I have always thought that it is clarity and confidence that enjoy an exclusive relationship, but here, Mental Toughness partner Michelle Bakjac, reports a counter intuitive view on the benefits of clarity and mental toughness in her great post entitled “Craving Clarity and Mental Toughness”.
Craving Clarity and Mental Toughness
Working in organisations we are often confronted with the infinitely complex and ambiguous nature of an uncertain future. In this kind of environment, it is only natural to crave clarity. This is amplified if you are leading a team. We often crave a sense of “knowing” what to do next.
But “Clarity” can often be considered an illusion. Psychologist Daniel Khaneman writes in Thinking, Fast and Slow: “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance”. We often crave certainty and have a fear of the negative emotions associated with uncertainty. But is there in fact wisdom in insecurity?
Quoting pioneering leadership and change guru, Jason Fox: “To obtain clarity, we must embrace ambiguity”.
Sometimes finding yourself in a position where you don’t know what to do means:
- You become more aware of the areas where you need greater information – which assists you to prioritise
- You have the opportunity to step back and reflect/reconsider before decision making
- You have the ability to seek out someone with more expertise and seek information
And remember, there are actually benefits of failure. Failure is often part of our success. If you are not willing to fail, you are not willing to be successful. Failure can create an inner determination and enhance your ability to adapt and change which only leads to greater successes which builds our inner strength and self-efficacy.
One of the central themes of Mental Toughness is to recognise the benefits of failure and living with uncertainty. The Challenge component of Mental Toughness relates to individual’s views about what challenge and lack of clarity actually has to offer them. Mentally Tough individuals see challenge and lack of clarity as a way of developing themselves. Ask yourself…. Do you see challenges as opportunities or do you see challenges as threats?
We need to consider the frame of mind with which we enter any situation. Do we consider the lack of clarity to be invigorating, a chance to develop new skills, an opportunity for us and our team to think outside the square?
Do you want to assess your level of Mental Toughness or that of your team? Contact Michelle Bakjac at Bakjac Consulting on 0412047590 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to complete the MTQ48 Mental Toughness Questionnaire and assess not only how you manage Challenge but also the other 3 C’s which are Commitment, Confidence and Control.