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The “I Don’t Know” Conspiracy

Tough spot, painful circumstance, official dilemma. A total jam.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

Hmmm. Then what? If you just don’t know what to do, then what are you going to do? Probably nothing. If you declare you don’t know then you won’t…know. You’ll just sway back ‘n forth in the lull of your status quo unknowingness. No need to change because you just don’t want to know. Knowing would change things. Knowing would require you to change things.

If you said to your Commanding Officer, “I just don’t know what to do,” you’d be scrubbing the latrine in short order. If you told your heart-broken significant other, “I just don’t know what to do,” it wouldn’t exactly foster the mojo or the trust. If the Opportunity Fairy fluttered your way and you told her, “I just don’t know,” then she’d be off to her next assignment. She might stick around if you showed some initiative, or asked for a night to sleep on it — anything to show your sincere interest in revelation.

RE-FRAME: Tough spot, painful circumstance….bloody seemingly impossible, grotesquely challenging, borderline hellish:

“I’ll figure this out.”

How’s that feel? Better, doesn’t it? More…possible. More upright. Wings ready to spread. Ears piqued to hear Uni-versal cues. Instincts at the helm.

Confusion is a marvelous, magical place. Suspending certainty is an act of enlightenment. And “Security,” as Helen Keller put it, “is mostly superstition.” I’m not talking about being certain {impossible} or being arrogantly presumptuous of what’s coming next. I’m talking about responding creatively to life. “I just don’t know,” is often a cover up for “I don’t want to grow.”

“I’ll figure it out,” may mean waiting quietly, even for a long time, on the will of heaven. It may mean turning over every single stone without rest until you find the answer or the escape hatch. It may mean praying til you sweat, surveying the experts, or forty days in the desert. But one thing’s for sure, if you declare that you’ll figure it out, the possibilities are endless.

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Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching in early 2014. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality,” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

  • Meredith

    Spot on Danielle! I go into “I don’t know” mode when I’m feeling overwhelmed or wanting to contract from who I know myself to truly be. “I’ll figure this out” feels MUCH better. I suspect reframing my experience in this way will keep me flowing more consistently with life. Thanks for your keen observation!

    • The Daily Love

      Great, Meredith! So glad you enjoyed Danielle’s post :) -Team TDL

  • Lovie

    Hi Danielle!
    “I’ll figure it out” is the only way to go… Why stumble and mumble in “I just don’t know” land! Thank you for your shining brightness with your words, truthbombs, books, website! You are simply thee most fun and inspirational of them all!

    • The Daily Love

      Thank you for sharing the love :) Have a great day! -Team TDL

  • leena

    WOW! Big haha moment for me this morning! “I’ll figure it out”… I LOVE it!!! Very different vibration and emotion. THANK YOU!!!

    • The Daily Love

      We’re so happy about that, Leena :) Thank you for sharing. -Team TDL

  • Tina

    Amazing post…. Love how the “I dont know” translates into ” i dont want to grow” aka… perhaps “im afraid of my power”

    • The Daily Love

      Great point, Tina. Have a wonderful day! -Team TDL

  • Kaysee

    Thank you for this. Recently, I have been trying to finish my degree, changing it around many times. This is supposed to be one of my final semesters and I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t at all; I realized I was and have been pursuing everything that is going against my nature and what I want to do. I also registered for a course I didn’t need, which could have been a space for a course I did…I really messed up, so I dropped, everything. Now I have one course, and I am feeling stupid…saying…”I don’t know…I don’t know what to do…with anything.”(makes me feel like a failure) Each morning I wake up saying the same thing, I feel like an ostrich…but this morning I woke up to this article, and saying “I will figure this out” gave me a different vibration and feeling for the next few months before winter. It still feels difficult, but it gave me some hope, thank you. I will indeed figure this out.

    • E.

      I am in the same exact place.. have only two classes and student teaching to go until I get my Teaching Certification.. and I do. not. want. it. I don’t know how I got tangled in a place I don’t want to be, and I feel like a total failure at 28, recently broke up with my fiance (hardest thing i’ve ever had to do in my life, especially because he is a great guy.. but did not feel he was the one..) and now I feel lost, scared, hopeless.. it’s hard for me to say “I will figure this out” because it feels so utterly impossible.. but I will say it. Every day. I will figure this out. Thank you.

      • T

        E and Kaysee – I am in the same place too. I have a professional degree, and as I was getting it I already knew I didn’t want to work in that industry anymore. I’ve been at home unemployed all of this year, and I can say 2013 was mostly spent being depressed, repeating “I don’t know” to anyone asking what I’m going to do. Seeing the posts by you two remind me that there are other people going through this too, and that’s okay. We can figure this out. I’m going to start saying this instead of ‘i don’t know’ from now on. Much love.

    • The Daily Love

      Hang in there Kaysee! Thank you so much for sharing. -Team TDL

  • Cynthia rodriguez

    What a life changer! Thank you!

    • The Daily Love

      So happy you enjoyed it, Cynthia :) -Team TDL

  • Cynthia rodriguez

    Trying to recall Mastins wise response to when we say “I don’t know”… “Well, how would you answer the question if you did know”?