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How to Be Okay With Not Knowing: The Power of Embracing Uncertainty

  • 11 min read
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It’s human nature to want to know all the pieces of a puzzle before proceeding with a plan, but that’s simply not possible. In fact, one of the most important life skills we can learn is how to be okay with not knowing.

When you can accept uncertainty as a natural part of life, it opens you up to new possibilities and opportunities.

In this article, we’ll discuss three ways to embrace uncertainty, find peace in the unknown, and how it can help us live a more productive and happier life.

Why We Crave All the Answers

There’s something about not knowing that can be incredibly unsettling. We spend our lives trying to gather as much information as possible so that we can make informed decisions. But what happens when all the pieces we have access to don’t match up or seem to be completely unrelated to each other?

For example:

You may have a goal to start a new art project but lack the basic skills needed to simply draw a straight line, or you may despise the sound of a pencil on paper or can’t stand the sight of dirty hands.

In cases like this, it’s easy to become discouraged and give up because the end goal seems so far out of reach. After all, it clashes with your personal preferences and lifestyle.

When confronted with something we can’t control or understand, it often throws us in a loop. But the one thing I’ve learned over the years and share with everyone I meet is that there’s always another way to accomplish a goal.

You don’t need all the steps and answers for something to turn out wonderful. We crave answers and despise the unknown because we’re fearful of the turnout.

The doubtful voice in our heads always seems to get louder and more convincing when we’re trying to do something new or challenging. It tries to convince us that if we don’t have all the answers in this present moment, then our desired outcome will never come to fruition.

The good news is that voice is often very wrong. The only way to effectively silence it is to keep pushing forward no matter what obstacles may arise because obstacles are hidden lessons. When you learn not to do something, you’ll eventually find exactly how to do it.

How to Embrace Uncertainty

The only thing that is certain in this world is uncertainty and death. But this article is not about our mortality, so we’ll continue to focus on uncertainty.

You may be tired of hearing “embrace change,” but what exactly does that mean?

I used to be fearful of change to the point that I would knowingly repeat toxic behavior because it was familiar, and I knew how it would play out.

I was afraid of the unknown and what it could potentially do to me (somehow, it was always devastating in my head). I would cling to my comfort zones even if they were slowly killing me by stripping my happiness and identity.

Eventually, I realized that if I wanted things to be different in my life, then I’d need to start doing things that I had never done before. So I’d have to put my big girl pants on and start doing the difficult things.

Change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. Fight it or accept it. The thing is, the longer we fight change from happening, the more we’re delaying our personal growth and encouraging stagnant energy in our lives.

So, how do we go about embracing uncertainty?

Here Are Three Tips to Embrace Change:

Tip # One: Reframe Your Perspective of Uncertainty

The next time you feel anxious or uneasy because you don’t have all the answers, try to shift your perspective and think about uncertainty as a challenge.

Understand that the anxiety and uneasiness that you may feel are entirely fueled by fear, more specifically the fear of the unknown.

Try to approach your fears with an eagerness to learn the hidden reasons behind them.

When we understand our fears, they tend to dissipate and lose their power over us.

Tip # Two: Practice Being Okay With Not Knowing

In order to be okay with not knowing, you’ll need to practice being in that space more often.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel lost and have no idea where to start or what to do first, take a deep breath to calm your mind and start with something familiar.

Think of the situation as being locked in an escape room with limited clues on how to free yourself. Chances are, the situation you’re facing is not like being locked in a dungeon that will be filled with toxic gas if you don’t find the exit in time.

As much as we’d like to label all challenges in our lives as life or death, more often than not, they’re not that detrimental. Our mind’s imagination is normally wilder and more elaborate than the dilemma at hand.

The more you practice being okay with not having all the pieces you want, the more you’ll begin creating new ways to get the outcome you desire.

Tip # Three: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

There’s no shame in admitting when you don’t know something. It’s very brave to publically accept and acknowledge your lack of expertise on a particular subject.

In fact, one of the smartest things you can do is to ask for help from people who are more knowledgeable on a subject you’re trying to learn.

Not only will this make the learning process easier and less daunting, but it will also show that you’re humble enough to recognize your weaknesses and eager enough to learn what does work instead of fumbling through the dark.

People with knowledge like to teach. It’s one of the golden rules about wisdom, and it must be passed on and not kept to oneself.

As women’s rights activist and journalist Margaret Fuller said, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”

Knowledge is meant to be shared, it’s how we as human beings have learned from our ancestors and will educate the future generation. It’s how we have progressed and will continue to evolve as a race.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, lost, and confused, think about reaching out to someone who may help guide your steps to a path that feels a little less uncertain.

Bonus Tip: Be Open to New Experiences and New Information

The more you learn, the more you’ll realize that there is still so much left to learn.

You’ll never know everything there is to know about a subject or someone because the variables are constantly changing. Again, the only thing that is certain is uncertainty.

Environments change, situations change, and the people around us change.

That’s why it’s so important to be open to new experiences and new information.

The more open-minded you are, the easier it will be for you to accept change and uncertainty into your life.

When we’re open to new experiences, we allow ourselves the opportunity to grow as well-rounded individuals.

Embrace change and be curious about the world around you. Ask questions, read books, talk to people from different walks of life, and travel to new places.

Do whatever it takes to expand your reality because the more knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to navigate through life’s uncertainties.

Don’t allow the fear of not knowing enough, the fear of the future, or the anxiety of not knowing to keep you from exploring the unknown and learning new things.

The world is full of endless possibilities and opportunities. It’s up to you to seize them and live in the moment fearlessly.

It’s a Mindset Reset

The existence of fear stems from the unknowing. When we don’t know what the future holds, our minds wander off into a land of scary possibilities.

The best way to combat fear is by developing a flexible mindset and embracing uncertainty.

It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable with practice.

Start by accepting that life is full of ups and downs and that uncertain moments are as sure as the oxygen we breathe.

Remind yourself that everything is temporary, including fear, and that it’s okay not to have all the answers.

Know that you can only do your best and that the outcome is ultimately out of your hands because situations take on a life of their own sometimes, if not all the time.

Last but not least, be patient with yourself; change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and dedication to feel safe in a situation where everything is unsure.

Uncertainty is a part of life, and it’s something we will all have to deal with at some point or another. It can be scary, overwhelming, and downright confusing, but you can learn to live with uncertainty and even embrace it with the right tools. The tips we’ve shared in this article should help get you started on your journey.

It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to be uncertain. It’s okay to feel scared.

As long as you’re willing to face your fears and learn from your mistakes, you’ll be just fine.

If this article has been helpful, please share it with someone who you know is struggling with uncertainty in their life. Also, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more personal development tips on how to create the life of your dreams. Sign up here!

Questions You May Have

How can I be okay and not know?

The first step is acknowledging that it’s okay not to know. Accepting uncertainty into your life can be difficult, but with practice, it becomes easier. Try to be open-minded and less resistant to change. Be curious about the world around you and explore new things.

What is the importance of not knowing everything?

Living life with a flexible mindset and embracing uncertainty allows growth and opportunity. It’s important to be okay with not knowing because it opens up the possibility for new experiences, knowledge, and understanding.

What is the art of not knowing?

The art of not knowing is literally being okay with not understanding all the variables in a new challenging situation. It’s accepting uncertainty into your life and learning to live with it without fear. It’s silencing that negative voice in your head and moving forward with the confidence that everything always works out for the best.

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Jody

Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

8 thoughts on “How to Be Okay With Not Knowing: The Power of Embracing Uncertainty”

  1. Thank you for this post! It’s so relevant for my life right now. From housing situation to job and more… I’m dealing with a lot of unknowns. I’m doing very good at not stressing out but I still have anxiety about WANTING TO KNOW! Your tip about asking for help is useful for me to try. Thank you again.

    1. Jody

      You got this Kristin! Start small with asking for help and it will become easier overtime.

  2. Great tips on how to deal with uncertainty! I find that I approach a task and if I run into something I am not certain about, such as creating a course, I listen to videos or Google the topic I am looking for. This usually helps me find an answer or solution, and also do chat if I need to search further. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Jody

      Thanks for sharing your research tips Denise. The more information you have on a subject the easier your decision will be. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Enjoyed reading. It is important to accept what we cannot change and open to the fact that change and uncertainty is inevitable. We just faced this over these past 2 years for sure. I often times have written and encouraged others about perspective and change. Thank you for sharing.

    Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)
    Letstakeamoment.com

    1. Jody

      Thank for being an avid reader Pastor Natalie and also for helping encourage others.

  4. Thanks for this post! I try to look at fear as my outdated programming from growing up. All those well meant but unhelpful comments from parents, teachers and siblings that made us feel bad or small come out to protect us. We have outgrown that program! I love using positive mantras to replace the fear such as “everything is working out for me “ or “I can do this” or “everything is unfolding perfectly “. I feel stronger knowing I control what I think!

    1. Jody

      That’s a great way to approach fear Vicky, I love that! It’s time to write yourself a new and improved programming! Keep up the positive mantras, they do help. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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