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Posts Tagged ‘I don’t know’

Last month I suggested that the three most DISempowering words we could ever utter are, “I don’t know.” These three words give us an excuse to pretend we don’t know what to do. They allow us to stay stuck and not move forward, keeping us safe in our comfort zone.

 

Given that I am all about creating possibility with my clients, now it is time to share what I believe are the three MOST POWERFUL words you can say. I have come to understand their power based on the last 15 years that I have been coaching. During this time, most of my clients have been entrepreneurs and business owners, a truly unique group of people who possess an incredibly inspiring spirit. I love working with these clients . . . and here’s why.

 

Entrepreneurs and business owners have a mindset that when confronted with a challenge or uncertainty, they don’t stand around in a helpless state, scratching their heads, muttering “I don’t know what to do.” They don’t have the time or luxury to do that! They have people, and a business, counting on them.

 

Instead, they create an amazing transformation of thinking that allows them to immediately get into action. Intuitively, they transform the uncertainty and challenge of “I don’t know” into an inquiry that looks like this:

 

I don’t know >>> How Can I . . .

 

  • How can I grow my business?
  • How can I take advantage of the current market?
  • How can I develop a new product?

 

possibility1This re-framing of any dilemma that faces entrepreneurs and business owners drives them to find an answer. It drives them to find a way to solve whatever problem or challenge confronts them. Their thinking and commitment doesn’t allow for them to pretend they don’t have an answer. Rather, they exist in what is possible. And this way of thinking is exhilarating!!

 

Without fail, they find a way and discover a creative solution that addresses the problem they face.

 

“How can I” (or “How can we” when it involves other people) are the three most powerful words in the English language. These words immediately move you from being stuck in a space of uncertainty to getting you to a place of action and thinking creatively.

 

So why not take a cue from these fantastic people and transform your “I don’t know” into “How can I . . .”

 

I think you will find that your life immediately becomes more enjoyable and satisfying.

 

“What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

Thomas Merton

 

There are always two options that can be pursued when a problem presents itself. The first allows you to be defeated quickly by thinking you do not have the answer to the challenge. That is the path of “I don’t know.” The second promises a path of inspiration and endless possibilities. That is the path of “How can I . . . “

 

The path you choose is up to you, but I challenge you not to utter the words, “I don’t know” for the next month and see how your life changes.

 
 

“How Can I . . .” is a mentality. A mentality of possibility. This short video describes that mentality perfectly.
 

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When I work with clients, at some point during our work together I will ask them what their goals are or what they believe gets in the way of them accomplishing their goals. It is not unusual for their first response to be, “I don’t know.”
 
These are the three most disempowering words in the English language!
 
When my clients respond with these words, without fail, I will challenge them and suggest that they actually do know and the only reason they are saying they don’t is so that they don’t have to do anything.   Their response allows them to hang out in a nebulous cloud of uncertainty.
 
Lost and Confused SignpostBut the truth is, “I don’t know” is nothing more than a smokescreen that allows people to stay stuck and not move forward. It gives them an excuse to pretend they don’t know what to do or what they truly want. It is a way of keeping them safe in their comfort zone.
 
 
I believe the reason we do this is because in reality, we humans are amazing beings! Deep down we actually know that we are capable of accomplishing whatever we set our minds to. And I think we are afraid of that. Once we declare what we want, we almost always achieve it! I have seen this proven over and over again for the past 15 years by my clients.
 
The trick, of course, is knowing what we want. Once we identify what we want and declare our goals, we begin to move toward them and achieve success. It’s just who we are and how we are built. And it is AWESOME!!
 
So stop pretending that you don’t know what you want in your life or business. If you don’t know, or you pretend not to know, that opens the door for one of 2 things to happen, neither of which you will be happy with.

  1. You will stay stuck and your frustration will grow.
  2. Someone else will define for you what you want.

Thankfully, as always, the solution here is not rocket science. Simply take some time to sit by yourself, quiet the mind, be honest with yourself, turn off any “voice in your head” that might be influencing you – other than your own – and answer these questions:

 

  • What do you REALLY want?
  • What will make you happy/smile?
  • If you knew you or your team could not fail, what would you do?

 

Believe it or not, it is that simple.
 
If you don’t run your life, someone else will.

Anonymous

 

Pretending you don’t know what you want, or not taking the time to find out, is a surefire recipe for frustration in your life. There are enough obstacles in life that will inhibit you from having what you desire. No need for you to be one of those obstacles.
 
The good news is that if you find yourself to be an obstacle, it is the one you have the greatest control over removing from your path to success.
 
(Stay tuned! Next month I will share the 3 Most Powerful Words in the English language!)
 

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