For many people, the past several weeks have been filled with wondering what the future will bring. We've heard quite a few colleagues and friends expressing sentiments like “if only I had the answers” or “I wish I could know what will happen next.” Uncertainty and not knowing can be uncomfortable, unsettling, and downright disruptive for our work and our lives.
What happens when we can’t let go of the need to know? We are definitely at risk of missing what’s happening right now. Dwelling on mistakes of the past or obsessing about possibilities in the future can get in the way of noticing and appreciating the present. If our minds are focused on what has been or could be, we often neglect even glancing at any given moment we are experiencing.
Being comfortable with not knowing is part of the leadership mindset that Gifted Leaders believes is important. When leading your organization, your family, or your life, it is essential to give yourself permission to not have all the answers and, in fact, at times have the wrong ones. It can empower others when they see someone setting aside ego and admitting that they are not perfect.
If this is an opportunity for personal improvement, make a commitment to notice when your “need to know” is getting in the way of thoughts or actions. Then try to interrupt the habituated response with a mindfulness activity - a few minutes of quiet reflection, a walk outside the office, or writing something about what you appreciate at the moment.
Habituated behaviors require intention and practice to change. Yet it can be done. And once you experience the difference between fretful and fearless feelings, you will truly be more “in the know” about your life and your work.