How often have you caught yourself thinking or saying, ‘I know that?’ In the context of taking action and accomplishing goals, there is a problem with this phrase. We may know things intellectually, however, we often don’t do them. Moreover, when we don’t take the right actions we fall short of our goals, accomplishing less and ultimately limiting our potential and capacity to make a greater impact.
Furthermore, when we say ‘I know that,’ we inadvertently close the door to learning and growth. Moreover, when we know what we should do but don’t do it, we diminish our self-respect and trust. This leads to internal battles with ourselves which results in frustration and deflated feelings. Sometimes even worse, the dreaded Imposter Syndrome. Our dreams and goals remain out of our reach and we feel unfulfilled. Let’s take a look at how this plays out in our lives.
Health is a great example of knowing what we need to do and not doing itWe usually know what we need to do, so why don't we do it? Click To Tweet
Take health for instance. Most of us know what we need to eat nutritious food to be healthy. When we eat more than we burn off, we will put weight on. Furthermore, a diet of take-away pizzas, beer, and regular fat-laden take-aways aren’t healthy, right? You know that, don’t you? Yet, are you eating healthily? Do you know what you need to eat but don’t always choose healthy options?
Chances are you answered yes to this. It explains why around 93% of diets fail. Moreover, the weight loss industry in the USA alone is around a 72 billion dollar industry, forecast to continue growing.
‘I know that’ in the business world closes the door to growth and learning
Let’s take work and efficiency as another example. Most people know there are certain tasks that, if they do every day in their business, would lead to growth and profitable business.
Examples include calling clients back, following up on leads and jumping onto problems quickly. With teams and employees, it’s engagement. Also, talking to staff to ensure they know what they are doing and prioritising and managing time and tasks. More importantly, tackling the hardest things first instead of doing interesting but less important tasks.
A quick google search of productivity or time management reveals thousands of books, audios, podcasts and videos on this topic. Yet we continue to fail to do what we know what ought to be done. So why does this happen?
I believe it’s a mindset problem. One that consists of three main areas:
- It’s either a problem about a belief or beliefs you hold. Exacerbated as you may not even be aware you have them.
- A problem with your philosophy about life or how things should be done.
- Or it’s your perspective on the topic or situation.
‘The mind is everything. What you think you become.’ – Buddha
If someone believes they know something, they tend to switch off when advice is given. They close the door to maintaining an open mind, even when they know they aren’t implementing the learning. Sometimes the truth hurts, and it’s easier to bury it than face it. There is friction within your mindset which you ignore. Furthermore, because the subconscious part of the mind is a million times more powerful than your conscious mind, it rules your life. If you don’t question your assumptions and beliefs your old beliefs and programs rule you. Herein lies the problem.
Be curious about how and why you do the things you do
The solution is to be curious about yourself. Ask better questions and commit to exploring who you are. Discover exactly what is important, what you stand for and what you really want. Dig into your mind and uncover your hidden beliefs, attitudes, values and assumptions. With awareness, you can then choose to change any of these and make new choices. Without awareness, you continue to fail to do the things you know you should.
The late Wayne Dyer has a great quote:
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
If you have been struggling to reach your health goals you will have some limiting beliefs. Furthermore, if you don’t clear them, they continue to exert power in your life, operating like a hidden lens you view life through.
When you don’t listen to other people’s opinions and dismiss their comments because you already “know it”, you may have a values issue that creates a fixed closed mind. Furthermore, if you won’t try another way of doing things in your business you may have a belief that your way is the only way. Ultimately the belief keeps you stuck and your thinking rigid.
Your brain wants to keep you safe and comfortable not happy and successful
The other critical point to add to the mix is your brain wants to keep you safe at all costs. It does not like change. Furthermore, change equals danger and means hard work and effort. Hard work and effort means pain. Yet, as humans, we are motivated towards pleasure and away from pain. Consequently, delaying reward and enduring the pain required to achieve a long-term goal is not a natural or comfortable choice.
And of course to achieve our goals we have to do this. We have to take small steps consistently to build momentum and confidence. Instead, we tend to close our mind, look for a quick fix, a short-cut. This simply eliminates options that could lead us to success.
All of this takes us back to the mind – to discipline our minds, increase our level of awareness and keep an open mind. This necessitates becoming a curious spy on your thoughts. Furthermore, a willingness to change and an open mind are two components of a growth mindset.
Embracing a beginner’s mind is a wonderful antidote to ‘I know that’
Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.
Some years ago I remember being stuck over a decision to train for an Ironman triathlon. It was a mindset thing. I had a slight fear and hesitancy about training with new people in a new location. I worried if I would I be fit enough, fast enough or good enough at my chosen disciplines. When I shifted perspectives thanks to my then coach, I overcame that block.
A client Carol, couldn’t break her ceiling of selling a home worth more than a million dollars. It was Mindset block. She had a belief that it wasn’t possible. When we shifted the belief and she saw things from a new perspective it became possible. Furthermore, she has gone on to sell numerous homes at this price range and above.
Mindset is appreciated by the best and most famous people we know.
When I helped Jo get unstuck, it wasn’t that she didn’t know what she had to do, she just wasn’t doing it. Seeing things from a different perspective and seeing herself from a new lens, changed this. She was willing to embrace a beginner’s mindset and let go of her story that she knew what she should be doing. Furthermore, she went on to fulfil her dream of becoming a coach. Moreover, she was inspired to take the actions on the learning to bring this into fruition.
Mindset is massively appreciated by the best and most famous people we know. Olympians, elite athletes and successful business owners and entrepreneurs all realise the importance of personal growth. To them, it is normal and natural to hire coaches and find mentors to help them develop their mindset, skills and maximise their potential.
They all know having a focus on the long term to achieve the results they want. They are willing to focus, take feedback on and then fix what isn’t working. And of course, lastly, that intentional action is king! Moreover, this requires doing those things that other people won’t do or justify, by thinking they already “know that”.
You must learn to align your thoughts and words with what is required to achieve what you desire
In the words of Zig Ziglar:
“The choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.”
I would add to this, remember to take the appropriate and necessary action.
So next time you hear yourself say ‘I know that’, stop and check your perspective. Do you really know this? Is there more to know? Are you doing the things you know you should? Be militant about weeding your mind. Adopt a beginner’s mindset, and ask yourself better questions. Learn and of course, take intentional action.
If you are ready to reach the next level in your life and breakthrough your limitations, I invite you to take that next step and book a call on my calendar.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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