Three magic words to jumpstart your NEW NEXT.

Let’s get right to it.  Three words.  So simple.  So hard to say.  And, they are…..

I    D O N’ T    K N O W.

Most of my life, right after saying those words, they were followed by, “I’m such an IDIOT!”

Somehow, as women, we are hard wired to believe that we are just “supposed to know HOW” to do almost everything.

When your precious, crying, pooping, perpetually hungry “bundle of joy” came home, how many of us had husbands who thought we were supposed to KNOW exactly HOW to be mothers, immediately? How many of us thought the same thing?

And, not just HOW, but HOW and NOW, perfectly.  Oh, and we ARE the ones who are supposed to make things look seamless and effortless? Right?


About twenty-five years ago, after a string of successful businesses ventures matched by an equally stunning run of rotten relationships, I knew I DID NOT KNOW what I was doing.  I only knew that I did not want a life where my resume led the way.

The drive to succeed was fueled by an inner Drano-drip-drip-drip of “always lacking.”  When the Wall St. Journal called to get my comments, they expected me to KNOW what I was talking about.  OK, swell.  But I knew, I was hiding out behind a big, thorny bush of seeming like I was the one in the KNOW.

You can only fool yourself for so long without becoming the fool.

The only thing I knew for sure was that I did not have a clue about how to craft a life of the heart or spirit—-one that fed my soul or anyone else’s.

At first, saying “I DON’T KNOW” was excruciating.  It seemed to confirm my fears that indeed, I was…..just lacking.  Period.

But, fast forward to what I DO KNOW now……

Saying I DON’T KNOW to someone I trusted (starting with myself, first) was a gargantuan relief!

Saying “I DON’T KNOW” cracked the mask.  It opened me up to learning from and with, all kinds of people on their own path of discovery…..enriching my perspective and elevating my life far beyond the reaches of any resume. Don’t get me wrong—a hard-won resume doesn’t deserve a bad rap—that kind of experience has it’s own measure of enrichment as long as it doesn’t drain the juice out of the rest of your life.

If you believe in any aspects of the Law of Attraction, then you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the more fluent I became in saying “I DON’T KNOW” the more mentors and teachers seemed to show up at the most perfect time. It was as if God was looking at his watch, yelling , “NOW!” into some divine megaphone.  I see the same phenomenon repeating itself in the lives of my mentoring clients.  The stories of how we came to be connected, often follow what appears to be connections “out of the blue”.

Whether it was one-on-one, with a mentor, or in a workshop with others the energy that feels so “stuck” can shift dramatically.  From frustration to fascination.  From judgment and self-criticism to collaboration and camaraderie.

“We are in this together” replaces “I’ve got to figure this out by myself.”

Doesn’t that sound almost like a vacation from your inner trap of needing to know and do and perform…..then repeat???

I used to tell myself, “People are/Everyone is counting on me….to know….to lead….to have these things (whatever THEY are) figured out.”

Now, I know that’s not true.  What people count on me  for most is to be real.  Saying “I DON’T KNOW” is a relief to THEM too.  “Let’s figure this out together” has it’s own magnificent power.  It includes others in the process of solutions.  It allows for collective faith and creativity and synergy, beyond what any one  person might come up with alone.

Here’s one last, possibly counter-intuitive thing, to consider…….

Saying “I DON’T KNOW” makes you big.  Not small.  “I DON’T KNOW” opens you up to accept the brilliance, the talent, the wisdom, and the kindness of others.  It honors them to ask them for help.  Think of how you feel when someone recognizes your acumen or abilities and asks for advice or mentoring.

So, if finding a NEW NEXT is on your radar screen, and it’s making you more anxious than you had hoped…..relax.  There’s no need to know THE WHAT or THE HOW.

Forget, “I’m supposed to know.”  And, the “You dummy! Figure this out!”

Embrace the freedom that comes from not knowing.

Embrace the idea of asking for help.  Honor someone else with your request. And have faith. The right path and/or person with a set of directions will appear.

Know this.

It is so easy to mark time.  Fill our days. Add another bullet point to our resumes. Lose ten pounds.

Making a life that matters means knowing that we can’t, and don’t,  need to…..know it all.

News flash.  All we really need to know is what/who we value most.

When we know, accept, and express our deepest truth, everything else will take care of itself.



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