Updated: May 11, 2021
Our world seems to be one filled with infinite answers. Or at least that’s what we are made to think. This also seems to be the way we are expected to feel—the feeling that we are supposed to have all the answers. If you do not have all the answers, you may begin to feel that you have “imposter syndrome.” In reality, how can any one person know EVERYTHING there is to know? Even if this is in just one area, I still find it hard to believe that you can know every single thing about that subject.
Let’s say you’re a doctor and you specialize in pediatrics. Wonderful! Do you really think you can know absolutely everything there is to know about the field of pediatrics? There may be some genius out there that does. I find it very hard to believe that this is a realistic expectation and a potential for this to be our new status quo. If we can accept where we are, what we know, and how we move through these areas, it can be a game-changer. When we open ourselves up to the unknown, we learn. When we share with others, it allows for us to be taught. This openness allows us to form new connections with new information and new people! What would happen if this was the new status quo? If we actually felt comfortable saying “I’m not sure.”
Change can happen in an instant. Each one of us can decide at some point that we are going to stop this pattern. This can be so freeing! Think about what pressure it might feel like to know all the answers to have to “fake it to make it.” Allowing ourselves to embrace not knowing and learning alleviates that pressure. At times, the questions we are asked may be opinion or feelings-based. This can also apply a pressure. We may value this person, not want to offend, or want to be well-liked. There can be a feeling of needing to have the “right answer.” There really isn’t a “right” answer when it comes to our opinions, thoughts, and feelings though, right? This can be another area that we insert in: “I’m not sure how I think/feel about that.” This doesn’t mean we don’t care. It also doesn’t mean that we are completely uneducated. We are all on a personal journey. All of us are constantly evolving, growing, and learning. That’s a beautiful thing! Think about if we did truly know all there was to know. Wouldn’t life be really boring? What would we do with our time? New knowledge is like learning there is a new door in life you get to go through and explore!
Let’s give ourselves some grace. The grace that we don’t know everything, and that, in fact, is actually beautiful! The grace to also be vulnerable in sharing our unknowns. Allowing a deeper connection with others to form in these moments also. If someone wants to pass judgment, they can. We don’t have to take on the judgments though. We’ll be too preoccupied giving ourselves grace, self-love, and pats on the back for showing up just as we are!