Imagine following situation: Your boss asks you an incredibly difficult or rather let’s say a “How to save the world” question. Would you make up an answer and try to explain something you really do not feel comfortable with or do not believe in? Would you try to please your boss by finding some sort of arguments or by involving him into a discussion on subjects you actually do not know about but pretend to? What if you simply admit “I don’t know”. What if you allow yourself to be true to yourself and stop “bullshitting” or pretending?
Wisdom in not knowing
Only a wise person can say: “I don’t know.” Most of us don’t know everything. I invite us to have the courage and detachment to admit this. Despite the expectations we might feel all around us to actually provide an answer – either in the workplace, at home or amongst friends.
There is freedom in admitting that you don’t know something! Even deemed experts in their fields such as mathematics, quantum physics or finance do not know all about their chosen area of expertise. It is a true master who professes ignorance, for only an empty vessel can be filled. Not knowing allows for a new learning experience to emerge: We can open ourselves up to the opportunity to learn. The power to admit that we constantly learning and transforming ourselves is highly appealing. It is also energy and fuel for the wise men and women who like to grow: intellectually, emotionally and spiritually!
Many types of wisdom exist – from intellectual knowledge to emotional to physical intelligence to spiritual wisdom. Certainly, the spiritual knowledge has always relied on the “empty space within”: the place you go to in your meditations. The place where you “don’t know” – the space that is free and that frees yourself.
This feeling and expression of not knowing is a place of relaxation, openness and vastness. It is a realm full of pure potential. Everything is possible here – in this space – as nothing has been chosen yet!
Not knowing is the kingdom of emptiness AND abundance (oh yes this is a paradox… but hey, get used to it, little mind). Not knowing and allowing yourself this vast space of nothingness is a realm of pure creativity. Everything exists in here. Everything is inside of it. Everything is possible. Everything is a possibility. Everything is welcomed. Everyone is welcomed.
Stepping into your “unknown” and allowing the emptiness will open up your abundance of creativity, of opportunities, of answers and your inner wisdom. Ok ok, sooner or later – the monkey mind might interfere with not allowing the emptiness within or accepting the “unknown”. But try the “not-knowing” as a new coat – it might fit and suit you well :-). Start trusting and see what opens up for you. Let yourself be surprised by life and your inner wisdom.
Confidence in not knowing
A person who can admit to not knowing tends to be more confident than someone who pretends to know everything. Remember a situation where you needed to be right and defend everything with facts or figures, change subjects to avoid admitting that you do not know or maybe you even became aggressive ” how knowledgeable did you really appear? Others probably picked up that something was not resonating here, that what was said sounded flat and one-dimensional. Although they might not have said anything, they might have felt the lack of relaxation and expansion in you and the words. The energy field is not expanding when we hear someone pretending or lying. It contracts. Don’t the “pretenders” then seem arrogant, wanting to be superior to others and having the need to bluff – possibly in order to cover up their insecurities?
Peace in not knowing
Therefore, not knowing is the opposite of self-righteousness, superiority and arrogance. And by definition, not knowing is PEACE. The moment we insist on being right, or when we create our own laws and impose them on others; when we expect others to behave according to our rules: then we are at WAR.
Everyone knows that battle feeling: for example I used to think I am the better car driver and I know how the driver in front of me should drive!!! I got angry and used the horn or made wild gestures to the car in front of me. In this situation, my car is my weapon…. and the other car: my enemy! Try to translate this situation to your belief system and to your daily life. We defend our beliefs; we defend what we think is correct and fair. Our thoughts and our belief system is the right one – we think we know this… for sure! We are right and the others are wrong. This is how we create SEPARATION. Exclusion. War. Within us and with others and in the world. Certainly many examples will come to your mind and we do not even need to look at politicians and country leaders to observe this pattern 😉
We would be wise to respect people who freely admit when they don’t know something or who do not impose their belief system on others. It might feel strange at first – as it also encourages you to step up and either admit to also not know or to act according to your OWN belief system. With this attitude we open ourselves up to the unknown. We can then discover what lies beyond our current levels of understanding.
Not knowing in my coaching
The only way how to coach my clients is to not know. When I enter a coaching session, even with clients I might have known for years, I place myself in a space of not knowing. Each day is a new day. Every second is a new second. My clients might have changed, transformed their life. I give them a gift, the gift to explore themselves; to be someone new today. Maybe they have reinvented themselves! Who am I to look for the old?
I have a VISION for this world: that human kind meets in one room. A room beyond right and wrong. A new realm. One which contains everything and everyone. With no one left behind.
Nicole Menten 2013.
Life Coach, Psychologist and international Speaker
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