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  1. Kevin

    Almost daily, and some days by the hour!!

    6 months ago
  2. Dolores Kazanjian

    Actually not liberated but enlightened and grateful for the other person’s knowledge, skill, and/or advice. I am very fortunate that I have never suffered from a reluctance to admit I don’t know and ask someone who does. This stems from two sources. The first is that I was born smart, and if I wasn’t aware I was quickly made so by parents, teachers, and others. (Not bragging folks, just acknowledging that I came out of the womb that way; I had nothing to do with it.) The second is that my daddy served as a role model. He was smart and competent and could fix almost anything, but the first thing he would do if he didn’t know how to do something was to find someone who did and ask them. He taught me by example that there is no shame in it
    This trait served me well at one of the critical turning points in my career. At a very young age I was promoted to a second level management position and freely admitted that I had no idea what I was doing. I sought out coaching from people who did know and it worked out fine.

    6 months ago
  3. Barb C

    There are many things I don’t know YET. Asking questions of people who do know is one of the ways to learn. When I was younger I definitely thought I was already supposed to know and didn’t want to display my ignorance. Now I know I’m displaying my willingness to learn and grow and giving others permission to learn in public too. Now I don’t think of it as “admitting I don’t know something.” I think of it as “asking the question others may be afraid to ask.” For me this is a liberating frame.

    I’m at a level in my organization that means asking doesn’t create a threat to my job, and I recognize it’s different for me than for someone at a lower level in our highly hierarchical agency. I don’t have the technical training many of my co-workers do, but many have a tendency to assume we all know the same stuff. So often when I say “Can you give a little more context?” or “I don’t know what that means for the project. Can you explain?” I see relief on someone else’s face in the (virtual) meeting, or someone messages me separately to say “Thank you for asking that! I was wondering the same thing and thought maybe everyone else knew.” By asking I’m freeing not only myself, but others. And people who know a lot about a subject are usually pleased to have the chance to show their stuff, so it works well all around.

    Expecting our leaders to know everything is dangerous. We should expect, support, and appreciate willingness to be open to learning from people in any and every kind of role. This question prompts me that I want to remember to thank others who ask the question or open themselves in some way to model that it’s not only okay to admit you don’t know something, it’s an action others notice and respect.

    I recently listened to a discussion on this topic that may be of interest: (unfortunately no transcript available). In this wide-ranging conversation, Joel Fariss said a couple of things I wrote in my journal that fit with this question.

    “Our authentic self we think we are is actually our coping self.”

    “Those who lead need to model costume-shedding–the work of deconstructing the coping self–in front of the people they lead…. If you’re not willing to heal in public you’re not cut out for leadership. As you begin to heal in public, you model that process for others.”

    6 months ago
  4. Charlie T

    I’m not sure about feeling liberated.
    I am fully aware that I don’t have the
    answers and I ask a lot of questions.
    I think it’s important to keep my
    “Student mind”. Sometimes I feel
    judged for admitting that I don’t
    know something and suddenly the
    other person is making assumptions
    about me and my life experiences.
    This may be why some people will
    carry on about subjects that they
    have no knowledge of.

    6 months ago
  5. S
    Sakura Hasune

    I am starting over and it is hectic. I hope for the best and I hope whatever I do I take myself to next level.

    6 months ago
    1. S
      Ana Maria

      I am cheering you on your journey!

      6 months ago
  6. Cathie

    Hmmm-I never feel less when I don’t know something- being a curious person, I don’t think liberation is usually what I feel when I don’t know something. I typically feel nudged to investigate for an answer. And that is a good feeling-to explore something unknown, and learn a bit more.
    I suppose sometimes when I worked, if the question asked of me was out of my purview, and I could share that I didn’t know but “check with so and so”, there was relief that I wasn’t accountable for the answer.
    However, I would still try to find out at least a bit about the topic, as I was curious.

    6 months ago
  7. Carol

    “It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
    Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.”
    Black Elk

    Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield says in all situations ask your self, “What do I know for sure?” I find that question very helpful and make it a daily practice.. Honesty with self is the seed of integrity, the root of being.

    For me, the root of that sacred tree still lives in each of us for it is the Tree of Life. To grow in self awareness, I’ve learned that I must be wiling to own my thoughts, feelings and actions and that is liberating.


    6 months ago
    1. Charlie T

      Thank you, Carol. 🙏
      Your ability to touch the heart
      of the matter is a gift.

      6 months ago
      1. Carol

        Charlie, Thank you for your gracious words. The sharing that goes on in this community is such a blessing. This website is a life-line.

        6 months ago
  8. Jackie

    I take pride these days in not knowing. Being able to seek to understand at the age of 34 is actually a lot of fun. We are not perfect people therefore we can’t possibly know everything. I’ve found that my mind expands when learning something new. Whether that be from reading a book or asking my husband questions about things that I know he has answers to. It’s extremely liberating to admit you don’t know something. It opens the door to questions and finding the answers out, which most of the time, is a lot of fun!

    6 months ago
  9. Yram

    All the time. For me it is important to ask questions and be informed. Others offer so much to me. Sometimes we are on the same track and as the saying goes we have great minds. If the comments oppose mine, then I want to hear the view. If the view is completely new, then I have been opened to new understanding and awe sets in.
    My grandmother often said, you can only go to bed, if you have learned something new during the day.

    6 months ago
  10. Laura

    Every day! My tendency is to put too much on my shoulders and assume responsibility for outcomes, even when other people are involved in a situation.
    When I say “I don’t know,” I feel lighter, freer, released because I’ve respected my own boundaries. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. I care very much, but I am happier when I stay in my own lane.

    6 months ago
    1. Josie

      Well said, Laura. I resonate. Thanks for putting this out there.

      6 months ago
  11. Michele

    I learn a lot from my son – I can admit when I don’t know something. The saying ‘you learn something new everyday’ is a very true statement.
    Now our brains can only retain info for so long, lol at least for some of us. 🙂

    6 months ago
  12. Carla

    I recall the first phase of any new undertaking is admitting “I don’t know what I don’t know.” When I admit my unknowns, I’m teachable. My agnst is removed and humility factors in.

    6 months ago
  13. Joseph McCann

    I was told many years ago by a thoughtful person, “Remember, everyone you meet today knows something that you do not.” I try to always think of this when I interact or listen to others. Helps to keep me humble and it is indeed liberating.

    6 months ago
  14. O.Christina

    For the moment being, and probably in general also, not knowing something feels absolutely true to me, and to realize it is liberating in itself. Still, for the moment being, it might be a good idea to look out for some better understanding – one of the paradoxes life has to offer to us in abundance. May be a more open mind seems to be required. Hope for some more hints appearing to a currently occupied, busy mind… May you all have a beautiful, enlightened Sunday! 🔆

    6 months ago

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