How to Embrace Risk & Uncertainty - Part 2 of 2Jun 21, 2022
Last month, we spoke of Stoicism and Poo-flinging Monkeys!
We covered the fundamental premise that to succeed in life, i.e. to get closer to What Actually Matters Most to you (WAMM), YOU are the primary variable in that process, irrespective of whether you have a business or not.
To accomplish this, we talked about domesticating your emotions, in other words, getting your emotional responses under control.
The job, we discovered, is not to NOT acknowledge your feelings - that would be crazy, you’re not Spock - but to pause for mental and emotional ‘breath’, and put space between feelings, thought and action. Inevitably, this creates a different action and, therefore, a different outcome, typically, a better outcome.
One of the ways to achieve this is to use frameworks that give you principles and disciplines that you can adapt to who you are, rather than blueprints of how someone else would do something.
The Three Disciplines
Here’s a simple framework of Stoic principles to help you frame your perspective & actions using three disciplines:
- The discipline of Perception – how you choose to see the world
- The discipline of Will – how you deal with the things you cannot change
- The discipline of Action – what you do in response to a situation
When events seem to turn against you, take that pause for mental & emotional breath, a ‘freeze moment’, if you will. Then digest what’s going on - emotionally & physiologically - take stock, and decide how you will act.
One other aspect of Stoicism that I particularly like, and happens to be incredibly useful for the topic of this article, is the Stoic practise of expressing gratitude for everything, not just the good stuff.
Whatever has happened is a sunk cost. You can’t change it, but you can learn from it.
So, how does all of this (and the previous article) help us embrace and profit from Risk & Uncertainty?
The Perils (and Value) of Asymmetric Risk
There are, primarily, TWO things in play on the journey of any entrepreneur towards What Actually Matters Most to them:
- System Reliability
- Human behaviour (yours and others)
Here’s why these matter.
It’s a stone-cold fact that we don’t rise to the level of our goals; we fall to the level of our systems: our beliefs, values, processes & behaviours. This means raising the floor of our systems so that our worst days eventually exceed our previous best days is something to aim for.
Human behaviour drives us all, but the good news is that it’s pretty predictable, for the most part. As we begin to understand ourselves, we begin to understand better the people (and thus the world) around us.
Invoking the Three Disciplines and beginning to domesticate our emotions creates an often-unexpected consequence, we start to both anticipate and navigate risk & uncertainty.
We learn that risk can be mitigated by decreasing the downside and increasing the upside (also called ‘asymmetric risk to the upside’).
We learn to identify or walk away from high-risk, high-reward plays and see opportunities with explosive upside but high downside as not being opportunities at all (Discipline 1).
We begin to understand that by focusing on human behaviour and using the Science of Hindsight, we can glimpse the future and see around corners so that we also start to domesticate unpredictability & risk. And, it seems almost by some fluke of luck, our fortunes begin to change, and our confidence begins to grow.
Pretty soon, our ‘world view’ has changed, and we now understand that risk and uncertainty are a natural part of the movement of business and life. We start to see - and feel - that uncertainty is where we grow, that it’s a necessary part of our path to becoming a better, more resilient, more astute and more relaxed version of ourselves.
And we embrace uncertainty, knowing that whatever life throws at us, we have the tools and the mentality - the Mental Game - to handle it as we carve our path towards a brighter, better future, towards What Actually Matters Most to us.
A Better Way
At Success Engineers, our sole focus is to help you Build a Better Business. We do this together by showing you how to grow, build, and BE Better and supporting you through that growth. Because ALL change for the better starts with behavioural and personal transformation, and no one does that successfully on their own, not if they’re in business for the long game.
Something that I hope you’ve already figured out if you’re a member of The Female CEO FB group and/or have been reading this magazine for any length of time is this… You, alone, are responsible for your success.
But you should never BE alone on your journey.
Choose your guides and companions carefully.
The clues will ALWAYS be in the quality of the information that is shared with you, the vibe & how it resonates with you, and in how much of a hurry the business, coach or individual is to have you take up an offer or fall in line with their way of doing or thinking about things.
You must follow the fundamentals, but your path is unique to you.
To your inevitable success.
Dino Tartaglia is a former Electronics Engineer, now a businessman, mentor, coach and troubleshooter working to help you, if you’re a coach, consultant, creative or service provider, to Build a Joyful, Dependable Business around Being Brilliant at What You Do.
In his own coaching, and together with world-class coach Simon Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers (their joint business), he helps you to improve your thinking to ask better questions, so that you solve the right problems in your business at the right time, develop your own personal performance as a business owner and get closer to What Matters Most.
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