Are you feeling stuck? Have you found yourself asking people for coaching, advice, counsel or prayer? Have you often walked away still feeling stuck–frustrated, lacking clarity and just about ready to quit in a particular area? Could it be that when you engage other people with your concerns your mind is not fully open to being helped? Could it be that there are two words that are hindering your progress?
I attended a Women’s Prosperity Network-Mastermind business group and had the pleasure of meeting some very nice women. The facilitator advised that there are four words we must leave out of our mastermind conversations: I already know that. I smiled when she said it because in close to two decades of supporting women through issues which concern us, I have often told women that the two words that will hinder your progress is: I know.
I remember a woman who was facing a difficult situation. She came to me for help. I listened attentively for almost 20 minutes without interrupting her. I wanted her to have the opportunity to express herself fully. The very last thing she said to me was, Can you help me? After making sure she knew that I heard her, cared about her and wanted to be of help to her, I then replied to her question with a question: Have you considered________? Before the last word exited my mouth she was already shaking her head and saying, I know. I know. I already did that. I’ve done that. I know that already. I asked her to give me some feedback on the results of what she said she’d already done. She wasn’t able to.
Let’s consider this:
Why ask the questions?
Why take the time to pursue support if we already know all the answers?
If we are full of answers for our concerns and problems then why seek help?
Our conversation ended with her still feeling exasperated, frustrated and defeated. Why? Because every question I asked or information I offered, she took the position that she already knew that…she already did that…she already…. When in fact she had not. She wasn’t able to clearly hear and absorb what I was sharing with her because she was already thinking of the next thing to say. She was already focused on what she thought she knew. When we met again, I asked her to be fully open to absorbing rather than thinking of the next thing to say or concluding that she already knows what to do. I needed her to be fully present in the conversation mind and heart. She struggled a bit because her default stance was to say, I know but eventually I helped her to breakthrough in that area and get unstuck, gain clarity for her situation and feel empowered.
Of course there is much we know but there’s even more that we don’t know. We are not going to have all the answers that’s why support from the right person is so important. But if you ask for help or support it means you don’t already know the answer(s) but if you find yourself shaking your head in response to the person and saying, I know. I know. I already know that, let me invite you to pause and reconsider your position. You may miss an opportunity to gain wisdom, knowledge and information that you had not considered that will help resolve a problem, give you peace of mind, open the opportunity for you to have a new or different perspective and move you from point A to point B with better focus and ease. Isn’t that why we ask questions, seek support and ask for help? Yet, we’ve all been there where we find ourselves saying, I know when we really don’t know.
Do you tend to say, I know or I know that already? How does that show up in your day-to-day life or when you face problems? Take a moment and share in the comments or if it’s too personal take time to write it down in your journal and consider it.
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