July 21, 2023

"I don't know"

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

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2 min read

Have you ever been in a situation where you had no clue about something? Have you ever felt that instinctive urge to nod along, pretending you know what someone is saying to save face? Trust me, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.

Unfortunately the phrase "I don't know" is a phrase we often try to avoid. We perceive it as a sign of ignorance and vulnerability. Even though I still avoid saying it, I’d argue that acknowledging what you don’t know is the first step toward growth and wisdom.

Breaking Down the Fear

Why are we so afraid of admitting when we don’t know something? Is it the fear of judgment from other people? The fear of showing vulnerability? The fear of the knowledge gap? But here’s the truth: Nobody knows everything.

Saying “I don’t know” can make us more authentic. It shows we are open to learning and comfortable with our imperfections. it’s an opportunity to grow, learn, and expand our horizons.

The Learning Curve: From “I Don’t Know” to “I Understand”

Saying “I don’t know” is just the start. The real magic happens when you follow it up with, “But I’d love to learn.” This is where growth happens, and we open ourselves up to new possibilities, insights, and understandings.

Knowledge is never static. It’s ever-evolving, and our understanding should be too.

Actionable Steps: Embracing “I Don’t Know”

Here are a few actionable steps you can take:

  1. Normalize “I don’t know”: Start by embracing the phrase in your daily life. When you’re unsure about something, rather than guessing or pretending - simply say, “I don’t know.”
  2. Cultivate curiosity: Follow up your “I don’t know” with, “Can you tell me more?” or, “Where can I learn about this?”
  3. Seek out new learning opportunities: Challenge yourself to learn something new every week. It doesn’t have to be something monumental. Just something outside your comfort zone.

The bravest among us aren’t those who claim to know everything. But those who aren’t afraid to admit when they don’t.

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