What to do with the Discomfort of the Unknown

Kinwomen OCT 2018 Blog Images

“Feeling some discomfort in the unknown is quite normal – we just don’t want to get stuck here.”

I feel the most discomfort when I don’t know – when I don’t know what is going to happen.

It’s the unknown that makes me feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps when I am considering doing something new; going into a fresh environment, taking on a new work challenge, taking a business step, making a significant relational or partnership choice.

Call me a control freak!  Somehow I don’t think I’m on my own here!

I feel the discomfort with the unknown because all those emotions of fear, uncertainty and doubt are knocking at my door.  Michael Hyatt calls them the Welcoming Committee of the discomfort zone.

What has helped me when I am faced with this Welcoming Committee of fear, uncertainty and doubt are recognising them; (Oh – you guys!)  and remembering a few things:

Firstly, it’s quite normal to have these emotions – it’s what makes us human.

Secondly, it validates the importance of what is happening.  These emotions rising to the surface are telling me that it is a significant time.

Thirdly, it means I care about what is happening – and that’s important to me.

So, I don’t fight them, that’s a time waster.

I’m expecting these emotions.  I acknowledge them, and then use them to discuss, to plan and reframe my thinking so I can move forward.

Let’s remember that feeling some discomfort in the unknown is quite normal – we just don’t want to get stuck here.

No Regrets


About Penny

Penny was born in England, raised in New Zealand, lived in America and settled in Perth, Australia. Together with her husband Mark, she is raising a teenage daughter and has twin twenty-something sons. "Coming home at the end of a solid working day to family and friends is my delight" says Penny, Co-author of the book – She’s Not Your Competition. She is a heart-felt communicator who believes in the power of a person’s story. Penny has over 25 years experience as a high level leader and spokesperson in both the private and non-profit sectors with significant public relations experience. She is currently the CEO of South Coastal Women's Health Services, and prior on the Leadership Teams of Rise Network and Riverview supporting people in areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, and children overseas at risk of exploitation. She holds an MBA and MBL, and is a Board Director for the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. For the past 15 years she has provided pro-bono support as a mentor for leaders and consultant to not for profits. Penny’s personal life endeavour is a determination to "make life better not bitter".