‘I don’t know’ as a portal to wisdom

by | Mar 29, 2021

Most of us have a tremendous amount of fear around saying ‘I don’t know.’ There has probably been more than one time in your life when you’ve felt shame for not knowing the answer to something. As a young woman I had a fear of raising my hand in class even if I was 90% sure of the correct answer or that my question would be received as a “good” one.

What are we afraid of when we don’t know something? Embarrassment? Humiliation? Being Shamed? In our unconscious mind lives a fear that if we don’t know something others will find out that we are phonies, frauds, imposters; that we are not smart enough or good enough to be here. We’ll be judged, abandoned and alone, or discover that we’re flawed (which we are not, of course!)

Beauty in the unknown

One of the beautiful things about ‘I don’t know’ is that when you can actually own that you don’t know something, when you are comfortable in your ‘I don’t know’, a portal into your own wisdom opens up. This innate wisdom, your intuition, allows you the freedom to not have all the answers.

Unfortunately, fear restricts our ability to access what we actually do know. When fear shows up we actually lose connection to that deeper wisdom and the limbic, or “lizard” brain of survival takes over. This makes perfect sense evolutionarily speaking, as not knowing could oftentimes mean life or death, but in today’s world there is far too much distraction and information bombarding us day after day. How can we be expected to know everything?!

Mining the Gold

Leaning into this fear can be surprisingly rewarding. When we admit our ignorance about something and can be comfortable with it, a kind of ease or liberation occurs.

It’s a sacred moment of pause when you can admit not knowing without the fear that accompanies it. This is the gold, the magic, the freedom of self-possession. An added benefit is that when we stand confident in our not knowing, it inspires curiosity, and actually opens us up to knowing more.

How Much Do We Actually Know?

There is so much we don’t know, and most of what we don’t know we don’t know that we don’t know! 🙂 And how wonderful to be able to say ‘I don’t know’ and instead of shying away from it, leaning into it. Be curious, then ask questions. Not knowing something doesn’t say who you ARE but rather that you are more than your knowing. Dismantling your fear of the ‘I don’t know’ will allow your wisdom to shine through.

Because there is so much that you actually do know, you know?


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