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Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance Paperback – November 6, 2012
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"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
About 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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The entire book is valuable, but two things about this book specifically resonated with me:
1) Fields descriptions of how it felt to be paralyzed by fear. I started to understand that while I didn't THINK fear was stopping me, it was impacting me every second and every thought.
2) His research into how serial entrepreneurs and creatives handled fear. They were afraid too, but they lean into the fear rather than pulling back. They create structure in other areas of their lives so that they can be in a state of flux with their careers.
I now understand what was blocking me, and I've learned how to lean into the fear and move forward in spite of it. My application of the concepts in this book has removed my last obstacle. In just a few short months I have made incredible progress, to the point that the people I need to partner with and the resources I need to help me on my way are almost jumping out of the woodwork at me. It's not an overstatement to say that this book has changed my life, and the lives of several people that I've recommended it to. If you are in the space I used to be in, buy this book.
As someone who has an on/off meditation practice and a gym membership that is too frequently unused, the examples that the author, Jonathan Fields, includes of how these things can directly benefit one are compelling. I plan to begin both practices again without delay.
I, for one, am not put off by what others call the repetitive nature of the book. The construction of the book will be very helpful on subsequent readings. The chapter introductions act as executive summaries, and the last chapter will be great for future review. I am launching my own business soon and this book is a perfect addition to my support system. I have already recommended it to others.
If you are struggling to produce the kind of creative work you know you are capable of or if, like me, you have been struggling with struggling for many years, I highly recommend you read this book. Thank you Jonathan Fields!
The purpose of the book was to demonstrate, using examples of how various people have dealt with uncertainty in a positive way; and also how many people let uncertainty stop them from doing what they dream or even from trying.
Three main issues that tend to paralyze people are:
1. fear of judgment by others and criticism
2. fear of 'failure'
3. risk aversion - turning away from uncertainty thinking it is 'safer'
Mostly the book is excellent for inspiration and encouragement. You may be familiar with the points it raises but to bring them to mind and be encouraged to not be dissuaded from goals, dreams and objectives is helpful
This book is a must read for entrepreneurs, artists, creative types, and anyone thinking about taking the leap into the great unknown that is creating something from nothing.
As I have set out on my own entrepreneurial journey I have experienced so much of the uncertainty, doubt, and fear that come with trying to create something that others will value. This book describes a plethora of tools and resources to not only cope with that feeling, but to power through and create something amazing.
You will be awed by Jonathan Fields' obvious research and expertise into managing with the creative endeavor. He uses wonderful examples and stories to illustrate his point and hooks you into the book from page one.
I hope you'll read this book for yourself - it is a wonderful glimpse into the mind of a creative person himself. One that shows us the way to building certainty and comfort into an otherwise uncertain journey.