I Just Don’t Know

“I just don’t know what to do with myself” ~ Dusty Springfield

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Know (be): to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty:


Do you know what you want to do with yourself, with your life?

I ask because for long periods of my life I had no clue. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, how I wanted to live. And now I’m just starting to get an inkling of what I want to do and where I want to take my life I have realised one major and glaringly obvious thing:

I have absolutely no idea how to do it.

Once that would have stopped me. The idea being ignorant, of not knowing, the fear of failing because I didn’t know, would all combine together. “It won’t work out because I don’t know what I’m doing so I may as well not bother”.

But once upon a time I didn’t know lots of things. I didn’t how to ride a bike. Or how to read and write. Or what a diphthong* was. (Still not sure on that last, to be honest.) I didn’t know how to do a lot of things before I started trying them. Because I was not born knowing things, I learnt.  I learnt through experience, through being taught, through asking and being told, through mucking up. And sometimes it was hard, sometimes I got it, and sometimes I didn’t and that was a learning experience in itself.

So that lead me to another realisation:

I am not going to let the fact I don’t know stop me. I am not going to let not knowing create a fear of failing that stops me before I have even begun.

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” ~ JK Rowling

It is hard work. We feel that admitting our ignorance leaves ourselves vulnerable. That is a weakness to rely on the assistance of others or to ask for help. We feel like we should know. And we don’t then act because we don’t know how and we are afraid we will fail.

But none of us should not let the fact we don’t know how to do something stop us from doing that thing.

Think of people who have achieved things that you admire. It might be the person who built up a successful business from scratch, someone who tends and cultivates a beautiful thriving garden, a friend who studying for and attaining further qualifications. It is a guaranteed fact that all of them were not born knowing how to do these things. It might be they will have discovered a natural talent along the way. But in getting to where they are now, they will sought help, they will have asked a load of questions, and they will have failed. But within all of that they will have learnt.

So if you know what you want to do, have something you are interested in, but what you are lacking is the how – don’t let that stop you. Go, ask, research, experience. Being prepared to fail is being prepared to succeed. Because how can you ever succeed if you aren’t prepared to take that chance?

.Drop me a line in a comment box-shaped postcard and let me know how you get on




Phonetics. an unsegmentable, gliding speech sound varying continuously in phonetic quality but held to be a single sound or phoneme and identified by its apparent beginning and ending sound, as the oi- sound of toy or boil.

[I am none the wiser. Editor’s note]

2 thoughts on “I Just Don’t Know

  1. You do know what diphthongs are. You know Geordies. You know those weird sounding Geordie vowels that wow and flutter like a badly tuned radio or an olde-Norse shouty Doppler effect? That’s yer diphthongs right there.

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