Reassurance is futile

Seth Godin
2 min readNov 24, 2020

Because you’ll run out of it when you need it most

Everything is going to be exactly as it turns out

“Reassurance is futile” are the three trickiest words in my new book. That’s because we don’t want it to be true. Reassurance is warm, lovely and yes, reassuring. How can it be futile?

And how dare I act as though I want it to be futile?

Reassurance is the human act of telling someone else that everything is going to turn out fine. Exactly as they hoped. That your friend’s efforts will pay off and their dreams will be realized.

The phone rings and it’s Spike Lee — he loves your script, and he wants you to know your movie is going to be a hit. He’s certain of it.

How many more days before you need another call?

Because the future has an annoying habit of showing up, regularly. And it shows up in ways that we don’t expect.

If we get hooked on reassurance, we’ll make two significant mistakes:

  1. We’ll spend time and energy looking for reassurance instead of focusing on our work and those that we seek to serve. The trap is deciding that if it’s giving us solace and a warm feeling, then bring it on, even if it means losing sight of what we were trying to do in the first place.
  2. If we believe that the future can be controlled…



Seth Godin

Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...