Feeling Uncertain

Dead people are certain. The rest of us stumble forward. Values, talent, opportunity, and personal interests provide direction. But the path emerges as you take the next step, not before. One road leads to the next.

We’re novices at living.

I honor feelings of uncertainty. I had a conversation with someone the other day about feeling unsure. She wondered if she was using her time, energy, and resources to the best advantage.

Feeling uncertain keeps you alive.

Leadership quote: Feeling uncertain keeps you alive. Image of a surprised person looking through binoculars.


It’s healthy to ask, “Should I turn left, or right?” Robert Frost captured the feeling in, “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

You have an idea where you want to end up but discover how to get there one step at a time. Even then, you often feel uncertain.

Uncertainty is the companion of everyone who moves forward. The only people who feel certain are standing still.

When you feel uncertain:

#1. Prepare.

I feel uncertain this morning because I’m recording the Audible version of “The Vagrant,” today. It’s a first for me. I’ve been practicing for a couple weeks. Recording myself. Trying new things. Finding my own voice. Preparation helps.

#2. Learn.

  1. Seek advice.
  2. Connect with mentors.
  3. Watch YouTube.

#3. Fail safely.

When possible, test drive new skills on friends, in small venues, or in private.

#4. Seek feedback.

I asked my bride to listen to a recording of me reading. She thought it was wonderful. She shoots straight so that felt good.

My co-author advised me to speak slowly and clearly. When he listened to me, he suggested I speed up.

What do you do when you feel uncertain?

Still curious:

How to be Inexperienced Like a Pro – In a Turbulent World Everyone is a Novice

Two Cures for Novice-Arrogance