When Saying "I Don't Know" Is A Sign Of Strength
During one of our lunch meetings, a woman asked my colleagues and me, "What haven't I asked you that I should be asking?"
What a great question.
She was essentially saying: You're experts in your field. Illuminate the areas of knowledge that I haven't yet acquired, so that I can make a healthy decision about how to move forward in my business.
This woman wasn't acting like she knew everything (something I used to do frequently for fear of getting an answer wrong). In fact, she was showing how intelligent she was to know that there was more to know.
In the past, when people broached subjects I wasn't yet familiar with, I'd nod, smile and pretend I knew what they were talking about, especially if they pointedly questioned whether or not I did.
Instead of being honest, I would feign familiarity and say things like, "Mmmm yeah, that sounds familiar," then race home to look up the topic, so I wouldn't feel stupid the next time it came up in conversation.
Managing pretenses is exhausting. It places a shield between you you and the person you're interacting with. It takes you out of the moment. You're no longer being genuine. And, since there is no perfection, there's no point in maintaining an illusion of this... there's only practice, and practice makes living.
It's taken me a long while to understand that by saying, "I don't know," I'm actually showing strength. Adding "but I'd like to know more" to the end of the that sentence also demonstrates an admirable desire to grow.
Perhaps what I noticed most was that the way this woman phrased her question, "What question haven't I asked that I should be asking?" she was revealing her faith and trust in us. She was openly relying upon others to have her best interests at heart, and this inspired us to respond in a way with even greater integrity. She offered us the privilege of seeing a part of her vulnerability, and as interconnected human beings, we felt the desire to lend assistance.
Just for today, consider being limitless. Aim to achieve your highest potential by releasing the grip upon what you think you know, surrendering your palms, and opening up to the bounty of assistance the Universe is ready to offer.
Be discerning with who you reach out to, balanced by faith and trust in the people around you. And, be in this place of abundance where we are lifting one another up where we are constantly asking and answering for one another, "What question haven't I asked that I should be asking?"