Leadership Series: Security & Embracing Uncertainty
In this blog series, we have been exploring the question: Is it time for the Concept of a New Leader to Evolve? Hopefully, you embrace the concept that you are your own leader. We explored the topic Is All Action Created Equally? and discovered that acting responsively vs. re-actively suggests self-awareness. In this blog, we will challenge the belief that security is
sustainable when we lack the mindset to embrace uncertainty.
Our desire to feel and live from a sense of security is natural. Who doesn’t want job, financial, or emotional security? And who doesn’t want to take action to create these types of security? These actions may be building financial reserves for a rainy day. It may be putting safeguards in place such as insurance in the case of a catastrophe. It may be creating practices that protect against emotional hurt or wrongdoing by setting healthy boundaries. In fact, these are all good ideas, and I would encourage you to build and create these things. After all, having these things in place can give us the courage to step into the unknown.
In the Charles Schulz comic Peanuts, consider Linus, Lucy’s little brother and Charlie Brown’s best friend. Linus’ obsession with his blanket makes him feel secure. Yet, Snoopy can steal it. Lucy at times will trash it. When Linus is without his blanket, his entire focus is in finding it and regaining his sense of security. The futility of this endeavor is replayed over and over again as Linus must deal with relentless attacks and constant attempts to retrieve his security blanket. How exhausting for Linus.
Why do we have security blankets? Do we think they protect us from the unexpected?
We are operating from a place of scarcity and fear-based thinking when the need to have reserves, safeguards, and boundaries becomes the sole focus of our thoughts and actions. Security can imply setting fixed limits,not being open to greater possibility. Security can result in an energy of preservation, not a spirit of growth. Security can mean accepting permanence of a current situation, not having the courage for inspired action. If we put all our energies into seeking safety, we leave little energy to expand and grow.
Embracing uncertainty starts with an understanding that change is constant. Brands once household names such as Kodak, Sears, and Xerox are now mostly obsolete. While Facebook and Uber were not around in the last century but dominate our lives today. Being a leader is not unlike these famous brands. We are either expanding or shrinking based on where we are putting our energies.
Beyond understanding change is constant, a tougher concept to accept is the reality that there are things outside of ourselves we cannot control. The anxiety created by this realization can lead to a heightened desire for control and a need for security.
How do we let go of our perceived need to control and trust an uncertain path forward?
Understanding what we can control is a great starting point. All we can truly control is our own thoughts and actions. We control what is important to us. We control what our intentions are behind our actions. We control whether we are showing up more or less in alignment with our values. Whatever it is that we want to change, expand, or manifest in either our personal or professional life starts with aligning who we are with what we do.
External measures of security can be short-lived. Exactly why we want to cling to them. What is the mindset that allows us to sustain our sense of security over time?
Knowing we can control our alignment with our values, intentions and actions and trusting that is enough allows us to radiate: I am enough, I have enough, and I do enough. Living from that alignment and radiance, you can embrace uncertainty and be secure in being the leader you are called to be.