What’s the reason you’re not doing what you want? Fear.
What do you want in your life? More.
What does this make available to you? More possibility.
If you could have more freedom right now, what would you be doing? I don’t know.
These are all examples of where we end our inquiries. Anytime we’re in a conversation that’s going to create new possibility for us, it inevitably means we’re going to come up against a wall. If you already had the answers handy, it probably wouldn’t be anywhere new for you, and so in order to explore what’s available beyond what you currently know, you will inevitably come up against “not knowing”.
To boldly push out of the world I know, into the world of new possibility, means to step into spaces where I don’t already have the answer.
When we’re in conversations like this, we tend to tap out fairly quickly.
It doesn’t take long before we’ve gone past the runway of our “knowing”, and are now fresh out of ideas.
That’s the point where our answers stop.
“What do you want in your life?”
“I want more happiness.”
“Great — what, specifically, would that look like?”
“I don’t know.”
We offer up “I don’t know” like it’s the end of our inquiry, and often, it is. But “I don’t know” really marks the beginning of your exploration. That’s the jumping-off point for your entry into the unknown. We’re now past what you know and we’re exploring uncharted territory.
So of course you don’t know. If you did, we’d still be in a conversation about what you already know, have and are comfortable with — and that’s unlikely to create anything radically new.
The trouble starts where we stop. We use “I don’t know” as a period at the end of the sentence. We’re done. We’ve exhausted all of our resources, and there’s nothing left.
It’s a perfect metaphor for what stops us from having the life we want beyond the life we already know. We stop at not knowing.
This is the point where the work gets hard. It’s not that it is objectively challenging to push forward in the face of you not knowing — it’s that you (and I) have resistance to doing so, because we’ve learned that not knowing means we’re likely to get it wrong, or make a fool of ourselves, or fall on our face, or whatever other meaning we’ve created.
All of those things might come true. If the outcome was guaranteed, there wouldn’t be much exploration involved. There wouldn’t be much courage required.
“I don’t know” is the sound of the door closing as you courageously step into the vast unknown.
So you don’t know. Now what?
Keep moving forward.