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How to Know What to Do When You’re Feeling Lost

Leadership | 0 comments

You ever been on the road with a driver who won’t admit they’re feeling lost? They keep driving and driving. The gas meter looks a little low but going to the gas station to ask for directions is NOT about to happen, is it? They’re not about to listen to anyone else who might know a way through either.

Many of our world leaders are sadly pretty good examples of this kind of refusal to admit they’re feeling lost. They don’t have a problem filling up with more gas. They will even ask for help – as long as the people they ask will hold up their ongoing narrative. They refuse to allow appropriate solutions to emerge that work for ALL of us.

When we are feeling lost, we do it to ourselves too, whether we’re business owners, managers, parents or even house goddesses.

I remember digging in my heels and telling my son “I don’t know” when I really didn’t know. He would argue to try and get an answer but if I didn’t have one, I chose not to tell him something I wasn’t sure about. Why get his hopes up or down if I didn’t know?

Why do people in leadership positions get into this kind of trouble?

Of course, there’s a lot of pressure to be “right,” which honestly just compounds the whole problem of feeling lost.

When we don’t know our next steps, and there is no map, or the map we normally would use no longer works, our brains get super edgy because they want us to be in the familiar. That uncertainty makes us put ourselves into a loop or downward spiral:

  • Fear of losing control.
  • Feeling stuck.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Overwhelm.
  • What will people think of me?

Can you relate?

Looking at the state of the world, can you understand how the humans at the helm in various countries, states and provinces are falling short?

Decision-making is not always easy and in fact, the most powerful decisions aren’t made from a place of already knowing exactly what to do.

If we are riddled with fear about what might go wrong, that decision is a lot harder to make, and appropriate action might not happen if we can’t pull up a giant dose of strength, courage and embodied resilience from within us.

We can take steps to hold our leaders accountable to appropriate responsibilities and decisions but we aren’t the ones driving.

What we DO have control over is our own responses.

Here’s a paradox for you…

Nobody wants to sit and be present in their lostness… but living in the Land of I Don’t Know is actually the way out of it.

When you find yourself in the Land of I Don’t Know, the solution is not to find your way out.

The solution is to become present and fully aware in your body and get comfortable in the Land of I Don’t Know.

From that place, you can make the most powerful decisions, because now, you can hold space in a few important ways…

  1. The present moment
  2. Yourself
  3. Whoever is part of the conversation
  4. Possibility
  5. Your intuition
  6. Answers and solutions

The key is to trust yourself, get comfortable not knowing what to do, and KNOW that it is the Land of I Don’t Know that has all the best answers, solutions, ideas and decisions.

How do you get to the point of being able to lead from a place of not knowing?

Hold space. Hold space in all 6 ways above.

I know. It sounds crazy – nobody wants to not know what to do, especially in a leadership position. But you have all the steps, and this here…

This is the easy part, though you will likely have a TON of resistance to move through.

BREATHE. Breathe into your belly. Stop trying to fix things. Relax.

The final step is where the answers will pour in from:

HOLD SPACE and LISTEN for the answers, solutions and decisions. Don’t just listen with your ears. With your whole body and energy system.

Now I know this is oversimplified because on a team of leaders, there’s a lot more to consider, but if you come from this place, two things happen:

  1. You can come up with solutions that nobody would think of.
  2. If someone else comes up with a solution or there are several, it’s going to be much easier to know what to do.

Get it?

You will NEVER have all the answers (or you’d be the only human on the planet) but you can come to a knowing of exactly what to do if you start by admitting you don’t know what to do.

Let that fact settle in, and go have a listen to my medicine song for grief, Picking Up the Pieces.

Listen closely to the English part of the lyrics. Let the medicine of the song move through you and get your body moving. We do similar embodied resilience practices in the Picking Up the Pieces 13 Moon Program as well. You can join if the doors are open or get on the waiting list here.



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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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