I’ve noticed many women say, “I don’t know” when asked about what they think or feel or want.
- What do you think will help you take better care of yourself? I don’t know.
- What kind of work do you think you’d be happier doing? I don’t know.
- What do you want for your next chapter? I don’t know.
Cutting yourself off from yourself
Saying “I don’t know” with a big fat period at the end of the sentence, is a conversation stopper. More importantly, it’s an awareness blocker.
Because if you don’t know, who does?
And I would argue that you do know. Somewhere hidden beneath all the shoulds, have tos and people pleasing, you know.
And if you really don’t know, then make it your mission to know.
To find out. Discover. Understand.
External facts versus internal answers
It’s one thing not to know the answer to a question outside yourself. Which country has the most camels? Where was Cary Grant born?
But it’s another thing entirely not to know the answer to something about you, your life, your feelings, your wants, your hopes and dreams.
Don’t let yourself off the hook. The next time you’re inclined to say “I don’t know” when YOU and YOUR LIFE are the topic of discussion, refuse to take the easier, softer way of “I don’t know.”
I’ve started saying this: “Hmmm. Interesting that I don’t really know what I feel about that. What I think about that. What I want. But I want to know. So I’m going to figure it out.”
Do the heavy lifting of exploring and getting clear. Peel back the layers (of trying to please others, be the good girl, go along to get along, do what’s expected) and discover what you think, feel, and want.
I challenge you: For the next three days, monitor yourself for “I don’t know”. Refuse to sell yourself short. Ask yourself: If you DID know, what would you say?
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