It’s OK to not know

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“All that is important comes in quietness and waiting.” ~ Patrick Lindsay

We’re constantly evolving. Who we are and what we want at any particular time change over time. Our experiences alter us, and whether we realize it or not, we’re always getting feedback about what we want more or less of.

After leaving my job last year, I thought I would simply take the rest of the summer off to enjoy, and then come fall, everything would fall into place. But as fall came around, I was left with more questions than I had answers, and my short break, became a career break – yes, there is such a thing! I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was happening or articulate it. I found myself in a downward spiral of self-doubt. The more I pushed myself to find answers, the worse I felt. I was forcing myself into knowing.

Whatever changes we may experience, that space where old and new mix – wanting to tightly hold on to what we know, because it’s familiar, while also looking ahead to what is to come without an inkling of what that is – is messy.

When we take time out – time away from the busyness of our daily lives and from things that are no longer right for us (though at a time they once were), we return to our true selves. We don’t realize how distant we’ve become from our true selves, because we’re on autopilot most of the time taking care of things outside us.

Once we pause and breathe, we start to feel human again. We connect with a deeper wisdom inside us that prompts us to ask questions about the life we’re living. Am I happy? Do I like what I’m doing? Do I still want to do this? Does something else feel more right for me? Those questions can be both terrifying and exciting, because the answers to them (yes they finally started coming!) are nearly impossible to ignore, and they have the potential to change everything.

Continuing in a spiral of self-doubt for some time, I realized I needed to ask for help. I had a supportive partner by my side, who patiently listened to all my confusion and frustration, and who encouraged me incessantly (thank you, Love!). I started working with Sarah Vermunt, the founder of career coaching firm Careergasm, who helped me to debunk my doubts and self-imposed limitations, and who provided me with excellent tools that supported me and steered me in the right direction. I also found a naturopath, who helped me to address the physical manifestations of the stress I was putting myself under, which has done wonders for my physical and mental well being.

Asking for help enabled me to create space. And within that space, I realized that it was OK to not know. There is a great peace and freedom that comes from realizing that. Self-doubt transformed into joyful anticipation.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to have the full and right answers 100% of the time, and that’s just not feasible or fair. Answers – answers that are aligned with our deepest values and heart and soul come in those moments when force and pressure and expectation cease to exist. In those moments, they come seamlessly like a whisper that was always there just waiting for the noise to quiet down. Let them come, because they will.

© Fazeena Haniff and Live with Integrity Blog, 2014-2016.

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