November 17, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
To say that the last twelve months have filled the world with uncertainty would be an understatement. But the difference between succeeding and failing during these times is a direct reflection of how fast you can adapt to the changes. I’ve been coaching my clients daily since the pandemic started on how to adapt, adjust, and execute. And one of the biggest patterns that separate those who succeed from those who fail is the amount of certainty they bring into their clients, employees, and even their families.
Certainty doesn’t mean that you know what to do. Certainty means that you know you’re going to figure things out. Here are the top five things that entrepreneurs who are succeeding in this current market are doing now to increase their level of certainty.
1. Don’t try to please everyone
It’s impossible to please everyone. When you are a leader, you understand that not everyone is going to agree with you. Most people are frozen by fear, and they want you to be frozen too. Their criticism of you is a projection of their own uncertainty. You need to learn to ignore the noise and make decisions that sometimes may not be popular with everyone, but are necessary to keep moving forward.
Related: 25 Words Leaders Use That Make Other People Feel Inferior
You can respect someone else’s opinion and still do what you need to do to lead. This takes empathy to understand their point of view, but enough trust in yourself to act when others are hesitating. There are two things you need to have in order to be an effective leader: empathy and trust. It’s not your job to convince everyone. As a leader, your job is to continue to make decisions that will expand your vision.
2. Stop overthinking
We make the mistake of waiting for the perfect scenario to take action. And in moments like this, there is no perfect time to act. You need to listen to your gut instinct and innovate instead of procrastinating. By trying new strategies, even if they don’t work, you’re going to get the feedback that will get you one step closer to success. The people who don’t try to innovate are going to be left in the dust by those people who do.
Don’t get stuck in paralysis by analysis. Execute new ideas, and create a deadline to measure their results. Double down on the ones that work, and kill the ones that don’t. Once you find the momentum, it will increase your level of certainty.
3. Find your flow
Create a structured routine and be consistent. Consistency will give you the ability to compound time. When you are consistent, you can spot your triggers and patterns more easily. Keep adjusting your routine until you find what puts you into the flow.
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Don’t leave anything to chance. Certainty will not come to you just because you have one great day. Having ten good days is much better than having one great day followed by nine so-so days. If you’re consistent, then your default becomes having those good days.
Create a schedule for yourself where some days you go all out and crush it, and other days you review your last day and plan for your next. Other days, you rest, recharge and recommit. Keep adjusting your schedule as you grow.
4. Count your wins
We hold ourselves back by dwelling on our failures instead of counting our wins. The moment you focus on how you created progress, then you can build momentum. You can’t build momentum standing still, and you definitely can’t build momentum looking backward.
One thing I suggest is a gratitude journal. Every night before bed, write down three things you are grateful for, what did you do closer to get to your ultimate vision, and who did I help or how did I contribute? Your mind is going to program itself overnight to answer those questions.
Appreciate the gifts of the day. The struggle and mistakes are part of the journey. If you don’t appreciate where you are, you’ll never appreciate the next level. I’ve seen it all the time, people think that happiness is on the other side of some goal post. You have to make your own happiness by being grateful for what you have. This is the most important part of finding certainty.
5. Know that nothing lasts forever
Most people lose their certainty when they hit a challenge because they believe that whatever they’re going through is going to last forever. But the truth is that no market lasts forever, no catastrophe lasts forever, and we have to believe that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. One of the phrases that I always say to my clients is that “the best is yet to come.” And if you believe that with every fiber of your being, you know that the challenges you are facing now are always temporary. That will increase your certainty level because you know that all you have to do is weather the storm in order to find the opportunities.
Related: Emotional Intelligence is the Secret to Leadership in Times of Crisis
Certainty doesn’t mean you know everything. It means you’ll do whatever it takes to find the answers. When everyone is running away, you’re not afraid to get in the ring and take the punches. You’re not arguing with reality, instead you’re embracing it. You may not know how to overcome your challenges, but you know deep inside that you have what it takes to find a way.
Certainty is the new currency in this marketplace. When a leader loses his certainty, failure in his organization is inevitable. If you follow these five steps, you will be that much closer to finding your certainty and thriving under any circumstances.