Permission to Not Know

Does that title seem strange – Permission to Not Know?

Why would you even keep reading a post like that? Good question…

One thing I have noticed as I have been unravelling my own conditioning to discover who I am is this place of not knowing…

You may ask – but shouldn’t we know who we are and why we are here? That is what I used to think and possibly what we have been conditioned to believe. However, I have realised reality can be a little different and that is OK.


Permission to Not Know

I have spent many years of my life not really knowing who I was. Growing up (and well in to my early thirties), I ‘knew’ myself through the eyes of other people, more than myself. In my early life, I thought I was a tennis player, as that is what took up most of time in my early life and also what most people talked to me about .

I consistently looked to the outside world for external validation and feedback and my self-worth was based on how well I was doing at tennis and what I was achieving. I also avoided interpersonal conflict at all costs.

However, after an injury ended my career (which I am grateful for now), I was given the opportunity to start the journey of discovering who I really was (I didn’t always think that!).

I didn’t know where to start, but as Arthur Ashe was quoted as saying “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

So I did…


Permission to Feel Uncomfortable

I won’t lie, this place of not knowing has been uncomfortable and challenging for me. It took a lot of courage to get started. I was someone who lived in my head as there was too many unresolved emotions in my body. I wanted certainty and thought I had to be perfect and please everyone as that way we could live in peace. However, step by step I learnt I had to show up, go to those places I had avoided for many years and start to find my own voice.

Bit by bit, I gave myself permission to feel lost and uncomfortable, so I could begin the process of inquiry and getting to know myself (my true self).


What Have I Learnt Through Giving Myself Permission to Not Know?

Where do you start? I have learnt so much – including:

  • I don’t have to know and can never really 100% know, so it is OK to accept that, have the courage to step forward, feel my feelings / vulnerability and realise I don’t have to be perfect.
  • I am worthy of love and belonging (I don’t have to achieve things for that to happen).
  • I am worthwhile person and enough as I am (I don’t have to prove my worthiness to anyone).
  • Trusting and learning to listen to my own intuition.
  • Listening to my body and realising it is OK to take time out and rest (i.e. it is not being lazy).
  • Knowing my own boundaries and yes I can say no and don’t have to explain myself.
  • It’s essential for me to take care of myself, honour my needs. I don’t have to push through make things happen (like I have done in the past).
  • I can change my mind and be flexible at any time in the journey.
  • I don’t have to know the outcome to start.
  • I will continue to take responsibility and be accountable to myself.
  • I have a voice and am taking steps to own it (yes it is a journey).


Are you Ready to Give Yourself Permission to Not Know?

If so, the following couple of tips could help you along the journey –

  1. Give yourself permission to accept you don’t know where you are going and be perfectly imperfect. It is OK not to have all of the answers before you start. You cannot possibly know all of the decisions you are going to have to make along the way, so ease up on yourself. The best way to check-in with yourself is to continually be honest with yourself, follow your heart and monitor how you feel.
  2. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Steve Jobs said it so well in his Stanford Commencement Address about connecting the dots – “It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all of the difference.”
  3. “By changing nothing, nothing changes.” ~ Tony Robbins. Remember as you are on your journey, you can re-adjust at any moment by making a different decision or choice. However, if you don’t take that first step nothing changes and nothing will change!
  4. Take care of yourself, practice self-compassion and focus on what you can control.


I hope this post gives you some inspiration to start the journey on that path you have been avoiding. Feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.


If you are ready to take yourself on the journey of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.