The Paralysis of “I Don’t Know”

By Ellen Jayne | We’ve all been there: faced with a decision to make while feeling completely helpless, succumbed to the sheer solidity of not being able to forecast the future. The unwavering cycle of ‘to do, or not to do.’ We subconsciously permit the moment to overwhelm us and in the end paralyze us. What if I told you that you’re actually paralyzing yourself?

The Paralysis of “I Don’t Know” — Pointless Overthinking

My latest post was born out of a conversation ending with, “I don’t know.” These 3 words continue to be exceedingly overused in place of commitment in far too many aspects of our lives: work, relationships, etc. We face so much pressure these days to avoid failure. In truth, being wrong is better than settling with the forfeit of not knowing and not taking a chance. Being wrong is one stop closer to being right. Don’t paralyze yourself in the face of our addiction to certainty.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charles Lanier says:

    “Our addiction to certainty” – wow, well said!
    Much truth in this latest post of yours.
    Q: Like most actions, do we get better at making decisions by practicing making decisions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ellieejay says:

      Hi Charles, great question! At first I thought I’d say we do get better at making decisions by actually making them, but I’ve shifted my view… Although it’s almost logical we get better at making decisions over time through practice, I wouldn’t say that’s always the case. One of the main factors I would attribute this to is because of the gravity of our decisions as we get older. With more age we gain more responsibility. The decisions I was making 10 years ago can’t compare to major decisions I am making today, which will seem small in comparison to decisions I’m making in 10 years from now. Our self-trust and sense of judgment increase over time but so does the intensity of our decisions, especially thinking about having your own family and making choices for your kids until they can choose for themselves. As for more minor decisions, I do believe we can get better at making those. 🙂 Also, psychologically speaking, whatever you think the answer is will become the truth for you. Thanks for a great question! ~EJ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Being wrong is one step closer to being right indeed. We all contribute to the progress by imparting something.. Nice wordss keep posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ellieejay says:

      I like how you phrased that… we do all contribute in one way or another. Thanks for your comment and for reading! <3E


  3. There is “I don’t know” in terms of not having enough data. That’s the least of my concerns.

    There’s also “I don’t know” in terms of being afraid to commit to a course of action. That’s the epidemic of indecisiveness you’re talking about.

    There is finally “I don’t know” as in “No – but I don’t want to say it outright.” As an Aspie, that’s the one that drives me nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ellieejay says:

      Yes there are different meanings behind this phrase, thanks for sharing! Ellen


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