Somedays it feels like we are expected to know all the things happening around us and in the world at large. Which could be why we try to ingest the glut that is our news feeds. Trying to keep up and know all the things is exhausting. When it comes to our personal lives it is easy to start crowdsourcing, search engining, reading other people's accounts of their things before we even check in with ourselves to see how we might feel about things.
My superpower used to be being able to walk into a room and know what was needed. My focus was on making sure everyone else was happy first. I mean every. single. one. So while I was focused so intently outside myself I was ignoring my own needs and desires which were getting lost in the din. Over time we risk losing faith in our ability to make decisions on our own.
Remember in The Runaway Bride (riiiight...me neither) when she didn't know how she liked her eggs? She’d become so accustomed to going along with what was put in front of her she didn’t know her preferences. Being mindful of others or sourcing is not inherently wrong. It can help us to feel less alone while we search for our own answers. The point here is to go inward first. Because the more we search for a consensus or experts outside of ourselves the more likely we will lose our voices. We can become overwhelmed by choices, inadvertently making other people the authorities.
How often do you answer, "I don't know" to questions asked when you are feeling stuck? I have a simple tool I use with clients that is both amazing and perhaps a smidge annoying. When I hear "I don't know" I ask, "What if you do know?" In my experience every. single. time. that is immediately followed by an answer.
There is a voice, an inner knowing, that resides inside each of us. An internal super computer that has been collecting data since the very beginning, tracking our moves, preferences, delights and disappointments. It has been privy to our every happening. We just need to give ourselves permission to stop and listen.
Many of us are terrified of making mistakes. With so many options, opinions readily available it can easily cause analysis paralysis. Yet our mistakes can be some of the most valuable learnings. We can't skip the work and no one knows us better than we know ourselves. Others can offer guidance and opinions but at the end of the day the decision should be our own. That is how we ensure we walk our path and not someone else's.
What is it that you don't know right now? Now what if you did?