Experiences, Peter&Beth

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Ever had the experience of thinking you know the best way to do something, but later realize you really don’t? Well, you are not alone.

Most of us are creatures of habit. We like patterns, routines, and traditions. We like to do things the same way and expect the results to be the same.

For many of us, this works out quite well. Life seems to move along nice and predictably.

But sometimes things change that we don’t want, or we want to change things and they don’t seem to. This is when our habits and routines can get in our way.

If we want change, we are the ones that must do the changing.

We get in our own way of making the change. We think our years of experience and our worldly knowledge is qualified to know the next best thing to do.

We plan it out and expect it to work just like we think it should. And then it doesn’t.

A few weeks ago we were going to Berkeley for the Bay Area Book Festival and tried to figure out where to park. Parking is always an issue when going to San Francisco, so I assumed going to downtown Berkeley during a big festival was going to be a hassle too.

I pulled out Google maps and tried to figure out the closest, cheapest parking. I was trying to figure it all out, way before I got there. Trying to calculate walking times and parking rates.

Then I realized it didn’t need to be so difficult. I decided to let something show up when we got there. I just let go of my ‘planner-scheduler’ persona and realized I didn’t have to know it all.

Sure enough, we found a parking garage that was nearly empty and was free. I couldn’t have planned it any better no matter what level of research or arranging I tried.

Planning and scheduling often work, but there are times when more work is not the answer. Maybe it’s because you aren’t looking at the big picture; maybe all your knowledge and beliefs are in conflict with what you really want. Sometimes the extra work actually makes the situation worse.

It’s because you don’t know what you don’t know.

When we don’t know something or feel like its a new situation we plan more. We schedule more. We work harder. We expect a certain result and by golly, we are going to get it. This is also the time when a breakthrough can occur.

When you recognize you don’t know it all, you can go and ask for help from others. Seek experts on the subject or listen to someone else’s perspective.

Another option is to ask yourself. Listen to your intuition.

If we recognize the answers are already there, we become open to possibilities.

Once we are open to those possibilities, options that were once invisible, come into our view. We can now see what was clearly there before. We can become unstuck.

So, when you feel stuck, remember you don’t have to push harder to get through. There may be a wide open door right next to you if you can just see it.

Think about all the times you’ve said, “I would have never thought of doing it that way.”

We’d love to hear from you. Have you had any situations where new possibilities show up when you realized you didn’t know everything?

About Peter and Beth Bostwick

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