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Vertical Development

The Fear & Uncertainty of Not Knowing Everything

Oh my god! This is a hilarious! I just remembered a realization I had some time ago that relates to my last post about how thinking we know everything often blinds us from growth and development.

My greatest fear in stepping forward into my life’s work, and truly owning it and accepting it, is not knowing everything and thus being unable to provide “all the answers” that people may need relating to my work.

To put this another way, my very mindset and perception of what I need to be “successful” is a wrong perception of reality that’s actually impeding me from my own growth and causing me to suffer in my life, because I feel like I’m stuck in place.

Therefore to step forward and out of the way of myself (my ego), what I need to do is not avoid this but actually embrace it and leverage it as something that can help me going forward in my work. Why this is hilarious is because it actually describes the traits of leaders at the highest plateau of adult development, as pictured below, whereby leaders with Self-Transforming Minds are “leading to learn.”

Robert Kegan’s Three Plateaus of Adult Development

In effect, leaders with Self-Transforming Minds don’t have all the right answers. They are instead the ones asking all the right questions.

This is pretty much why I’ve been unable to step into this plateau and realm of perceiving because my outdated mindset and perception is preventing me from understanding how it works differently as a whole, even though I’ve mapped and seemingly understood pieces of this terrain over the last decade or so.

Simply put, for me to truly step into this space, I actually need to live and embody the values of it in my very work. In doing so, only then will I be able to step beyond all of my “monstrous” fears and effectively “slay” them (as per Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey). Effectively as a whole, this means meeting my base needs of 1) economically surviving by doing my own unique work, 2) truly accepting the belonging of my core Self (as per Brene Brown’s True Belonging), and 3) finally satisfying my need for respect and recognition by truly doing something of deep value to others.

While I’ve been aware of these base needs for a while, I just couldn’t figure out the correct context and intention for my work to try to “package” it as a whole…because I’ve been trying to contain it within an outdated approach which never seems to eloquently fit these newer concepts, ideas, and methods. This newer, broader perspective may finally provide me with a larger space of possibilities to contain everything I’ve wanted, in a way that may finally make sense on so many levels.

By Nollind Whachell

From playing within imaginary worlds to imagining a world of play.

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