The Freedom of Saying “I Don’t Know”

by jon on September 2, 2012

The words “I don’t know” have become some of my favorite words recently. I used to try and have an answer for every question. And many times I would try to “craft” an answer to someone which they could tell right away was B.S. I thought I had to be this “all knowing” person. I still feel it is good to be well-rounded with things, but it is a little too much for me to try and have the answer for every problem or situation. And not knowing leaves all kinds of room for possibility.

The idea of “knowing everything” is something that always was an issue for me in my dating life. I would try to figure everything out at first after only seeing someone a few times. Then I would overwhelm myself and the person I was with trying find all the answers. Trying to answer questions in my head like, how would this look in a year…what about this little issue, etc., etc.? And it sure took up a lot of energy when in reality I just didn’t know. The mind is always looking for certainty, so I have to watch myself!

So recently I have noticed how freeing it can be to really say what I mean sometimes. Or just utter the words “I don’t know.” Because there is a lot I don’t know, and I enjoy continuing to learn so I can expand my perspective. For me, it is less about “knowing” and more about “growth.” I think that just when I think I “know” something I am already wrong again. So cheers to learning, growing and a sense of possibility. And the freedom of sometimes saying, “I don’t know.” Have a great week.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jocelyn September 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Love this topic. Actually, one of my favorite things is being authentic about what I don’t know. I’ve found that people generally respond enthusiastically when I’m genuinely curious about something they do/have experienced, etc. It creates a space for great connection, and I reap the benefits of seasoned advice or interesting stories…it’s a win-win! I love it!

And when it comes to big “I don’t knows” like the future, I’ve found that coming to peace, if not delighting in the fact that much of this life is a lovely mystery, helps me a lot. It’s a daily–if not moment to moment–work in progress though. :)


jon September 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

Thanks Jocelyn. I love all your comments. Especially this quote about “It’s a daily–if not moment to moment–work in progress though.” We really are living a collection of moments. Thanks for sharing.


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