The Unknown quadrant of the JoHari window contains information we don't know about our self and others don't know as well. It can be latent abilities, skills, desires we possess or experiences that we've buried in our subconscious for some reason. Either way, in a situation where we need this latent ability, it comes to our awareness.
My Personal Example
My best example of the unknown area becoming known is the life-changing experience of walking through the aftermath of my husband's car accident. He was hit head on and life-flighted to a level one trauma center. Thank God for this place where doctors with the skill and knowledge to help him were able to put him back together.
In this crisis situation, I learned I had skills and abilities I'd never had to use before. I connected with doctors, asking questions and giving information about my husband's health and behaviors before the accident. I worked with therapists and medical staff, learning to do simple things like give an injection. (This doesn’t sound like much, but I avoid the sight of blood and never had ANY desire to deal with medical issues in any way.)
In the course of this experience, I also encountered God in a new and deeper way. I experienced the power of prayer, as many people prayed in that first frightening night and the ensuing days, for Mark's life and the outcomes we hoped for. I also experienced God's Presence in a very real and powerful way that changed my life forever.
A few months later, a friend remarked that I'd changed. I contend that one can't experience what we'd gone through (and continued to go through for about 4 years) without being changed. For me, a big part of that change was learning to lean on God, trusting His goodness and Presence in all circumstances.
Making the Unknown Area Known
The Unknown Area of the JoHari Window becomes known when circumstances open it for you. Sometimes they can be anticipated life events – who can anticipate the love one has for a child who is born into your family? – and sometimes they are unanticipated, but in the revealing of the unknown quadrant, we discover we have strengths, abilities or aptitudes that we never realized we carried within us.
The Unknown Area also contains potential negative Unknowns, existing in your subconscious. Often, these are negative experiences your mind has suppressed, because dealing with them would be difficult or overwhelming. If these things come to your conscious mind, it is best to seek assistance from trained professionals in dealing with them. Addressing whatever is revealed to you can make you stronger in the long run, but only if you deal with your new awareness, rather than ignoring it.
Even in dealing with negative latent Unknowns, we can discover new strengths, abilities and aptitudes if we walk through the initial discomfort. These negative latent unknowns can even lead to helping others deal with their own negative situations, turning what looked like a negative into a positive.
Have you uncovered an unknown in your own life, using that latent skill, ability or aptitude to contribute in some way to the world around you?