Guest Opinion: Embracing the Unknown

Susan Valesquez

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

Christmas 2022 is now in the rear-view mirror, and this coming weekend heralds the start of our new year of 2023. I am privileged to be included in many conversations about the topic of: “What’s next?”

 These are interesting times because of the fact that many of us are facing forward, ready and willing to take the steps necessary. However, the clarity of those next steps remains elusive to many of us. 

 This reality comes from the last vestiges of the pandemic and the fact that many businesses that were thriving have been reduced to striving. It can be reasonable to question whether the effort to retool is worth it.

 A common definition of unknown is something that requires discovery, identification or clarification: One that is not known or not well-known. Also, having an unknown value. 

Also, ‘fear of the unknown’ is one of the top fears many feel uncomfortable admitting. Why is that? If you identify with the notion that you are a ‘make it happen’ leader and you have the results to prove it, admitting that you don’t currently know what the future holds as this new year opens can create real-time anxiety.

Plan the work and work the plan is often the advice many of us have successfully implemented. That is fine in today’s climate of new challenges since it is probably a strategy that has yielded success in the past. Given the massive changes in technology and many ways that are now being implemented like Tik-Tok, social media influencers and YouTube videos that are creating new levels of financial success, it leaves me scratching my head. I don’t have the technological skills to even think about launching those types of platforms.

Though I don’t have a magic wand or an easy answer to the new challenges we are facing, admitting your discomfort with the unknown will allow you to be kinder to yourself as the new year arrives.

“Make it happen” energy is necessary to create new levels of personal and professional success. In today’s climate, it is also crucial to discover and uncover what you consider to be your personal rhythm, timing and tempo as you set your intentions for the new year. 

What do I mean by ‘rhythm, timing and tempo?’ It is what pace works best for you. Are you a slow and steady creator? Do you give yourself permission to stop when you are too tired so that you keep your accuracy at maximum levels? Do you have a partner who has a different rhythm than you and they don’t understand that their pushing and prodding creates stress for you? Have you ever thought about what truly works for you? Once you take the time to find out what works, will you be willing to do whatever it takes to make it a priority in your life? 

 I believe that the marriage between the making it happen approach and allowing the future to unfold so that the pace that you approach your life brings you satisfaction is the success formula for this brand new launching of this New Year 2023. I wish all my readers a happy and healthy upcoming year.

Susan is a long-time resident and has been writing and producing leadership and personal development seminars for over four decades. Reach her at:

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