I used to think I always had to have an answer for everything, so if I didn’t I would make one up or rush to judgement. I was always afraid to say I didn’t know, or wasn’t sure about something, like life was a game show and if I didn’t have an answer a loud buzzer was going to go off pronouncing me a bigger loser than I already thought I was. Life isn’t a game show, and sometimes we don’t know, and, that’s OK.
There’s so much freedom in saying we don’t know, it takes the pressure off of always have to know, to have an opinion, or to have an answer right there on the spot. Sometimes it does take time, sometimes we need more information, and sometimes, we just don’t know. I had a close friend who I admired a lot for the way she handled things she wasn’t sure of, I remember asking her about a situation I was going through, something I was struggling with and asked for her guidance and opinion on it, she turned to me and said, “Carrie I don’t know, but let’s find the answer,” I thought, wow, what an incredible response, one I appreciated for it’s honesty and her openness to learn with me and investigate further. And that’s how I try to look at things I don’t know, an investigation, going back to what I’ve talked about in the past, finding out the facts, what I know to be true, and once I’ve got all of that I then can usually find an answer, even if my answer still is, I don’t know, I need more time. Life, many times, isn’t black or white, as I’ve mentioned, so it isn’t always clear on what the next right thing is, or where we stand on that. Like most things, life is a process, and sometimes that process takes time, and our process is moving at the time and speed unique to us, as is everyone else’s, so we might not have the answers that everything else may have at the same time, and that’s OK.
What we are responsible for is being true to ourselves, being honest with people in our lives, and doing the work to find the answers we need to make the best decisions, we also owe it to ourselves to let those answers come when they are meant to and not jumping the gun and blurting out something just to have an answer.
Once I got over the fear of saying I didn’t know I found a freedom there, I gave myself permission to learn and grow in that place, to discover, to find out, and that felt exciting, and I knew I would know when and what I supposed to, it took so much pressure off of me to always know everything, or to make up something that sounded like I did. I found that I was a lot less embarrassed later on or had to make less apologies because I hadn’t made up something that possibly wasn’t true just to not be the person who didn’t know. No one knows everything, the whole point of life to learn, to grow, to experience new things to help us on our journey, if we knew everything there would be nothing left to strive for, to push us, to challenge us, it’s not knowing that drives us and pushes us forward to new things, new experiences, new challenges we might never have had before.
There’s no shame in saying you don’t know, in fact, the only shame is not living your truth, and, feeling like you have to make something up to cover up who you really are and what you really think. If you don’t know, say it, you might be opening yourself up to discovering the answer with someone who also doesn’t know, opening yourself up to a new friendship, or a chance to get closer to someone already in your life who also is seeking the answers you are, or, just discovering the answers on your own, but by giving yourself the gift of time to find them you allow yourself to move forward in your own time and honor where you are at on your path or journey . That, I know.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you think you always have to have an answer? What is your fear of not having one? What are some things you don’t have an answer for? What do you think will happen if you were asked about them and you would say you didn’t know? Do you think those fears are real? Challenge yourself SLAYER to be open and honest about the things you know and don’t know, challenge yourself to say you don’t know if you don’t, and be open to finding out. SLAY on
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you