So here’s something I’ve been noticing a lot lately: the power of saying “I don’t know.”
When you are engaged in a process that takes you into the unknown, you will be confronted with many decision points.
Uncertainty can feel weak and mysterious. It’s difficult to stay with the discomfort of the unresolved tension.
So, typically, they have either gone into avoidance, because they don’t expect it to change; or they’ve forced an answer – and denied its inaccuracy – in order to allow them to continue forward.
It’s only in retrospect, when we examine how they arrived at their conclusions, that they are able to see how much assumption and interpretation played a role.
The strength of being willing to admit “I don’t know” is in its honesty and humility. It helps you acknowledge that not knowing is a valid stage in the process. It opens you up to, and paves the way for, a more authentic “knowing.”
“I don’t know” must be seen as a pathway to your truth – a jumping off point; not an obstacle.
The energy with which you make this statement is also critical. An attitude of “I don’t know – let’s see!” carries the energy of curious, interested, open.
While “I don’t know – and that’s a problem(*)!” stirs the discomfort, anxiety and doubt that got us in this mess in the first place.
[*in this category we would have also accepted “better be careful” or “and I probably never will.”]
It requires patience, acceptance and faith, and as usual there are no guarantees.
What you are really risking, however, is arriving at an authentic answer; a truth you probably never would have encountered through force and fear.
Do you remember Sgt. Schultz?