When you’re figuring out what to do next, you are probably telling yourself “I don’t know” a lot. As in, I don’t know the answer, I don’t know what I want, I’ve tried “everything” and I just don’t know what to do.
And it sounds reasonable because almost everybody says things like this. The problem is that “I don’t know” is one of the worst thoughts you can have because it leads to inaction, which keeps you stuck in the same place with the same results.
Telling ourselves “I don’t know” causes our minds to freeze up and keeps us from accessing our innate creativity and ability to find solutions.
Give Yourself Some Credit
When you tell yourself “I don’t know” you are not giving yourself credit for your brain’s amazing capabilities to generate ideas and solutions. In fact, there have been plenty of times in your life when you didn’t know something and you figured it out. By telling yourself that you don’t know how to solve your current problem, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice because that thought is blocking your inner wisdom.
There is a part of you that knows exactly what to do. You can access that part of yourself by asking: “If I did know what to do, what would I do next?” It’s a surprisingly simple way to tap into your inner wisdom and it’s so much more useful than telling yourself the lie that you don’t know.
Think Like A Scientist
When scientists don’t know the answer to things, they test their ideas using the scientific method to figure out information, answers, and solutions. Scientific progress does not come from thinking “I don’t know the answer” and going home. To the contrary, scientists constantly think things like: “I wonder how I can figure this out. Maybe I’ll try A. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try B. Or A and B together.” And on and on. And thank goodness scientists do this because it brings us fantastic inventions that make life easier for the rest of us.
When you approach your own life in the spirit of scientific inquiry, you’ll be a lot less likely to keep telling yourself “I don’t know” and staying stuck. I recommend that you banish “I don’t know” from your vocabulary and instead replace it with more productive thoughts that are likely to spark creativity and lead to taking action and getting unstuck.
Here are a few examples:
“I’m in the process of figuring this out.”
“I’m going to think of all the ways that I might try to solve this.”
“I know how to find a solution to this.”
“I’m going to try new things and gather more information until I find a solution.”
These thoughts help us get in touch with our creativity and problem-solving abilities. They also encourage you to generate ideas that never occurred to you in your previous “I don’t know” mindset. And ideas inspire action, which is how you move forward and get unstuck.
Are you ready to try this? Refuse to tell yourself “I don’t know.” Access your inner wisdom. Practice creativity-inducing thoughts everyday. And see where your mind takes you.
Go forth and bloom.