Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be unpredictable? To be open to anything and go with the flow? Do you feel like your predictable life is keeping you in a slump? Do you wish you could experience new things but don’t know how?
Most people are afraid of being unpredictable nowadays. Indeed, most seem to misunderstand this trait. Some might describe an unpredictable person as chaotic, unreliable, and someone you shouldn’t take seriously. But that’s not even close to the potential that unpredictability has. If you learn how to become unpredictable the right way, a whole new world of possibilities can open up.
Can Unpredictable Actually Be A Good Thing?
Contrary to popular belief, an unpredictable person isn’t someone trying to figure out who they are. They aren’t people with conflicting views and values. And they certainly aren’t chaotic and unreliable. While all those types of people can be unpredictable, unpredictability is not the root cause of their behavior. Instead, it’s a by-product. Meaning they aren’t unreliable because they’re unpredictable. They’re inconsistent because they are unreliable.
Positively using unpredictability looks more like acting how you want to. People are expected to act in conformity to their environment. But that necessitates that people don’t question the rules and social expectations of that environment. So, being unpredictable is simply acting in a way that isn’t considered by the norms imposed on you—in simpler words, being open-minded.
At the base of this personality type is the concept of learning. If you keep your knowledge limited to what your environment requires, you won’t know how to act differently. If all you know is your culture, the bare minimum to do your work, and a couple of other pieces of information, you will always react predictably. How would you ever know you like certain foods if you limit yourself to pasta every day?
Try to be curious about what the world can offer you. And that means looking outside the boundaries of your usual environment. Challenge your preconceived ideas. Don’t be reactionary, but approach discussions to exchange information. Pinpoint what your reflexes are in certain situations, and try to change them up. If you always solve a problem the same way, try to look for a different method.
3 Ways Being Unpredictable Can Help You Discover New Possibilities
Follow these steps, and you will be able to become more unpredictable and open-minded. But, once you get there, what are the benefits? How can you discover new possibilities when you adopt this behavior?
1. Being Unpredictable Leads To Interesting Discussions And New Social Connections
When people talk to someone, they already predict how the conversation is going. If they ask you something, they have an idea about how you are going to answer. This can be based on how well they know you, on what expectations they have, or on mere stereotypes.
Because of this, many people will not engage in conversation with you if they don’t like what they predict. Even if those people are strangers, the first impression you give off will attract or push them away. For example, people will not talk business with a secretary because they expect them to be less knowledgeable than other people.
By being unpredictable from the beginning of any encounter, you give people something to be curious about. If you’re out with colleagues and find yourself in a similar position to that secretary, don’t wait to be asked a business question. So, what if social norms tell you not to interfere with a conversation that doesn’t involve you?
If you have something relevant to say, chime in. You will surprise people and make them want to know more about you. Don’t do this while at work. Being unpredictable is not about breaking rules that might jeopardize your career. Instead, it’s about finding moments when doing something unexpected has minimal risk.
Spontaneity and making new connections
A predictable person waits for someone to approach them. But an unpredictable person creates opportunities and approaches who they want. Once you break the ice, you get the chance to have a conversation you couldn’t have otherwise. This behavior can open the door to new relationships, be they platonic or maybe more. In either case, you have the chance to engage with new perspectives.
An unpredictable person takes a chance and engages even the people who seem to be their polar opposite. It can look like a liberal approaching a conservative. Doing something so unpredictable but in good-faith, makes people want to know what your deal is. Even better, try to let your guard down. Be vulnerable and honest with people. It will make them trust you, and there’s a higher chance they will grow to like you.
Finding new people to have conversations with can help you engage with different perspectives, values, and cultures. You can learn about their struggles, what they like, how they think. The more you enrich your knowledge, the more complex of a person you’ll become.
These new people can give you advice on what new things to try. The new friendships you’ll build can offer you the opportunity to do something you might have never thought of. You might you invited to take part in an activity specific to certain cultures. You might even get business proposals and other life opportunities.
The more you expand your social life, the easier it will be to discover new possibilities.
The corporate world values order and rules above all else. But if you want to be truly successful, you should be unpredictable. By filling a tidy little box, you can only get so far. It’s the people who take real risks that get the highest rewards.
The biggest names in the world are people who did the most unpredictable things. Take Bill Gates, for example. He was admitted to one of the best schools in the world. Everyone around him probably expected him to finish his studies, as that would ensure he leads a good life. And while that’s true, he wanted more. So, he did the unthinkable. He dropped out of Harvard and founded Microsoft, which is now one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Rules and predictability narrow your scope
They make you closed-minded, to the point where you can only do what you’re supposed to and nothing more. But, sometimes, you have to have initiative and think out of the box. If your boss gives you an assignment and strict guidelines on how to do it, take a moment to see if you can do it in a better way.
If you have a better solution, be unpredictable and tell your boss. Search for new solutions and strategies to improve our work. Sure, your boss might not ask for new strategy ideas, especially if your proposals are above your paygrade. But if you want to get professional opportunities, this is how you do it. Unpredictability means a different perspective that can add value to any environment.
While this behavior might be considered controversial, it will garner respect from the people around you. It lets people know that you meant to be better instead of just doing the bare minimum. The more professional consideration you get, the more opportunities you will get.
Another good outcome of being unpredictable is having the openness to take on personal projects. If you want to start a business or follow any other passion, you can only do it by being unpredictable. When everyone expects you to work on getting promoted at your nine to five, you can shock them and open a start-up!
3. Being Unpredictable Helps You Find New Passions
You can only be passionate about something you are aware exists. If you have no idea that origami is a thing, you can never become passionate about it.
Unpredictable people have the opportunity to learn about many things. The more curious and open-minded you are, the more things you will find out. But being unpredictable is a step ahead of being interested. A curious person might learn about the possibility of sky-dive, but an unpredictable person might do it. The more you broaden your horizons, the more potential hobbies you will have on your radar.
Unpredictability changes your perspectives and lets you see certain things in new lights. Social expectations don’t hinder unpredictable people. For example, many people say chess is a game for men. With that in mind, a predictable woman will not try the game. But an unpredictable woman will try it because no one expects her to.
No matter their age, gender, physical condition, they will try new things because they seem interesting. And even if they don’t become passionate about everything they tried, the experience can still be enriching. As long as you have fun, that’s all that matters.
If it seems like you shouldn’t try certain activities, that’s just the more reason to do it. After all, society praises the people who run marathons at sixty years old. So, why shouldn’t you do something that seems just as unlikely?
If used correctly, unpredictability is a great strength. It can open your eyes to possibilities you never thought were in your reach. Allow yourself to have an open mind, and you expand beyond your boundaries. You will learn new things about the world.
Take people by surprise and engage in them in ways they didn’t expect. Make them interested in you so you can form connections. Every new social connection means the opportunity to create new relationships. That way, you might find yourself in new situations, like maybe visiting a new friend in a faraway country. Think outside the box and use unpredictability in your professional life.