From saying “I don’t know”


It’s enormously disorienting to simply say ‘I don’t know’ “ once wrote Maria Popova, of TheMarginalian. [ 1 ]

Even more so when,

what’s at stake has to do with how we’ll look in front of others.

Like our boss or colleagues,

for example.

On the other hand,

we sure prefer saying “I got this”.

Cause of the way it strokes our ego.

At least,

when we’re able to let the others think we’ve got what it takes…

to handle what we’re asked to, that is.

Although it’s not always the case.


off the bat,

do we know E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G through and through?

Even about the topics we say we’re passionate about,

or the fields we have worked in?

Do we have the skills to do any type of work?

Or the past experiences to tackle any problem that can pop up in an office?

Saying “I don’t know” is admitting we’re missing something.

A piece of knowledge,

an insight,

an experience or a skill.

That we have a weak spot,

sort of.

Which makes us vulnerable.

To critics,

for starter.

And who wants that?

That is,

if we stick to “I don’t know” with a “bucket is half-empty” sort of mindset.

Cause if we flip the script,

and go with a “bucket is half-full” look at the situation,

it opens up plenty of room.

For new information,

new insights,

and new materials we can use to improve our knowledge-base,

or our skills set.

We don’t have to settle for an embarrassing “I don’t know”,


As what comes out or our mouth,

without much effort,

is: “I don’t know… but I can figure it out”

or “I don’t know… but I’m willing to learn”.

Cause you’ve got one bucket that isn’t full,


A bucket that still has room to take some more insights in…

on how to put out a branding strategy,

or handle a refund claim from a client,

or any other task you might be asked to take care of, at work.

It’s disorienting to simply say ‘I don’t know’,

at first.

But what’s most rewarding?

Showing we’re willing to learn,

and get some perks out of it?

Or saying “I got this” to save face,

and end up going back home not any wiser than when we left it in the morning?

– – References – – – –

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