I often find myself dreading situations where I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I know it will be uncomfortable, and I may have to feel dumb for a while. And yet, in the end, I find that it has not only been rewarding, but enjoyable too.
When you don’t know what you’re doing there is nothing to lean back on. This creates discomfort, but it also allows you to be much more open to possibilities. Things you probably would have missed otherwise.
When you’ve been doing something for a long time, you have a routine. You know where everything is going to be each step of the way, and that feels good because you don’t have to expend a lot of energy.
But with too much comfort, seeing possibilities gets harder. When you don’t know what you’re doing, you have to take everything as it comes, and see what you can do with it. By remaining open, you spot possibilities easily.
I find that when I lose the sense of play in my work (paid or otherwise) my stress levels begin to rise. When I play, I’m more open to learning, I’m more creative, and willing to take appropriate risks. When I don’t play, I become rigid, focused on completing the task as fast as I can, and the task becomes joyless.
Not knowing what you are doing is a wonderful place to play. You are discovering boundaries, you are developing a system, and there is plenty of room to explore.
Fear cannot exist in Play. Becoming to attached to certain results makes us fearful. When we play, the results simply happen, whether we expected them or not. By being playful with your task, you push that fear out of the way, and allow yourself the opportunity to find the unexpected.
When you don’t know what you are doing, enjoyment is easy to come by. By being open to possibility and keeping a sense of play as you explore your activity, you engage with your activity at a deep level. This kind of depth creates a richness to all your moments. The kind of depth that tends to pass us by if we are not careful.
When you don’t know what you are doing, each moment catches your attention because it has to. You’ve got to take each moment as it comes, feel it, explore it and live it, and not just get through it.
Each time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, I find a freedom in “not knowing” that I wouldn’t find in a familiar task. And, ultimately, I like that freedom, even if I have to feel dumb for a while to have it. 🙂