I rarely take my cues from sit-coms (even the “very special episodes”), but many years ago, something said on Friends really stuck with me. The character Rachel was explaining that after many years of living up to others’ expectations and having her life planned out, she had broken free from that, and now she liked not knowing what was going to happen.
I am a well-organized person who uses a planner, to-do lists, and goals. I’m prompt and focused. I’m used to knowing. In school, knowing the answer was a place of power for me (and I almost always knew the answer).
Becoming a coach has really challenged my sense of security about knowing. The whole point of being a coach is that I don’t have to know–the client does. Being a good coach means floating in the moment, trusting your intuition, and being present for the client in a way that brings forth his or her genius. There is no script for this, no set way to do it. Which means: I don’t know the answers, and sometimes I don’t know what questions to ask. But I’m finding infinite possibilities within the not knowing. If I don’t have preconceived notions, if I can let go of having “the answer,” the “right” thing to say or do, then the door is open wide for the client to step up.
In addition to becoming comfortable with not knowing in a coaching framework, I am facing it in my personal life as well. I’m a new parent. I’m co-creating a relationship with my daughter (and husband) each day. When I can let go of the need to know, then I find I can simply let my daughter be herself, right here, right now. We can enjoy each other deeply.
Embracing the uncertainty of not knowing is terrifying… and ultimately, freeing.
If you let go of needing to know and embrace the not-knowing (or just dip your toes in), what does that open up for you?