I Don’t Know is Not an Answer
While it may not be an answer, it is safe and comfortable ... and 100% steeped in fear.
It allows us to throw up our hands, remain exactly where we are and say, “Well! Since I don’t know what to do, I’m going to sit here and do nothing.” And not fail. It’s the fear of failing, or going in the wrong direction, or, or, or….
Raise your hand if this hits you in the guts with familiarity. I see you. I do.
Allow me to pass on a key piece of advice I was given years ago: I don’t know is an excuse. I had been wearing the badge proudly and wallowing in inaction. At a crossroads professionally and feeling unfulfilled and apathetic about life, still I did nothing. Blah. But that’s not you. You’re the poster child for action!
Here’s what you’re going to do —
One of the keys to figuring out what the heck we’re doing is to make some space to listen. Not to your noisy neighbor, or another Ellen video on Facebook, but to yourself.
Create a routine, all your own, preferably in the morning. Or maybe you’re an evening person. Whichever you prefer, just make it a habit. Rather than telling you what to do, I’ll tell you what works for me. Find a nugget that works and implement. My only suggestion is try to carve out 20 to 30 minutes a day before you have to make someone breakfast or sit in front of your computer screen.
I like to get out of bed and wash my face and hands. Then I pour a cup of coffee, read a snippet from a book or listen to some audio I like. Most of the days I also meditate. Maybe you prefer sitting quietly and looking out the window. Fab! There’s no wrong answer. Only that you push everything else out of the way and create a boundary for yourself.
Throw expectation out the window —
Once you start carving out time, your next task is to stop expecting a bolt of genius lightning to come out of the sky. It’s not going to happen. Or maybe it will and in that case, call me. Because I want to hear all about it.
The genius is in the space you give yourself. Spending a few minutes each day giving your mind a rest will create a cascade of positive effects throughout your day. The space to choose your response rather than react to scenarios. The annoying person who cut in line ahead of you. Or the bank transfer glitch that would normally set you on edge. The space helps lessen your anxiety. When you’re more relaxed, you’ll be more aware.
Awareness is the juice of life —
Now that you’re more present you’ll begin noticing new and different things. For example, maybe someone tweets a link to an interesting article that sparks an idea. Or you walk down the aisle of the grocery store and you overhear a conversation reminding you of a worthy business idea you had discarded weeks ago. Now you see it in a new light. You have a thought provoking conversation with a co-worker you’ve always admired, but never approached for whatever reason the old you had in place.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Good.
Whatever you decide, remember we just want to calm the noise for a small period of time daily. The chats, the notifications, the chimes, the messages, the requests, all of it. Push all of that out of the way and make a habit of alone time for yourself. After all, how else are you going to be able to hear what YOU want to do?
Need some help getting started? No problem. I have some books, audio, and guided meditation apps recommendations here. Don’t load yourself up right away, you can always add on. The goal is to just begin. Now set your alarm for tomorrow morning and DO the thing.
About Robyn Woodman:
Robyn Woodman works with women who are ready to give up on settling for ‘good enough’ and start living their lives out loud and without apology. Her business card reads “Pusher of the Semi-Reluctant,” and she’s been known to playfully call herself the benevolent Ass-Kicker. Robyn was miserable after spending much of her life conforming to make others happy, and was totally out of touch with who she was. The sudden death of her husband in 2005 and the subsequent discovery that he was a chronic cheater finally spurred her into action. Using this painful and insightful experience as fuel, Robyn has since been living her life without apology in both Italy and the United States. A writer, speaker, and personal growth coach, Robyn works internationally to inspire and encourage women to prioritize themselves and craft an intentional life.
Connect with Robyn:
Website - robynwoodman.com
Instagram - @robynwoodman