Doing What You Don’t Know

Doing what you don’t know is like freefalling.

At some point, if you want to go forwards, you have to just let go and drop into the space that’s right there in front of your face.

You don’t know what’s in there. Could be lions, tigers or bears (oh my). Could be sharp rocks. Could be marshmallow love pillows.

Doing what you don’t know, you can’t know ahead of time. It’s a first. It’s new. It’s terrifying.

But it’s only when you do something you don’t know that 2 things happen.


Stepping into the unknown stretches your confidence muscle, just like lunging stretches your hamstrings or tasting something new stretches your palate.

Confidence can’t grow or be sustained by staying still. Put a puppy in a box and push it under the bed and see how it grows*.

Stretch is growth, and growth opens the world up.


Nothing like being somewhere new to force you to wing it.

Stretching yourself into the unknown lights your brain up like a Christmas tree and requires that you improvise in order to carve a path through. “To succeed,” Isaac Asimov once said, “planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well”. (Mr Asimov was much smarter than me, so it must be true.)

Improvisation makes you connect disparate thoughts and ideas—if that worked there, maybe this will work here?—and that’s the spot where insight, inspiration and magic live.

Stretch + Creativity = Impact

Having an impact or making a meaningful change is only really possible when stretch and creativity come together, and woven through each of these is confidence.

Confidence to know you can stretch yourself in the first place. Confidence to know you can improvise. Confidence to take that step.

And the real magic is that in doing what you don’t know, you become more confident in doing the unknown.

You become a person who trusts in your own possibility, which is rare like rocking-horse shit and unimaginably more valuable than trusting where you’ve already been.

Does doing what you don’t know scare the crap out you?


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