Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

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by Jonathan Fields
     
 

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Jonathan Fields knows the risks-and potential power-of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a 3-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City. . . the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to

Overview

Jonathan Fields knows the risks-and potential power-of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a 3-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City. . . the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty. But that uncertainty can lead to fear, anxiety, paralysis, and destruction. It can gut creativity and stifle innovation. It can keep you from taking the risks necessary to do great work and craft a deeply-rewarding life. And it can bring companies that rely on innovation grinding to a halt. That is, unless you know how to use it to your advantage. Fields draws on leading-edge technology, cognitive science, and ancient awareness-focusing techniques in a fresh, practical, nondogmatic way. His approach enables creativity and productivity on an entirely different level and can turn the once-tortuous journey into a more enjoyable quest.

Editorial Reviews

Daniel H. Pink
"Let's face it-the leap of faith required to follow a dream is usually accompanied by gut-wrenching, knee-quaking, soul-shaking fear. Jonathan Fields knows this-but instead of offering an empty pep talk, he delivers daily practices that can help you transform fear and uncertainty into confidence and creativity."
Gretchen Rubin
"Uncertainty; risk; exposure to criticism. How do you conquer this fearsome triad, so it doesn't block your path-even better, how do you harness its power to help you achieve your goals? Jonathan Fields uses perceptive analysis, fascinating case studies, and a series of exercises to illuminate how uncertainty can be used as an engine to power both innovation and creation."
Steven Pressfield
"Keats called it Negative Capability-the skill 'of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts.' Tom Thibodeaux, coach of the Chicago Bulls, says, 'You gotta learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.' But nobody has nailed this faculty like Jonathan Fields, showing us how to turn the fog of self- doubt, fear and internal paralysis into the clear sailing of focus, concentration and results."
Susan Piver
"Jonathan Fields' new book is brilliant and subversive. Through sharp insights and practical exercises, he reframes doubt, hesitation, and ambiguity as gateways to our own natural brilliance. It's a handbook for fearless creativity and its offshoots: meaning, authenticity, and true success."
Tony Schwartz
"Fields is a breezy, engaging writer who demystifies creativity with a whole new bag of user friendly tricks and practices-crux moves, circuit breakers, certainty anchors and attentional training. Hugely practical. Lean into Uncertainty!"
Tony Hsieh
"With a blend of old and new wisdom, Uncertainty equips you with tools needed to take consistent action in the name of great work. Great read!"
Chris Guillebeau
 "Too many of us sit on the sidelines of fear and doubt unable to contribute. This masterful book will put you back in the game."
Pamela Slim
 "Fear keeps scores of people stuck in careers and lives they hate. Fields gives crystal clear guidance on how to engage with uncertainty so that it fuels creativity and action. Your productivity, happiness, and pocketbook will be massively improved by reading this book."
From the Publisher
"Let's face it-the leap of faith required to follow a dream is usually accompanied by gut-wrenching, knee-quaking, soul-shaking fear. Jonathan Fields knows this-but instead of offering an empty pep talk, he delivers daily practices that can help you transform fear and uncertainty into confidence and creativity." — Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"Uncertainty; risk; exposure to criticism. How do you conquer this fearsome triad, so it doesn't block your path-even better, how do you harness its power to help you achieve your goals? Jonathan Fields uses perceptive analysis, fascinating case studies, and a series of exercises to illuminate how uncertainty can be used as an engine to power both innovation and creation." — Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

"Keats called it Negative Capability-the skill 'of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts.' Tom Thibodeaux, coach of the Chicago Bulls, says, 'You gotta learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.' But nobody has nailed this faculty like Jonathan Fields, showing us how to turn the fog of self- doubt, fear and internal paralysis into the clear sailing of focus, concentration and results." — Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and Do The Work

"Jonathan Fields' new book is brilliant and subversive. Through sharp insights and practical exercises, he reframes doubt, hesitation, and ambiguity as gateways to our own natural brilliance. It's a handbook for fearless creativity and its offshoots: meaning, authenticity, and true success." — Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart and How Not to

"Fields is a breezy, engaging writer who demystifies creativity with a whole new bag of user friendly tricks and practices-crux moves, circuit breakers, certainty anchors and attentional training. Hugely practical. Lean into Uncertainty!" — Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything

"With a blend of old and new wisdom, Uncertainty equips you with tools needed to take consistent action in the name of great work. Great read!" — Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.

 "Too many of us sit on the sidelines of fear and doubt unable to contribute. This masterful book will put you back in the game." — Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity

 "Fear keeps scores of people stuck in careers and lives they hate. Fields gives crystal clear guidance on how to engage with uncertainty so that it fuels creativity and action. Your productivity, happiness, and pocketbook will be massively improved by reading this book." — Pamela Slim, author of Escape From Cubicle Nation

Publishers Weekly
Human beings are temperamentally, viscerally opposed to uncertainty, especially in our careers, but lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Fields works to persuade his readers that uncertainty can be freeing and energizing—and isn’t just for startups—while workers of all levels can transform that space of limbo into a site for thinking creatively. He presents a practical set of tools for overcoming fear of the unknown and rituals that help “reframe uncertainty, risk, and exposure as allies for creating and innovating on a level you never thought possible.” Interestingly, he finds the biggest leaps can be taken most successfully in the company of others, both by joining efforts with a hive of similar-minded people, and by inviting your colleagues and even customers into a process of co-creation. Though uncertainty is difficult, Fields encourages readers, in the words of one devotee, to “jump out of a perfectly good airplane” and take the chance that will lead to greatness. A sympathetic and practical primer on fear management and risk taking. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591845669
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
196,798
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Jonathan Fields is an author, entrepreneur and speaker on a mission to help individuals and organizations cultivate the personal practices, workflow adaptations and environmental/cultural shifts needed to become more agile, creative and innovative and embrace action in the face of uncertainty with a greater sense of ease. A former NYC mega-firm/SEC lawyer turned serial-entrepreneur, Fields founded two cutting-edge boutique lifestyle/fitness facilities - Sedona Private Fitness and Sonic Yoga - the latter in the shadow of 9-11 in Hell's Kitchen, NY. He quickly grew both into industry-leading businesses, generating international media-attention and raising the bar for business, marketing and programming trends. He eventually sold both companies to focus on writing, training and speaking...and being a strongly present dad and husband. Now an author, innovation catalyst and speaker, Fields writes AdAge Power 150 blog JonathanFields.com, and contributes to PsychologyToday.com, Amex OPENForum and a number of other top-100 blogs.

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Uncertainty 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who's ever had the need to create something powerful knows the fear behind it. The what-ifs, etc. This book does a great job of breaking down the WHY and the HOW to overcome. I loved it, and found myself nodding my head at least once each chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concepts in this book apply equally to the business world and individual creative efforts. Excellent food for thought and concrete practices to nurture your innate creativity!
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