Why I Don’t Know Is Kind Of A Lie

March 13, 2013

How many times a day do you say ‘I don’t know’ – how many of you answered, ‘I don’t know’ to that question? We say it a lot.  We say it more than we realize.  And we often say it without really meaning it.

I don’t know tends to be a smokescreen.  It’s an easier answer than speaking your truth – however painful or scary it might be.  It’s also easier to stop with a surface level ‘I don’t know’ instead of waiting, giving yourself a bit of time and space to dive deeper into what you really think, and what you really know.   So many people are afraid of what they’ll find out, or the consequences of their discovery.  It’s becoming an epidemic.

It’s hard to own your feelings, your truths, your beliefs.  But it’s even harder to go through life half awake.  The more you suppress what you know, the more you get lazy and complacent, throwing out an ‘I don’t know’ instead of telling someone what you really think or believe, you are suppressing your own voice.  That means that you won’t hear yourself, and the world won’t hear you, and you’ll get less out of life.  If you can’t say, or don’t choose to say what you want or believe, the world, the universe, your friends, are never going to hear you and support you in that.

I don’t let my clients get away with saying I don’t know to me.  When they do, here’s the process we go through together. The next time you notice yourself saying an abundance of I don’t knows you can guide yourself through this process.  If it feels to challenging to do on your own, I’d love to support you.  

Ask yourself ‘Really?’ Sometimes a simple question can get you to think twice about the answer.  We are on such autopilot, sometimes it takes a second look to realize we do know the answer.

Pretend you do know. What if you did know?  What if the knowing it already inside of you.  Take a minute, think about it.  After those few minutes, do you know?

What more information do you need? Sometimes when we’re hesitant to make a decision it’s because we feel like we need more information.  We need to talk with someone, do some research or read a related book.  What do you need to change your ‘I don’t know’ into a ‘I know’?

Don’t lie to yourself.  You know when you know and you’re just afraid to say it.  Or when you’re being a little complacent and not putting your full thoughts and energy into something.  Don’t spend your life behind a smokescreen.  It obscures you from the world – I want you to be seen, crystal clear, for the amazing, smart, knowing person you are.   Let’s all resolve to cut ‘I don’t know’ from our vocabularies, ok?  Let me know how it goes in the comments section!

I’m Ellen! A Career & Life Coach + Decision Making Expert.  You want me on your team. I’m dedicated to helping you uncork your awesome, ditch options overwhelm and get out of your own way to have the life you really want and deserve! Curious how I can impact your life? Schedule a free superhero session with me here.


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3 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Know Is Kind Of A Lie

  1. I love this!

    As a coachee, I used to go to the “I don’t know” all the time.

    As a new coach, I copy the coaches who pushed me with “If you did know…” and with not so gentle reminders that “I don’t know is a cop out.”

    I’m bookmarking this bad boy for some passive aggressive sharing with my coachees ;)!

    • Those are great lines too! There’s a lot of way to dig under the surface of the knee-jerk reaction of ‘I don’t know.’ Welcome to the coaches side of things, what a fun transition to make!

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