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Why you SHOULDN’T know better

[ 0 ] September 23, 2016 |

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

There’s something you want to do. It’s very important to you. You can see a ton of potential benefits for doing it. You’ve made plans to do it. Maybe you’ve even spent money on tools or supplies to help you do it. But for some reason, despite your best intentions, you don’t do it.

peeking through a hole

“Starting” by Amina Tagemouati via Flickr Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0

If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done it myself. My friends, too. Buy plants and seeds because you love gardening, but then don’t plant them. Buy a telescope but never look at the stars. Buy a sewing machine but never sew anything. It seems like half the people I talk to are doing this right now, specifically around starting a business.

Why is that? Well, if you knew, you wouldn’t be stuck. And most likely, it’s not just one thing anyway–it’s a bunch of things working together. Some common factors are:

  • fear of failure
  • fear of looking like a fool
  • fear of taking on something that’s too hard for you and then being disappointed in yourself for not being able to do it
  • low energy
  • overwhelm
  • a mismatch between what you’re trying to do and your image of yourself
  • feeling uncomfortable with prosperity or success
  • fear of putting yourself out there and being seen

I’ve certainly experienced all of these, and some others besides.

You know what doesn’t help? Thinking about it more.

Especially if it looks like this:

What if I can’t do it?
I said I would do this, so why don’t I do it?
What am I so afraid of?
I’ve done harder things than this. I shouldn’t be afraid.
What’s wrong with me?
What’s wrong with me?
What’s wrong with me?

Let me be the first to say: there is nothing wrong with you. You’re not lazy, you’re not crazy, and you’re not a bad person.

Maybe you just don’t know what to do. You probably know the next step or two, or maybe a whole huge list of possible steps, but you don’t see the whole path, and you don’t know what to do if your plan doesn’t work.

If you’re anything like me, you probably handle that with your brain. Surely if you think about it more, read everything there is on this subject, watch videos, and take courses, then you’ll have the confidence you need to do this… right?

Well, no. Not in my experience. Learning more stuff makes me feel better in the short term, but it still doesn’t usually translate to action.

What if instead, you knew less?

What if you could just start, knowing full well that you don’t know everything? What if you could approach it with curiosity? What if you could just decide from the beginning that you’re new at this, so it’s ok not to know what you’re doing?

This has been a huge revelation for me this summer, courtesy of my amazing coach, Darla. I doubt I would have seen this myself in a million years, but some of my biggest successes have been when I didn’t know any better. I’ve done things that “couldn’t” be done, simply because I was too dumb to know they were “impossible”!

Since this revelation, “I don’t know any better” has kind of become a mantra for me, and it’s taken a lot of the pressure off.

  • If you don’t know any better, then you clearly aren’t expected to know everything.
  • If you don’t know any better, you will make mistakes and that’s ok, because you don’t know any better!
  • If you don’t know any better, you’re free to try things without having to feel like a failure if they don’t work perfectly on the first try.

What a relief! If making a mistake is not ok, then taking action becomes way too risky. But if you don’t know any better, it’s no reflection on you as a person if things don’t work exactly as you expected. It’s ok to just try stuff and see what works. That makes it a lot easier to take action and actually do the things you want to do.

This is my current favorite trick for getting out of your own way, but I’ve learned a lot of others, too. I’d love to share some more with you! This coming Tuesday (September 27), I’ll be hosting a free webinar. I hope you’ll join us!

If you’re interested, please sign up here.

Hope to see you there!





About Cara Stein: I'm a Breakthrough Coach and Creative Director On Demand. I'm also an idealist who has stopped trying to play it cool. I offer alignment, clarity, and unshakeable belief in yourself—and then I help you bring your vision to life with great sales copy and graphic design.

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