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5 Mistakes to Avoid when Dealing with Uncertainty

The most important job of any leader is to overcome uncertainty. You must be able to rely on your strength to overcome fear and the obstacles it presents.

When you're developing the strength to do that, you tend to feel alone. Often, it's like being on an island with very few people who empathize with your lifestyle, decisions, and vision for your future. Everything is on your shoulders, and sometimes the weight can be overwhelming.

This can lead to habits that are actually detrimental to your growth, and because the habits are built out of necessity, they often go unnoticed until they start to do real damage. Things like stereotypes, over-analyzing and labeling yourself as a particular type of person can do much more harm than good.

With that, to be truly effective and powerful, here are 5 mistakes to avoid when dealing with uncertainty.

1. Generalizing

Today, we're living in a world where stereotypes have become the norm, and anyone who agrees with one thing is thought to agree with everything surrounding that particular category.

Black Lives Matter, Trump, support for Ukraine, CRT, school shootings, women's rights, gender identities, gun laws, government spending, health, big pharma... Depending on whether someone frames conversation about any of these topics with support or disdain, it's easy to assume what other beliefs that person has.

While this is an incredibly important skill in certain aspects of life, as leaders, it limits our willingness to connect with others on levels with which we may or may not agree.

My friend Rod Hairston, a master trainer for Tony Robbins for many years, says in Episode 8 of X Squared: "This is where leaders fail people. We stop thinking and start emoting. We start letting emotion lead us... [We must] follow our courageous, powerful lead."

2. Labeling Yourself

Like generalization, when you fall into the trap of labeling yourself in a specific category, group think sets in and becomes the ultimate driver for your life. You begin believing that because you voted for this guy or that woman, you are expected to be a certain way in other areas of life.

However, that is an outside-in perspective, and it's dangerous. What I'm saying is: when you are focused on how the world affects you and not how you can impact the world, you are being controlled.

You have no chance at real leadership when you are being influenced by everything around you.

Hairston says things like political affiliations, religious rules and racial expectations "are given to you from the outside. What's inside is uniquely you, and we've got to find it... and if you find yours, people will follow you."

3. Getting Distracted

Throughout my conversation with Rod, I asked him: "What's the solution [to many of the social issues we're dealing with, today]?"

His response was profound. He said: "We have god-like awareness... Every time, we start to celebrate, we become more aware."

This realization — that the world around us is constantly distracted — explains why we're tearing apart our perspectives for what is amazing. As leaders, we must be able to see through this and operate with enough focus to anticipate how events will actually affect the future.

However, when we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of distraction, we end up focusing on the revolving door of new information and destroy our credibility along the way.

4. Focusing on Obstacles

Whether you naturally fall into leadership or you choose to become a leader, obstacles are always in front of you. And the incredible thing about being that guy or girl is that people expect you to handle it. They expect you to be an advisor, mentor and example of how to overcome their issues.

While it's flattering, this can add a ton of pressure and easily lead to frustration in so many ways. Sometimes, we get caught up in what everyone around us isn't doing, or we think too much about why something doesn't exist or why things aren't done a certain way. We start playing the "wish game" and just waiting for some solution to present itself before we go after the really important decisions. Other times, we just choose to move on and ignore the problems.

If we're honest with ourselves, we can probably think of a lot of things that fit those molds, and truthfully, it doesn't sit right.

We only use about 3-5% of our conscious brain. However, even that little percentage is so powerful that it's able to justify why these problems are so insurmountable. So, if we know that, we also know to solve these things, we must tap into more of our conscious problem-solving capabilities.

We have so much more to offer than we credit ourselves. We allow the effort it takes to develop our brains and emotional abilities to stifle progress — sometimes, so easily.

However, if we truly want to lead and grow, we must use that same effort to come up with solutions, establish more powerful beliefs and build habits to support them.

5. Needing to Know Why Opportunity Exists

As I continued my conversation with Rod, I asked him to tell the story of how he became a master trainer for Tony Robbins.

Rod had been in the Navy his entire adult life, and when he got out, he wanted to learn more about psychology and how the brain worked, so he attended one of Robbins' events.

Check out Rod's full story.

While Robbins taught, Rod stayed to himself, took notes and focused on learning. However, completely unexpectedly, Robbins picked Rod out of the crowd and asked him to stay around after the event.

A little hesitant, Rod waited for Robbins when the event was over. With hardly any explanation at all, Robbins took Rod's phone number and asked him to visit one of his team members the following week.

While he had no idea why he was driving three and half hours to go see this guy, he went anyway. "I never asked any questions. Don't ask me why, but I didn't ask him why or what... I felt guided, so I followed it," he told me.

Upon arrival, the man started instructing Rod on what he was supposed to start working on, so Rod asked him why he was there. To his complete surprise, the man replied, "Oh, you work for Tony, now."

Over the next fifteen years, Rod became a master trainer for Tony Robbins', teaching some of the most advanced trainings, including mastermind events with some of the wealthiest people on earth.

The likelihood is that if Rod would've over-analyzed or ignored the gesture, his life would be completely different, today. He wouldn't have worked with companies like Rocket Mortgage, helping them build a 100-person company into a 10,000+ person behemoth.

While Rod claims he was put in odd situations that just led to crazy results, I tend to believe that most people are presented with incredible opportunities every day that they either fail to see the value in or are too afraid to pursue.

The fact is though: to build a life you've never had, you have to be willing to give up your current one.

You're the reason.


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