Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance
by: Jonathan Fields
I was interested to read Jonathan Fields’ book, Uncertainty, because going through a career change or taking steps toward a dream involve dealing with a lot of unknowns. His book is an analysis of what helps or hinders us when dealing with uncertain times in our lives.
A unique part of this book was Fields’ treatment of the link between uncertainty and judgement.
“The more you lean into uncertainty and the greater the risks you take to create something that didn’t exist before, the greater will be the potential for you to be judged and criticized,” Fields writes. “In reality, we may not be as hardwired to avoid uncertainty as we are hardwired to avoid wanting to be judged for taking the less-mainstream path and coming up empty.”
The majority of the remainder of the book tackles strategies that can be used to handle uncertainty better, such as finding certainty anchors in the midst of unknowns. One chapter, titled ‘Train Your Brain’, details scientific research on certainty anchors such as meditation, visualization, and exercise.
I was fascinated to read about one particular study Fields’ cited on visualization. A group who visualized the steps needed to complete a goal (process visualization) was found to act earlier, finish in a more timely manner, and feel the task at hand was easier to complete than those who did not do the visualization.
While the subject of this book is relevant and the content is helpful, I have to note that the writing style drove me a little crazy. The actual points of the book are often obscured by it’s conversational, meandering structure. The use of storytelling seems somewhat forced and is often too superficial to provide a meaningful example.
Readability: Three Stars ***
Helpful Perspective: Four Stars ****
Actionable: Four Stars ****
Would recommend book to: This book is specifically aimed at entrepreneurs (largely tech entrepreneurs) and artists. However, it has a lot of applicability to anyone who is thinking about taking a big leap into the unknown.