Four tips to succeed in ambiguity

“Gosh! This project is driving me nuts” cried Sonia. “Things seem to be constantly changing, I rarely have information to make a sane decision. Even my boss doesn’t have answers to most of my questions. What do I do?”

For most people, ambiguity is not just frustrating, it is deeply frightening.

What is ambiguity? In simple terms, it’s about not having clear picture or constantly changing view on what needs to be done. It’s like driving through dense fog. You know your final destination, but, you can barely see 100 meters at a time.

We live in times that are ambiguous in many ways. While few people are lucky to be born with an innate ability to deal with ambiguity, many have learnt it through life experiences.

I have learnt four lessons as I worked through ambiguity.

  1. Develop clarity on the larger purpose or goal you are working towards. Clarity on this will act like a guiding star.
  2. Be comfortable with incomplete information or lack of clarity on actions to be taken. Have faith that you will find the path as long as you follow the larger purpose, your guiding star.
  3. Accept that you will hit blind alleys or wrong turns. Question is how fast can you realize that you are lost? How soon can you get out of it?
  4. Experiment, fail small, fail fast.. but quickly learn from mistakes, make changes and move forward.

“Learning to live with ambiguity is learning to live with how life really is, full of complexities and strange surprises”

James Hollis

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