Do you know that certainty can actually stifle growth?
Organizations, entrepreneurs and employees have faced divisive reactions to controversial decisions in the last 18 months such as the conversations taking place around the world and across industries about whether to allow people to work from home or require them to return to their physical offices. Even the discussions about whether to take the Covid vaccine or not, creates such a passion that can result in individuals confronting or even vilifying people who argue for the opposite policy.
As humans, we crave certainty, and the current pressures reinforce our natural tendency towards confirmation bias. Seeing an issue through another person’s eyes has become too uncomfortable to consider. We are exhausted from the continual demands of adjusting to changes in our home and work environments.
The problem, is that being certain about situations or even the rightness or wrongness of other peoples decisions prevents us from learning and growing in our understanding of other people’s situation and circumstances.
The inability to control the emotions that arise from disagreements or uncertainty actually limits your ability to make progress in your personal and professional life, resulting in many leaders, managers and people getting stuck.
To prevent yourself getting stuck - you have to be open to being uncomfortable!
When experiencing discomfort, our natural tendency is to focus on stopping it rather than exploring its causes.
Be More Open MindedBeing more open to hearing other peoples point of view, that don’t make sense to you, requires you to build capacity to withstand cognitive discomfort. You are able to make more effective decisions when you are able to figure out why you have contradictory ideas about something or someone.
Step 1: Embrace the feeling of discomfort: This involves allowing yourself to be frequently exposed to multiple perspectives — even the points of view that you disagree with. Embracing a diverse range of views allows you to keep testing your own perspectives and assumptions.
Step 2: Embrace stress: Acknowledging and leaning into experiences of disagreement causing the feeling of rage, anger, or even hopelessness from hearing an opposing view will stretch (and squeeze) your patience and tolerance.
A simple exercise: Switch and listen to a news channel or radio station that makes you mad/winds you up. Listen long enough to allow your emotional reaction to stabilize (or subside) so your mind can process what’s being said.
Step 3: Acknowledge your emotions: Acknowledging the emotions and behaviours caused by stress involves a purposeful process of recovery and growth. Damage done from stress will not automatically repair itself; you must make time for it and employ the help of others (a coach or the right friends). This could entail seeking out the right people to help you work through a perspective you are having a hard time processing, or asking questions to understand perspectives different from your own.
Repairing the effects of cognitive stress to avoid getting locked into unhealthy certainties requires you to find ways to rewire your brain — to enable you become unstuck and thrive.
If you want to know how to overcome mental stress, become unstuck and thrive - book a free call with me. Life is too short to allow life’s uncertainties keep you stuck and prevent you from achieving your goals.
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