“Don’t waste time swimming upstream…Use the momentum of the stream to get you where YOU want to go.”
Last summer my son and I went to the water park. Playing in the wave pool, I lost control and was overtook by wave after wave. As the waves reached their summit and crashed down on me, my sun-glasses and hair clip were knocked off. It was a hot-mess! Yet my son, almost a foot shorter than me, effortlessly stayed above the greater than 7 foot swells. Seeing me struggle he swam over to me and said, “Mom quit fighting and go with the wave’s rhythm!”
This wisdom rings true in all arenas of my life. As a leader and entrepreneur, I know control is merely an illusion. The harder I have attempted to control a system, the more I am overtook by it. Maybe you can relate? How much of your energy is wasted swimming upstream? In most cases we are better served by letting go of attempts to control, opting instead to learn the rhythms of a system so we can harness its energy to our gain.
It is a shift from the command and control management style that dominates our culture. Yet tolerance of ambiguity has been emerging for decades as a skill that all successful leaders and entrepreneurs must learn. The great news it is a skill, like any other, that can be sharpened and refined. To check your tolerance level of ambiguity, take the following assessment. Not only will you discover your general tolerance level, but also determine which aspect: novelty, complexity, or insolubility is your strength and what you need to let go.
Shawna Beese-Bjurstrom, RN, MBA lives in Spokane, WA with her family where she is a Executive/Health Coach. She writes on issues such as health, strategy, and happiness. To learn more about how to step into your happiness and health check out her blog!
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