The Power of “I Don’t Know”

I saw this article on this morning, and it reminded me just how much I love these three words: I Don’t Know!

I grew up thinking I had to know everything.  I had to have an answer for everything.  We were taught in church to have an answer for anything people could ask you about God and your faith.  And it was very important to have all the right answers.  In school, we had to have all the answers too.  You had to be right, and there wasn’t much room for creativity or even searching for the answers.

When I was interviewing for a job years ago, my very wise husband gave me some great advice.  He told me that I would probably be asked some questions in my interview that I didn’t know the answer to.  And instead of making something up, I should say “I don’t know, but I can find out!”  I remember sitting in that interview and using those words, and I was so glad that he had given me those words to say.  

As an adult, I have fully embraced the words I Don’t Know.  It has become freeing to be able to admit that I don’t know everything.  But it’s also fun to have the chance to say but I can try to find out!  I have learned so many things that I might not have had the chance to learn if I hadn’t admitted that I didn’t know something.  I absolutely love learning new things, so it is extremely exciting to me to find something new that I get to learn.  

Recently I went to an event where I was talking to a girl that I knew a long time ago.  At one point, she asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer to, so I readily admitted that I didn’t know.  This threw her off completely.  In her mind, because I am who I am, I should have known the answer to that question.  She was really flustered and told me that she thought differently of me and was disappointed that I didn’t have an answer to all of her questions.  I just kind of laughed to myself and told her “Well, I’m sorry, but there’s a whole lot that I don’t know!”  And it didn’t bother me one bit that I didn’t have an answer to give her.  If anything, I hope it taught this girl that it’s OK to not know everything.  That it’s really pretty darn freeing to be able to say those words.

The older I get and the more I learn, I realize that there is so much in the world that I don’t know about.  And that’s OK!  I’m happy to admit when I don’t know something, but I’m also thrilled when I get to say that and then get started on learning something new!

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