate your strengths truly are strengths.
  5. How might you maximize your contribution?

What acts of service bring you joy? Do more of that!

How might leaders look toward the future with reasonable levels of confidence?