This is for all you smart cookies out there. You know who you are—you’re good at anticipating things that are going to happen, you can see all sides of an issue, you’re great at doing what you say you’re going to do, you care about doing a good job and are capable of getting a lot of great things done.
I’m guessing that if you recognize yourself in the above description, you also have a tendency to over-think. Sometimes those smarts work against you, in that they’ve got you convinced that if you just think hard enough, you’ll be able to figure everything out—what to do, what to say, who to be.
I have news for you:
Sometimes you just don’t know how things are going to go down.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with clients and with friends who are in an upset over something. We talk about all the things that are going on in their heads and hearts, and then they say, with anguish in their voice, “I just don’t know!”
We can spend a lot of time talking about how this thing that someone said or this event that happened make us feel. But really, the crux of what’s got us upset is that we just can’t figure out what to do next.
I mean, I get it. It is so comforting to think that if we just think smart enough and work hard enough we can get whatever we want. It puts control over everything firmly in our hands.
The thing is, it’s a fallacy.
We are always only co-creating our reality. Call it luck, fate, karma, synchronicity, divine intervention, grace, the Universe, God; we are not the only game in town. This is actually great news, because it means we don’t have to worry about making every little thing happen. We can ease up, soften, and observe. And when we do, we know exactly when and how to commit, respond, and take action.
When you stop trying so hard, you leave space for grace. (Click to Tweet!)
Admitting that you don’t know exactly how things are going to go down is such a relief, I tell you! Because it enables you to loosen your grip on the reins. You do have to learn how to be OK with not knowing, and with trusting.
It’s like learning to float on your back—those first few times, you are pretty sure you’re going straight down. But then you relax and learn how to breathe a little differently and, poof, you’re floating. It’s a collaboration: The water is holding you up and you are making yourself buoyant. You are still taking action, but it’s not necessarily discernible to the casual observer.
And, just like floating on your back, learning to be OK with not knowing is a whole lot of fun. It means you get to be curious, playful and experimental (instead of constantly striving, analyzing, and anticipating). And you deserve to feel a sense of adventure and ease in your life, even as you go about doing big, amazing things!
What are some things that you just don’t know? I’d love to hear about them below.